Are you doing what you said you’re gonna do?

Are you doing what you said you're gonna do?Like I’ve mentioned in one of my other articles, my old group coach used to initiate sessions with this nice little reminder: “Not doing what you said you’re gonna do is a habit — a habit that is unproductive towards your success”.

But it goes further than that. WAY further.

See, whenever we say we’re gonna do something, we effectively make a declaration. Both to ourselves and to the world around us. And, whether we like it or not, our decisions tend to be driven by emotions rather than logic.

This might be hard to swallow for all you brain-centered intellectuals out there. But don’t worry; it’s actually perfectly explainable — even from a logical point of view. 😉

It actually makes perfect sense. See, it’s thinking twice that inhibits our decision-making. If you made decisions based on pure logic, you’d never be able to have deep, meaningful relationships with other people.


Are you doing what you said you're gonna do?
… However relatable I might find you.

Emotions are what makes us human; not mere stimulus/response-driven animals or machines. We decide to do things because we want to or need to. And our wants and needs have very little to do with logic, if anything at all.

Okay. So, with that out of the way, what’s so wrong with not doing what you say you’re gonna do?

Well, since emotions are what motivates us, our feelings are attached to our intentions. Whenever we experience a want or need, we necessarily put a certain amount of emotion into it. And when we declare to carry out that want or need in the real world, we invest that emotion — we put it at stake.

So, whenever we give up on carrying out one of our wants and needs, we’re essentially hurting our own feelings.

But it goes even deeper than that, on even more levels. Because the discrepancy between anyone saying one thing and doing another causes a certain dissonance, which we inevitably experience as uncomfortable. Like when a politician’s blatantly lying and/or disgracefully trying to cover up a hidden agenda.


Are you doing what you said you're gonna do?
(Picture is unrelated.)

The emotions we feel on their behalf are shame, unworthiness, and low self-esteem. And furthermore, towards them, we feel anger, frustration, and even repulsion.

And so, by creating the same kind of dissonance between what we say and what we do, we’re awakening all the same range of negative emotions towards ourselves.

Furthermore, on an entirely other level, when we don’t honor our declared intentions, we’re effectively teaching ourselves that this kind of behavior is legitimate.

In a nutshell:

It’s like with everything else: The more we do it, all the deceptively easier it becomes. And trust me: You DON’T wanna get too used to not doing what you said you’re gonna do.


This week, go over your old to-do list(s).

Pick ONE item. Maybe the one that’s been on there for the longest. Maybe one that’s become more relevant to you with time.

Set aside a coupla hours and do it. Get it outta the way, and enjoy that feeling of liberation as you’re finally doing what you said you’re gonna do.

Share this:

Not doing what you say: How it cripples you

Not doing what you say will eventually debilitate you from carrying out life itself.Not doing what you say you’re gonna do is a habit. — A habit that is unsupportive of your success.

That’s what my old group coach used to say. In every single session.

Of course, we’re not just talking about not taking out the trash when you said you would, or not buying milk when you said you would. (Although those things might be symptoms of a bigger problem).

We’re talking never getting around to writing that novel. We’re talking friendships dying because you never took each other up on those empty words of “we should totally hang out”.

This is level not-having-the-guts-to-go-up-and-talk-to-that-someone-who-might-just-turn-out-to-be-the-love-of-your-life here.

The whole thing about not doing what you say is actually fairly simple, and I’m not gonna wait ‘till the end to say it:

Doing what you say feels natural. You say something, you do it. Whoomp; fair, square and simple.

But NOT doing what you say you’re gonna do causes, as I love putting it, a disturbance in The Force. We feel a certain discomfort. A dissonance. A discrepancy.

In one of my former articles, I’ve written about how the one source of unhappiness in the world really comes down to a discrepancy between how things ARE vs. how we WANT them to be. And it’s basically the same mechanism at play here.

Think about it. If someone claims the Earth is flat and you happen to know what 2nd graders know about astronomy, you probably wanna call them out on it. Because there’s a discrepancy between what you KNOW, and what someone else THINKS, which makes them questionable.

And if someone says they’re gonna do something and then don’t, at least you’re gonna notice, if nothing more. Because there’s a discrepancy between what they SAY and what they DO, which makes them questionable.

So when you notice this discrepancy in yourself, you’re the one who’s questionable — to yourself.

Not exactly a nice feeling.

In fact, if you keep on not doing what you say you’re gonna do, it becomes the rule rather than the exception. This means, you will effectively make a habit out of something harmful, like with any toxic addiction.

And yes, I deliberately use the word “toxic” here. Because eventually, you’ll either be incapable of carrying out anything important you say, or you’ll care so little that you’ll have exactly zero aspirations towards your entire life.

Think I’m kidding? Go ahead: Try and prove me wrong; see for yourself how it plays out in 10 to 20 years from now.

(In fact: Don’t!)

Okay, so ideally, doing what you say should be practiced by everyone. And NOT doing what you say should be practiced by no one. Big whoop.

… But yes, I deliberately use the word “ideally” here. 🙂

Because we’ve all been there. We’ve all said we were gonna do something and then didn’t. For whatever reason.

We might’ve postponed it until we forgot. Maybe we just didn’t feel like doing it any longer.

Or maybe we deliberately procrastinated. Because deep down, we knew that doing it would take us to the next step. — Which could mean responsibility for our lives, other people getting expectations towards us, or rewards of which we basically felt unworthy.

While not doing what you say you’re gonna do is fairly common, these last mentioned fears are especially common amongst people with low confidence and self-esteem.

To confident people, doing what you say comes just as natural as thinking it and saying it. Confident people do what they say, say what they mean, and think before they say it. Confident people aren’t afraid of responsibility or expectations.

In fact, they gladly take responsibility, and, in addition to what other people might expect, they set expectations for themselves. And they don’t consider themselves unworthy of any kind of reward. They accept it gladly, gracefully, and gratefully.

Just to make it clear: It’s not that confident people never have any slip-ups or problems with balancing what they say and do. It’s the fact that they want to improve at it, and are therefore willing to accept and learn from these slip-ups and problems which makes them good at keeping that consistency.

Want confidence? Doing what you say you’re gonna do is mandatory.

Share this: