Why Is It Important to Keep a Promise? (9 Key Reasons)

Have you ever made a promise that you didn’t keep? Maybe it was something as simple as promising to return a friend’s phone call or as significant as committing to a project deadline.

No matter the size, the impact of broken promises can be far-reaching, affecting not just our relationships but also our reputation and self-worth.

In a society that values speed and efficiency, it can be easy to prioritize immediate needs over our promises. However, the consequences of not keeping a promise can be severe, leading to damaged relationships and loss of trust.

On the other hand, keeping a promise can have profound positive effects on our personal and professional lives, including building trust, strengthening relationships, and enhancing our sense of personal integrity.

In this article, we’ll explore the many benefits of keeping promises and offer tips for fulfilling your commitments to yourself and others.

What is a Promise?

A promise is a commitment or assurance to do or not do something. It can be made to oneself or to another person, and it can be spoken or implied. At its core, a promise is a reflection of our integrity and character.

Promises can take many different forms, including:

  • Personal commitments, such as quitting smoking or losing weight
  • Relationship commitments, such as being faithful or supportive
  • Professional commitments, such as meeting a deadline or delivering a product

Promises are important because they represent our willingness to take responsibility for our actions and our impact on others. When we make a promise, we are creating an expectation that others will rely on.

This can have both positive and negative consequences, depending on whether or not we honor our commitment.

The Importance of Keeping a Promise

The consequences of not keeping a promise can be severe, impacting not only our personal relationships but also our professional reputation.

When we break a promise, we are essentially telling others that we cannot be trusted. This can have ripple effects on our ability to build and maintain relationships, as well as our credibility. On the other hand, keeping a promise can have profound positive effects on our personal and professional lives.

By understanding the importance of keeping promises, we can motivate ourselves to prioritize our commitments and honor our word.

To emphasize the significance of keeping a promise, here are 9 key reasons why it is essential to follow through on our commitments.

Keeping a Promise Enhances Personal Integrity

Keeping a promise is more than just fulfilling a commitment or obligation — it reflects our character and values. When we make a promise, we are making a pledge to ourselves and others to act with integrity and honesty and to follow through on our commitments.

This is an important aspect of personal integrity, which is about being true to our word and staying committed to our core values even when it’s difficult.

Let’s explore why keeping a promise enhances personal integrity:

  • Promises reflect our values and beliefs: The promises we make are often tied to our personal values and beliefs. By keeping these promises, we demonstrate that we are committed to living in accordance with our values, and this can help us feel more grounded and aligned with our sense of purpose.
  • Aligning actions with values: Keeping a promise is a way to put our values into action. When we commit to doing something, we are basically saying that this is important to us. By following through on that promise, we demonstrate our trustworthiness, reliability, and commitment to our principles.
  • Promises create accountability: When we make a promise, we create a sense of accountability for ourselves. We know that we have committed to doing something, and this holds us to a higher standard of behavior.

    By keeping our promises, we demonstrate that we take our commitments seriously and we are willing to be held accountable for our actions.

Keeping a Promise Builds Credibility

We have all heard sayings like “actions speak louder than words” or “trust must be earned.” These phrases are based on an understanding of the importance of credibility in building trusting relationships with people.

We rely on credible sources for:

  • Advice
  • Decision-making
  • Recommendations

People want to know they can trust the person they are dealing with before investing too much time or energy into that relationship.

For example, imagine you’re considering hiring someone for a job. You look at their resume and ask around about their reputation in your network; if you hear enough positive feedback, then it is likely you will feel comfortable entrusting them with the responsibility of the job.

On the other hand, if they fail to deliver on promises or follow through on commitments, then chances are you will think twice before working with them again in the future.

There have been many times when I have seen first-hand how keeping promises can help build credibility.

This reminds me of when one of my friends was going through a tough time, and they confided in me about their struggles. I promised them that I would always be there to listen and offer my support. A few weeks later, my friend called me in the middle of the night.

Even though I was exhausted, I picked up the phone and talked to them for hours. I listened to their concerns and offered words of comfort and encouragement. It was not easy to stay up all night, but seeing how much my friend appreciated my support made it all worth it.

Little acts like these might not seem like much, but hearing “you always keep your promises” from those close to me helps me feel more secure in our relationships, knowing that I am doing something right.

Keeping a Promise Strengthens Relationships

Honoring commitments can make a world of difference in any relationship, whether it’s with family, friends, or colleagues. Every time we make a promise, we’re showing our commitment and dedication to that person.

Keeping those promises is key if we want to maintain strong relationships with those around us. Conversely, breaking promises can break that trust and cause rifts in relationships.

