You make plans to meet with a friend and then find yourself thinking, Meh, I don't really feel like it. She won't mind if I cancel at the last moment. She's your "friend," after all. So she'll forgive you. It's no big deal, right?
You sign up for a training seminar and then find yourself thinking, What a drag. I'd just rather skip it. You cancel three days before and ask for a refund. You rationalize your decision by reasoning that maybe it just wasn't "meant to be."
You promise to take your kid to the playground, but then realize, Wow it's a little chilly. Plus I've got tons of emails to answer, and he'd be just as happy watching TV.
If you can see yourself mirrored in any of those scenarios, you might be feeling a little icky right now. Not to be overly harsh, but your reaction of "ickiness" is a good thing.
Put simply, flakiness is not an OK habit to make for yourself — and it's not consequence-free, neither for yourself nor for others.
Failing to honor promises degrades relationships, creates a reputation of unreliability, sets a poor example for children (and grown-ups!), is harmful for business owners, and will most likely lead you to feel badly about yourself and your seeming inability to keep your word.
Yes, of course, we're all allowed to change our minds in life, for situations big and small alike. We may need to reschedule an appointment because a meeting at work came up, or cancel on a friend because we've had a bad day. Extenuating circumstances arise for everyone. But that's just it: situations in which you have to cancel are not, and should not be, the norm.
If you feel like you're consistently unreliable — breaking promises you've made to others, or to yourself, on a near-daily basis — it's important to understand why that's happening, so that you can start forming some new habits.
You might want to start with one question. The next time you feel tempted to "flake out" on yourself, or somebody else, ask, WHY do I want to cancel / reschedule / not go / not show up / flake out?
Then ask yourself some tough, but very necessary follow up questions. Is it because …
1. … You feel scared?
If it's three days before a professional training seminar that you willingly signed up for — and suddenly, you are filled with fearful thoughts.