In my twenties, following through is something I have always struggled with. I guess I never saw the importance of it or never considered the consequences by not doing it until I grew older. Nevertheless the consequences of it shined brightly, so bright that over the last year I have been diligently working to get better at it. Because following through is a new thing for me I decided to share my Top 3 list on the effects of not following through.
1. Loss of Trust
The worse feeling in the world is learning someone you love losing trust in you. In the past I was a repeat offender of saying I would do something or go somewhere and did not. I saw no harm in it as I thought other people would be there and I would not be missed, but it mattered to that person that I wasn’t there. Or I would promise to do something , sometimes things happened or they didn’t, but it resulted in me not fulfilling my promise.
I came to the realization on the effects of not following through one day talking with my cousin. I volunteered to help out with something and she was reluctant to accept my offer. This favor I was offering was big and later it made sense why she was so indecisive. She no longer trusted me. Oh my, that was a hard pill to swallow.
Then I noticed my lack to fulfill promises affected more than her and I was disheartened. After these realizations, I decided to work at it. Gaining trust back is no easy feat, but after being consistent I did earn some trust back from some people. Some people were not as forgiving but they are entitled to feel that way and all I can do is respect it.
Of course, there are times when you cannot make an event or fulfill a favor , but it’s still your responsibility to say something which brings me to point 2.
2. People Remain Upset and Disappointed
Yes, this second point is sort of still in the no trust lane. But I learned that some people just simply stop trusting and depending on you and move on with their life. Those that remain in your life and desire to depend on you are infuriated and hurt. When I was in undergrad, I met this nice young lady and we hit it off and became good friends. She was going through some things and I tried to be an encouragement to her as much as I could. We had planned to go somewhere and I can’t remember the reason, but I did not go at the last minute. She was mad and read me my rights. And although I think she forgave me, I lost a good and potential friend. I am saying I’m not sure because I have been trying to make plans with her since then and she always cancels. Talk about a taste of my own medicine.
3. Your Word is Trash
In other words your WORD means nothing. My friends got to the point of not inviting me to anything because they expected I would not come. They were infuriated and I couldn’t blame them. To my defense I always thought a good friend was being present when a friend was experiencing hard times and I never accounted for the good times. I have my seasons when I want to party and then I have my seasons when I do not. I had to learn that attending these events were not about me but about the person inviting me. They wanted to spend time with me and wanted me to celebrate with them. At 34, I realize that is a grand privilege for individuals to want to share their most precious moments with you. I now marvel at that fact and try to make as much as I can, but if I can’t I am clear to say that I can’t in enough time. This method has at least returned me to the invite list.
Now, I am known to suffer from being too hard on myself sometimes, but I had to change this flaw because I ultimately don’t like disappointing people. Although my actions were not meant to intentionally hurt people, it still hurt people. Growing up, a lot of promises were broken and as I grew older I conditioned myself to think this behavior was OK. The beauty of being an adult is having the ability to change whatever you don’t like about yourself in reason. This is something I constantly work on because I know how it feels to be disappointed, but in many ways I was doing it to others. When I became aware, I realized not showing up or saying I am not coming was selfish. Yes, things occur in our life but sometimes we have to step outside what we are going through to be a blessing to someone else.
If you are a person that also work on this, I encourage you to stay consistent and don’t be too hard on yourself if the person or people don’t come around at first. If they love you and understand you they will come around.
If you also are working on with this, please share your story in the comments.