Here are some ways in which keeping your promises can foster meaningful connections:

  • Strengthening bonds: When someone keeps their word, it shows that they have respect for both themselves and others. This mutual respect helps to form stronger bonds as each party is confident in the other’s reliability and dependability.
  • Creating loyalty: Whenever someone follows through with what they say they will do, it creates a feeling of loyalty from those around them. This sense of loyalty makes people feel more comfortable when spending time together or relying on one another for support.
  • Showing appreciation: Keeping one’s promise conveys how much you value another person’s opinion or request. It shows that their feelings matter to you and that their needs are taken seriously.

When we have strong relationships, we have a support system that we can rely on in good times and bad.

We have people who care about us and want the best for us and who will be there to celebrate our successes and pick us up when we fall. Strong relationships also provide us with a sense of belonging and connectedness, which is essential to our mental and emotional health.

Keeping a Promise Fosters a Culture of Trust and Respect

Keeping promises fosters an environment of trust and reliability between individuals, families, teams, organizations, and even entire communities.

When people trust each other to deliver what they’ve promised, it creates a culture of mutual respect. This means that:

  • Each individual is treated with dignity, and their contributions are seen as meaningful and valuable.
  • People feel more comfortable sharing ideas and taking risks.
  • There is greater collaboration because people are willing to take chances knowing that the results will be beneficial for everyone.
  • A trusting environment fosters creativity because there’s less fear of being judged or criticized for having unique ideas.

Individuals have an important role to play in creating positive social environments by keeping the promises they make. Every time you honor your commitments — whether big or small — you’re reinforcing the idea that you can be relied upon to do what you say you’ll do.

This builds goodwill among those around you and instills confidence in yourself that your words can create real results when backed up by action.

Keeping a Promise Boosts Professional Reputation

A commitment made is a reflection of your character and ability to handle responsibility — if you make a promise, follow up on it!

Fulfilling the obligations that you have taken on not only demonstrates your trustworthiness but also affirms your level of dedication and dependability. This is especially important in the workplace, where a positive reputation can be the difference between career advancement opportunities and stagnation.

Here are some reasons why adhering to the commitments you make is key when it comes to building a strong professional reputation:

  • It reflects your level of integrity: Keeping a promise shows that you take pride in upholding your word, which builds trust within the workplace. Your colleagues, supervisors, and clients will all respect you for being accountable and reliable.
  • It displays commitment: When you demonstrate that you’re willing to go above what is expected of you in order to uphold an agreement or complete a task, this speaks volumes about the type of employee or professional that you are.

    People who keep their commitments show their dedication to achieving goals — something invaluable in any working environment.
  • It gives others confidence in your abilities: Having integrity when it comes to promises made builds confidence among those around us. Your peers will trust that they can rely on you for tasks or responsibilities, resulting in better job performance overall.
  • It opens doors for further opportunities: With a positive reputation based on keeping one’s word, your colleagues and contacts may be more likely to recommend further career opportunities and advancements.

When people know they can count on us, our networks become larger and more beneficial; employers want employees whom they can depend upon for successful outcomes.

Keeping a Promise Builds Self-Confidence

We all make promises in our lives, whether it’s to ourselves or someone else, and the simple act of honoring these commitments is an important part of building self-confidence and developing our sense of personal worth.

Keeping a promise can be challenging when life throws us curveballs, and unexpected events may come up, but sticking it out and keeping our word is essential for believing that we are capable, reliable, and trustworthy.

Honoring commitments builds a sense of accomplishment and self-worth as well. Setting and achieving big goals can be incredibly rewarding, and it all starts with determination, dedication, and a willingness to keep our word.

Feeling confident and capable can have significant emotional benefits. When we feel good about ourselves, it boosts our self-esteem and mental health significantly.

This in turn can lead to:

  • Greater resilience in difficult situations
  • Better communication with others
  • Greater opportunities for success in both professional and personal endeavors

A Personal Story

I remember when I was in middle school, I had a tough time. I was bullied regularly, and it took a toll on my mental health. Eventually, I had to transfer to a new school to get away from the situation.

However, despite the relief of a new environment, I still struggled with feelings of low self-esteem and insecurity. I found myself hesitant to speak up in class and reluctant to make new friends. It was a difficult time, but I made a promise to myself that I would work on building my confidence and overcoming my past struggles.

I started small, making promises to myself each day, like speaking up more in class or approaching a student to make a new friend. As I kept each promise, I began to feel a growing sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

My confidence continued to build as I worked harder to keep promises to myself, and eventually, I started setting bigger goals for myself. I joined a club and made a new friend group which I really felt at ease with. I kept up my grades and began to think about college and my future.

With each small win, my confidence grew, and I was able to face new challenges with greater resilience and determination. Keeping my promise to myself to work on my self-confidence gave me a sense of accomplishment and self-worth that I had never felt before.

I realized that by honoring my commitments, no matter how small, I was able to build the confidence I needed to tackle even the toughest obstacles.

