The Disease of Over Promising


I have realized that I have a pretty serious disease.

It is a disease that has been developing for years and years underneath the surface and it feels like it is finally taking over. It keeps me up at night. It adds constant stress to my day. And right now I am struggling to find a cure. See the problem is, I have a serious over promising disease. 


I constantly over promise and under deliver. 


And I think it all started with good intentions (as most problems do.) I think the root of it all comes from my high school experience where I was trained and groomed to be a “servant leader.” 


Which is just a weird way to say that I strive to meet others needs before my own. 


I prided myself on being able to serve others and help them with any task they needed. Didn’t matter what I was doing, I was going to help anyone that needed it. 


Skip my lunch to hang some posters? I gotch you. 


Miss a test that I can’t make up to collect donations for a family in need? Yes please.


No sleep in order to help you finish the assembly script? Consider it done. 


I wanted to serve anyone and everyone. And as much as I would love to say that it’s all because of my big heart, I think the deep down truth is that I loved the feeling I got from serving people. I wanted to be the guy that people leaned on.


And eventually throughout my highschool experience, many people did. 


But in school, as a 17 year old kid with no job and no responsibilities, I could ALWAYS deliver. I never had any problem dropping everything to serve others. If I didn’t do so well on a test or missed a little sleep, I wasn’t really stressing it. 


I over promised and over delivered. 


But the scary part now is, I am no longer a 17 year old kid, I am a 20 year old kid. And those extra 3 years added in the stress of rent, taxes, business licenses and fees, car repairs and to make matters even tougher, what feels like a whole lot less time.


And now I have to be honest with myself, compared to other 20 years olds' lives, I have it pretty great. I still have parents who support me both physically and fiscally. It’s not like the world is too hard on me, no I actually bring the problems on myself. 


I still want to help anyone and everyone with any little problem they have. 


I want to work for others.

I want to mow their lawns.

I want to walk their dogs.

I want to listen to their problems.

I want to buy them coffee. 

I want to support them emotionally. 

I want to hang out with them.

I want to help them grow their new business. 

I want to give them advice on their new content. 


And a lot of these things aren’t inherently bad and I still want to serve people. The problem keeps coming when I try to do too much all at once or when I drop everything else I am doing to serve another area of my life because then I have to go back and pick up what I dropped. It’s like I am trying to juggle too much stuff. 


All of a sudden I keep promising and promising and committing to things that I then forget I even committed to. 


I have a terrible disease, the disease of over promising and under delivering. 


But I guess maybe “disease” is the wrong word because that makes it seem like it happened to me, when in reality, I did and am sometimes still doing this to myself.


I am the one who keeps overpromising. And as a result under delivering. 


But what do I do about it? I don’t just want to stop serving other people, I still want to help. I still want to care for those around me. I just have a lot on my plate. 


Then it hit me. 


I can only stress what I can control. 


And so often I add things or tasks or make promises that I can’t control. I have access to so many people and so many resources that I think I can do it all if someone has a problem, when in reality, I DON’T DO MOST OF MY WORK ON MY OWN. 


I have so many people around me and supporting me whether it’s business work or clothes or content or speaking that as a result, I can only support those around me. It’s not my job to take others work loads and make them my own. 


I AM SUPPOSED TO SUPPORT like others have done for me, not take the entire work load of others. 


I just often so desperately want to help that I think I need to take everything, but in reality when I take on too much, I am actually hurting more than I can help because nothing gets done. 


The key I think is learning how to support and help intentionally. 


I don’t just want to promise less, I want to promise more intentionally and therefore over deliver on my intentional promises. 


I am in control of my “disease” of over promising. And I am done with over promising. 


From now on I want to be known as being an over deliverer. 


What will you be known for?