The coaching world has a saying, “Under-promise, over deliver.”

I love this saying because the truth is—life happens sometimes. Your car breaks down, you forget to pick up from the store, you’re late for a meeting, and on and on. Life happens. These moments when life steps in and throws you a curve ball, though unfortunate, are understandable events. “Typically, though, these are not the kinds of events that will wreak havoc in your life.

What will wreak havoc, though, is a consistent pattern of you not showing up for others. If you frequently say you will do something and then don’t get it done, it’s only a matter of time before you will burn your loved ones out. When you over-promise and under-deliver, you train people to not believe what you say. In essence, you teach them not to trust you. Over time this pattern of not showing up responsibly gets tiring. The people you’re not showing up for will begin to gradually pull away and get increasingly more resentful—and rightly so.

Sharing your life, friendship, or even work with others requires teamwork. All parties involved are responsible for pulling their fair share of the load. Following through with what you say you will do is part of that load.

Challenge: Take an inventory of the way you’re showing up with the people in your life. Be an active participant with others and likewise, hold the bar up for their being an active participant with you.


Lisa Merlo Booth c: March 2018


Wendy Allen, Ph.D, MFT is an expert in couples and marriage therapy. She has been practicing in Santa Barbara for almost 30 years. She is the only Marriage therapist in the tri-counties using the Real Relational Living model, from which all of these ideas are based upon.

Madison Whiteneck