In a recent coaching session, I asked my client what she wanted to work on, and she responded, “I want to work on why I still have not straightened up my office shelves.”

Okay. Not exactly related to job search or career but I went with it.

And discovered that this was very relevant to a job search or career transition.

Because, when we dug in, we got to the real question.

Why do we break commitments to ourselves even when we really want what we have committed to doing? Like losing weight, getting our car washed or kicking off a job search.

How Straightening Your Shelves is Like Your Job Search

You made up your mind.

You are ready to find a new job in a company that gets you, doing work you love.

Plus, you will be able to finally get a significant salary increase-no more of this measly 2%.

Wow! So many great reasons why this job search is going to happen.

Commitment made! 

You tell yourself that from 9-12 on Saturday (after you walk the dog but before grocery shopping) you will be dedicated to your job search.

You have set the goal.

You have scheduled the time to work on the goal.

You are feeling excited about the goal.

Then Saturday comes. The dog is walked. You glance at your computer. Your stomach cringes and the next thing you know it is Sunday night and no progress has been made.

Commitment broken!

You feel bad. You feel guilty. You are mad at yourself.

But Why????

Why, with all the great reasons to switch jobs and a real desire to make a job change, did you let yourself down?

You certainly do not love feeling bad, guilty and mad!

The bottom line: breaking commitments to ourselves, even ones that seem inconsequential (no one is going to die if you do not straighten your shelves), chips away at our self-trust and our self-confidence. And this can become habitual. You have let yourself down before and here you go again. Oh well.

5 Ways to Stop Breaking the Broken Promises Habit. 

Here are a few ways to help you trust yourself again AND actually achieve the things you want to achieve in your life:

1. Renegotiate: If you made a decision on Tuesday about what you want to happen on Saturday and then Saturday arrives and you have changed your mind THAT’S OK. What isn’t OK is ignoring the fact that you have changed your mind. Acknowledge that you are not feeling the job search right now. Then negotiate a new plan for going forward.

2. Journal: Not about why you break promises with yourself. That sounds like as much fun as thrashing yourself with a wet noodle. Instead, journal about why you feel stuck when you think about moving forward in your job search. Just let your writing flow.

3. Don’t pretend: If you are feeling scared, overwhelmed, confused or anxious about the job search this is totally normal. And the thing to do is to acknowledge those feelings and remind yourself that you are not alone in this. You have Coach Laurie you can hire. You have friends who have done a successful job search you can call upon. You have your own past successes to give you confidence. You’ve done scary things before so you can do this!

3. Make a super small promise to yourself and keep it: Rebuilding trust with yourself starts by showing yourself you can be trusted. Maybe you tell yourself that at 12:00 you will open up your computer and bring up your old resume. That’s it. And once you do that give yourself a pat on the back. You CAN be trusted to do something related to your scary and overwhelming job search. Little promises build on each other.

4. Invoke the Grounded Confidence Mindset: I got this from Brené Brown. She talks about Grounded Confidence being the commitment to learning and improving. This is a mindset that replaces perfectionism. You approach your job search as a place to learn and improve as you go. You might send out 10 resumes with Product Manger instead of Manager. Oh well. You learned and then improved your resume. You might have totally flubbed a question in an interview when you were asked about why you were leaving your current company. Darn it! Now you have been practicing that response with everyone who will listen. You can’t wait to be asked this question again. You are going to nail it.

These ideas will rebuild trust with yourself.

And why is that important?

Because you matter!

Your dreams matter!

What you are meant to do in the world might start with organizing shelves and then the next thing you know,  you find yourself in a new career where you are making a difference every day in a way that you had been dreaming about for years.

You have to pinch yourself it feels so good.

All because you made a commitment to be as trustworthy with yourself as you are with others in your life.

You trust you.

Are you ready to make a commitment to a new career? Sign up for one-on-one coaching today!