I recently took a personal growth coaching course, it was intense. I learned a lot, some I liked, some was hard to take. This is a good sign of personal growth; it is hard to grow if you love and agree with everything you hear.

One key point I took away was the failure to complete.

Too often we get excited about something, our new commitment to our health, time with our family, consistency in our business or willpower over our finances only to blur the edges of that razor sharp focus, make excuses and lose our commitment and not complete what we set out to do.

Overwhelm and frustration are common feelings we have with ourselves for that failure to follow through and see our commitment to the end. What happens when someone else commits to doing something for you, takes on a job for the committee or even within the family says they will take out the trash and then fail to focus long enough to see it completed? Often we feel irritated, angry and let down.

It is rare when you can look at the problems that exist in your life, community or the nation and bring them down to a few select issues. At Kind Defined we believe that if people put people first, respected others’ differences, made an effort to always choose to be kind, used grace and understanding when interacting with people who may seem difficult and simply listened to others our nation would look very different than it does right now.

Lack of follow through, after listening to this coach, I realized that this single trait would remedy a lot of situations at home and in teams, whether they be at work, sports, committees; however people work and rely upon each other. Imagine what would happen if you asked someone to send thank you notes to your clients at work and that person said, “Sure, no problem.” Fast forward six months and you meet with one of your clients and find out no one sent a thank you card. Your feelings of anger, frustration and embarrassment are much greater due to the fact that these people were “owed” a simply thank you six months previous to just tell them how much you appreciated their efforts.

How different would that situation have been if the team member you reached out to simply said that writing thank you notes is not their strength and they feel really uncomfortable doing this, so they would rather do something else for the team? Now you can work with finding someone who enjoys writing thank you cards who will complete the task and match this other person up with something they are gifted at so they will also complete what they set out to do.

In one scenario a person says they will do it, and don’t. In the other scenario the person says they will not do it, but would be happy to help in a different way. This leaves you with the knowledge that you must find a different way to get it done.

Which would you prefer?

This reminds me of when I was 12 years old and my sister was 7.  We wanted a trampoline.  My parents very clearly stated they would not buy us one. Okay, expectation and boundary set. All of the whining, wheedling and asking for a trampoline for our birthdays or Christmas was not going to change it, they were clear, they were not buying one.  They did, however, say that if we bought one they would buy the insurance and necessary “stuff” to make it as safe as possible.

My sister and I saw that we could make this happen; our parents were giving us very clear boundaries and letting us know what they would and would not do.  Katie and I spent the summer “dumpster diving” for cans to recycle and I babysat and we were able to get a trampoline in 8 months.  We did not waste any time with requests to our parents, we problem solved how to get that trampoline.

I have listened to many people who are having difficulties in their relationships. Often the root problem is the expectation of one thing happening and the realization that it would not happen. While it may seem cruel to tell someone you are not going to get on a ladder and change the fire alarm battery, by telling simply telling them they have to work out a different solution.  They no longer wait for an empty promise of “Yeah, I will get to it,” to happen.

I wish for everyone to be able to focus on completion. The ability to commit and then follow through. If you have doubts that you can complete the task at hand then find a way to kindly say you will not be able to do it. I also hope this frees up enough head space and lets go of enough guilt that you can find your priorities and choose where you want to dedicate your time, talents and efforts to goals and dreams you really want to see completed!