Keeping a Promise Encourages Reciprocity

Reciprocity is the idea that when we receive something valuable from someone, we should then return the favor in kind. It’s an essential part of communication and social interaction, which helps us build connections with others.

When we keep our promises, it acts as an example for others to follow. When people see us honoring our commitments, they are more likely to do the same in return.

Reciprocity demonstrates that when someone does something for us, we feel obligated to repay them in some way (even if this is simply letting them know how much we appreciate their efforts).

Keeping a promise encourages this kind of positive feedback loop which can help strengthen relationships and create strong social ties.

Reciprocity May Not Always Be Positive and Can Sometimes Be Harmful

While keeping promises can certainly encourage reciprocity, there are situations where keeping a promise may not be feasible or practical. On the one hand, it can create a sense of obligation between people, leading to mutual trust and support.

However, reciprocity can also have negative consequences, such as creating a sense of indebtedness that one person can exploit.

In some cases, reciprocity can lead to a “tit-for-tat” mentality, where people feel like they have to reciprocate every action, even if it’s not in their best interest. This can create a cycle of escalating demands and counter-demands that can be difficult to break.

For example, if someone helps another person with the expectation of receiving something in return, it may create a negative feedback loop, where the person feels obliged to repay but does not genuinely want to. This can lead to resentment and a breakdown in the relationship.

Despite these potential pitfalls, reciprocity can also create strong, supportive relationships when it’s balanced and healthy. When both parties are committed to keeping their promises and fulfilling their obligations, it can build a foundation of trust and reliability that can weather many challenges.

Keeping a Promise Supports Personal and Professional Goals

Achieving personal and professional goals is essential for growth and development. By completing objectives set by oneself or by an employer, people can benefit from the following:

  • Improved job security
  • Improved financial stability
  • Greater career advancement opportunities
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Improved performance in the workplace

Achieving these goals can also have a positive ripple effect that extends into other areas of one’s life. For instance, by taking steps toward achieving a financial goal — such as paying off debt or saving money — people are able to free up their time for leisure activities or hobbies they enjoy.

The Positive Impact of Goal Attainment

Goal attainment can bring about immense amounts of self-satisfaction, accomplishment, and pride in oneself. When faced with challenges along the way to achieving one’s goal, the feeling of success after overcoming those obstacles is even more rewarding!

Not only do people feel proud when they accomplish something meaningful, but they also gain insight into their own strengths, which makes them better equipped for future challenges.

Additionally, goal attainment often leads to new opportunities, such as career advancement or branching out into different fields.

Failure in Achieving Goals and Promises

It’s important to recognize that failure is inevitable during the process of achieving personal or professional goals — some setbacks are simply unavoidable!

That being said, it’s important not to become discouraged despite any failures encountered along the way, and instead, you should use them as learning experiences.

To keep going despite disappointment or setback requires resilience; here are some strategies that have been proven effective:

  • Break down your goal into smaller tasks so it feels more achievable
  • Celebrate small wins along your journey
  • Have an accountability partner who you check in with regularly
  • Set realistic timelines for tasks & review progress regularly
  • Remain flexible & adaptable if needed

Keeping a Promise Contributes to a More Reliable Society

We live in a world where reliability is essential for our society to function. From the police officers who serve and protect us to our children learning lessons from their teachers, or from doctors treating patients, dependability is key in many aspects of life.

Keeping a promise can contribute to an environment of reliability that helps support these complex systems and ultimately strengthens our society.

The Impact of Reliability on Social and Economic Systems

Reliability is especially important on a large-scale level. When we look at the biggest organizations in our society — governments, corporations, and major institutions — trust is paramount for those entities to be successful.

True reliability means consistency with expectations:

  • Meeting deadlines
  • Honoring agreements
  • Completing jobs in the promised time frame
  • Delivering services as promised
  • Upholding moral values

This builds trust between organizations and people, allowing individuals to have faith in their government or business while trusting that they will get what they paid for as promised.

When this pact of trust fails, it can have consequences that reverberate throughout the entire economic system.

If businesses don’t fulfill their promises of quality goods or services, consumers may stop buying from them which affects profitability and eventually results in job losses or layoffs. This kind of instability can damage public confidence and lead to economic downturns.

On the other hand, when people feel secure about the things they bought or the services they purchased because those companies maintain reliable standards, it helps create economic stability, which has positive outcomes for everyone involved.

How to Keep a Promise

Staying faithful to our promises is essential for developing trust, credibility, and respect. It is also important to keep promises to ourselves and set goals in order to have successful personal development, whether it is improving our health, education, or career.

