An agreement is defined as coming to a mutual arrangement, the state of being in accord or an arrangement that is accepted by all parties to a transaction.
There are many types of agreements that we enter into such as a legal contract, an agreement to provide a service or product or an agreement to give or do a favor for someone and then there are the silent agreements we make with ourselves.
Silent agreements rob you of your voice and power and often guide you into making decisions that are counterproductive to your true wishes.
Silent agreements are the unspoken rules and beliefs that you internalize about how, why and what things you allow to influence you. These agreements are not legal or binding. No one has forced, persuaded or cajoled you into making these agreements.
Some of the silent agreements that may hinder, limit or influence your life are:
- Taking responsibility for everything and everyone in your life. For example, when you take on more and more responsibility than is yours, you’ll find yourself running on the hamster wheel until you wear yourself out. Allow others to be responsible for the things that they are responsible for.
- Staying stuck because of fear and doubt – Fear of being accepted, loved, validated or liked will show up in how you relate to the people in your life and the choices you make.
- Pleasing everyone but yourself – When you are busy making sure that everyone is happy and getting along, how happy are you in that role?
- Saying “yes” when you really want to say “no”. Learning to say no and mean it is an empowering act that increases your confidence.
- Using disparaging comments about yourself.
You may not be consciously aware that you’ve made these silent agreements with yourself. But with a little digging, you can uncover these silent agreements, make new affirming agreements and be on your way to revealing your true self.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Take responsibility for only those things you have absolute control of.
- Use affirmations, positive self-talk to overcome fear and self-doubt.
- Learn to use no as a complete sentence without explanation when saying yes infringes unduly on your time, energy and desires.
- Make sure your needs register on the priority scale. Carve out some “self-care” time to replenish your energy and clear your mind of clutter.
- Use empowering words like, “I choose” instead of “I have to” so that you are expressing clearly what you want, can do and are willing to accept.
Our silent agreements only serve to deceive others and us as we hide our true selves.
To learn more about how silent agreements influence your daily life and to uncover your true self, I encourage you to start by getting your free 7 daily self-care tips when you join our Self-Care Circle where you will gain more insight, tools and resources to help you on your journey.
Gladys M. Anderson is a certified life coach, licensed marriage & family therapist, consultant, workshop facilitator and author of the soon to be published book, “Master the Genie Within”. She coaches women in the art of saying no and how to protect their precious time and energy by setting strong boundaries to create a uniquely crystal clear vision for the satisfying careers and relationships they truly want.