What Happens When You Want to Take Back a Yes?

Tell me, have you ever said “yes” to something, then had second thoughts?

I strongly believe in being impeccable in my word. When I commit to something, I do my best to follow through on promises I’ve made.

Recently, I made a commitment. I said “yes”. But, when it came time to follow through, I had doubts.

I was interviewed on a radio show. When I was first approached to be on, I researched the host. She seemed very knowledgeable, and I said yes. Part of that agreement was that I would promote the interview afterwards.

The interview went well. We talked about the coaching industry, the role of a coach and techniques that can help you start taking real steps towards creating the life you truly want (starting with uncovering what it is you actually want!). I was looking forward to sharing the interview.

And then I listened to it.

Oh my goodness.

The ads!

I know it’s about the interview and not the commercials around it, but these were just completely not me. Eerie, even! I won’t go into too much detail, but let’s just say that if I had heard the commercials before saying yes, my answer would have been different.

What was I to do? I had made a commitment and I try my best to live by Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements, one of which is to always be impeccable with your word.

I had to honor my promise, despite my second thoughts.

So I shared the interview, but I shared it honestly. I wrote a newsletter that told my subscribers what they would get from the interview, but also forewarned them about the ads. Then, I shared my lessons, because another tenet I aim to live by is to always find the lesson; to not see mistakes as mistakes, but as opportunities to grow.

Here are the lessons I shared:

  • You can’t control every circumstance. But you can control how you react to it. Those ads are not right for me. But being true to my word is an important value for me. So I’ve opted to take the path that is aligned with my values and promote the interview, as promised.
  • Do your research before committing to anything. Whether it’s a media opportunity, a partner, a job, a business proposition… don’t be afraid to ask questions and get clarity. After all, it is your brand, your life, your reputation. Honor it!
  • You can’t always be impeccable with your word. In this case, I’ve chosen to stand by my commitment. But what if the ads had been abusive or hateful, rather than simply bizarre? Sticking to my commitment would not have been a viable option. If it means being true to your core values, recognize that there may be times when you have to go back on your word. Then learn from it.

Do you have trouble being impeccable with your word? Do you often find yourself saying “yes” or “no” then having second thoughts? Perhaps you’re having issues with accountability or follow-through in your organization?

The root of the problem may be in understanding your core values or the values of your organization. I can help. Contact me to discuss where you are at, where you want to be and how I can help get you there.

Wishing you an energizing day!


This article was first featured in Entrepreneur.com.