Here are some practical tips on how to keep your word and make sure you’re always fulfilling your promises:

  • Acknowledge the commitment you are making: this will help make sure the promise is clear, concise, and achievable.
  • Be realistic about what you can commit to: if you are taking on too much or overestimating your capacity, then it could be difficult for you to fulfill your promise.
  • Set yourself deadlines: this way, you can stay motivated and create milestones that will remind you of your goal.
  • Break up big commitments into smaller chunks: this will give you manageable steps toward fulfilling your promise.
  • Create an action plan: write down a list of the tasks needed to complete your promise so that it’s easier for you to keep track of progress.
  • Seek help from others if needed: don’t be afraid to ask for help if things get tough; getting support from family, friends, or colleagues can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping promises.
  • Recognize success when achieved: reward yourself when completing tasks on time or achieving goals; this will boost self-confidence and be inspiring when making further commitments in the future.

Making and keeping promises is an essential part of building strong relationships with people around us — at home, work, or in our communities — so being mindful of our commitments can go a long way in helping us build valuable connections with others.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common promises people make?

People make promises for a variety of reasons and are essential in building trust and strengthening relationships.

Here are some common promises people make: 

Relationship promises: People often make promises to their loved ones, such as to always be there for them or to never lie. Other relationship promises include committing to marriage and having children together. 

Professional promises: Professional promises are made between two or more parties in order to ensure that the terms of the agreement are met. These could include abiding by deadlines, delivering quality work, and not disclosing confidential information. 

Social pledges: People might make social pledges such as volunteering for social causes like saving the environment or helping those in need. These pledges can be made publicly or privately and can involve making donations or getting involved with organizations working towards these causes. 

Academic vows: Students may make academic vows like focusing on their studies and doing their best on exams and projects in order to achieve good grades. They may also promise to attend classes regularly, participate actively in lectures, read course material thoroughly, and do all of their assignments on time. 

Financial guarantees: People usually make financial guarantees when it comes to taking out loans from lenders or investing money in different ventures. They promise to pay back the loan within the specified time frame or abide by other terms related to the loan agreement.

What are the consequences of not keeping a promise?

Not keeping a promise can be a difficult situation for all parties involved, as it can have serious consequences. Below are some potential negative effects of not honoring a promise:

Loss of trust. When someone does not keep their word or fails to deliver on something that they committed to do, it can lead to the other person mistrusting them and even having a sense of betrayal. As a result, the relationship between both parties may be damaged and could even lead to a complete breakdown in communication.

Impacts reputation. When people make promises and then don’t keep them, it affects how others perceive them. People may think less of them and view them as unreliable or untrustworthy, which can have long-lasting impacts on professional and personal relationships.

Affects self-esteem. Not being able to honor your own commitments can take its toll on one’s self-esteem. Self-doubt, guilt, and regret may arise if you fail to keep your word or if you let someone down due to not following through on something you said you would do.

Financial losses. If there are financial implications involved with not keeping a promise, then one could experience significant financial losses as well, whether it is paying back what was borrowed or any other situation where money is concerned.

How can keeping promises contribute to personal growth and development?

Keeping promises reinforces a person’s character, integrity, and honor. It helps to build trust in relationships which can contribute to personal growth. When people can rely on each other and believe that their word is their bond, it creates a more positive atmosphere in which each person can grow.

Establishing a strong sense of trust also helps to build self-confidence. Knowing that what you say matters and will be taken seriously can help an individual feel more secure in their decisions and actions, helping them take risks and make progress.

Keeping promises is essential for social success. Showing others that you are reliable and dependable will improve interactions with peers, colleagues, family members, etc., creating stronger connections that may result in greater rewards or recognition.

Making promises encourages the development of goal-setting skills as well as planning skills — both groundwork for personal growth and development. This can help an individual create achievable goals for themselves or within a team setting, leading to further success down the road


We all make promises, but the difference between an ordinary promise and a powerful one lies in how we keep it. Keeping our promises is of utmost importance because it shows respect for ourselves and others, builds trust in relationships, and strengthens our integrity.

Promises are essential to life and should never be taken lightly or ignored. That’s why it’s so important to make them a priority and take responsibility for your commitments. When you do, you develop stronger bonds with those around you and benefit both yourself and others in countless ways.

It may not always be easy to keep a promise — life happens — but when we commit to doing our best, the rewards often outweigh the challenges.

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Leah Bayubay

Leah is a creative soul with a passion for telling stories that matter. As an editor and writer at UpJourney, she channels her natural curiosity and imagination into thought-provoking articles and inspiring content. She is also a registered nurse dedicated to helping others and making a positive impact.

In her free time, she indulges her artistic side as a hobbyist photographer, capturing the world's beauty one shot at a time. You can also find her in a poor-lit room playing her favorite video games or in a corner somewhere, reading and immersing herself in the rich worlds of fantasy and dark academia.

At home, Leah is surrounded by love and laughter, living peacefully with her partner and their three adorable shih tzus.