I recently hosted a free event that required a RSVP. We capped attendance around 40, which meant dozens of people still wanted to come, but couldn’t because the spots were taken.
Our crew got enough coffee and pastries for 40 people, making sure people would be caffeinated for the morning!
As the event came to a close, I realized a handful of people on the list didn’t show up and it made me pretty bummed out. It meant that other people didn’t get the opportunity (and could have) and that I wasted my money on food/drinks that weren’t consumed.
It made me wonder how often I had done (or am doing) things like that.
“Yeah, I’ll totally be there!” “I’ll text you/email you soon!” “See you in the morning!”
…and then I don’t follow through.
And lately, it’s been bothering me a lot. I totally understand that life happens; we get sick, our kids are sick, our work projects pile up, and we’re totally overwhelmed. But if I’m being real, many times I’m just “not in the mood” or “don’t really want to.”
Our words are powerful. They build respect, trust, reliability and more. They also break all of those things.
So when we say to someone we will do something and then don’t, what message does that send? And who does that impact?
When I used to coordinate a lot more volunteer-based events, it was pretty much guaranteed a few people wouldn’t show up. It impacted everything. From rearranging where volunteers went, to how long they might have to stay, to how many lives we could touch.
Being mindful to me means keeping my word and following through. Which is probably why I feel soooo icky when I don’t and when other people don’t.
I know I will let people down, that I will miss big things, and that I’ll forget something, but I want to live in an intentional space where I don’t promise things or commit to things I don’t feel incredibly confident I can fulfill.