THE BLOG
11/14/2014 02:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Four Agreements for Business

Many people are aware of, or have read the book, The Four Agreements.

Those who've lifted the simplicity of the words from its pages may have implemented the agreements, only to receive mixed results.

For a day or two, these individuals may try to enact all four agreements in their life, only to hit a wall. The reason so many cannot sustain these agreements, relates back to their early years.

As an example, we may personalize and assume a tremendous amount about others that does very little for our own well-being. We may constantly strategize how we show up, because of the stories we assume or in anticipating a reaction from someone. This is what we were taught as children, through modeling and absorbing information in our environment, which we gave meaning to, and in turn, we created a variety of limitations to live our personal and professional lives.

If we grew up in households where we had to anticipate the emotional state of a parent, because of the reflection on us, we may not be able to separate ourselves from others. We may see them as a continuation of ourselves, unable to stop personalizing what they do or don't do.

If we were not taught to honor our own emotions, if we are unable to disengage from figuring out how we're supposed to feel based on the thoughts of others, we are always in a disempowered state.

The key is to arrive at a position of clarity, to what keeps us stuck with disempowering beliefs and limitation.

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Photo by Tracy Crossley


To be impeccable with our word is difficult for high-achievers. Many individuals who fall into this category, have a pretty loud voice inside, driving them toward the next challenge. There is a feeling of 'being good enough' by deriving value and validation from the output of productivity. The driver behind that feeling is the need for validation (external), because it was learned or believed at an early age that the only way to shut off criticism was to keep achieving.

Unfortunately, those who grew up in homes with a critical parent find the voice in their head to be particularly critical too, especially when a mistake is made or failure happens. It's what was taught, whether we consciously or unconsciously picked up the lesson.

The idea of being impeccable with our word is a great concept, but the reality is to hold it up in all situations, not just for the times of success or happiness.

Taking others and external situations personally. I could write an entire article on this alone. Wars have been started from people taking others personally. The key to inner peace, less stress, happiness and not being controlled from the external environment is to literally disengage our sense of worth, value or righteousness from another person or situation.

People do what they do, because of their perception from the thoughts in their own head (we all make our own choices for any given situation). We have differing beliefs, desires and goals....so why do we take the actions and words of someone else and apply it to have meaning about us? Why do we need their validation? They're telling us we are right, they are wrong? Why do we want to prove anything to them?

Because they have our power.

As long as we want something from them--whatever it is, we are not in a place of empowerment. We are victims. Some think, if they analytically understand the mind of another, they will win--they will get what they want. It's not true. If there is a win, it is temporary (notice how many times many countries have changed borders and names? Yes, war is not the final word) and it is not fulfilling.

When we do something from a place of action, not reaction to another person, we feel better. We are empowered and not controlled, when we move way from being victimized by personalization.

Assumptions are the biggest waste of our energy and yet, we think we can out-strategize someone based on having no information at all, equipped with only the belief that we really know what they are thinking. If we can extricate ourselves from the stories we've concluded by analyzing the actions and words of an individual, then we will find plenty of time to focus on our true goals.

Most people fall into conjecture, because they feel in control.

The assumed guarantee is a sense of security that no unforeseen surprises in the future exist. Unfortunately, because human nature is so fickle, and many circumstances arise no matter what type of calculation has taken place, this is a major waste of time and the lack of trust leads to a ruinous foundation in the building of any fulfilling venture.

Re-focusing on what we want to create by endeavoring with passion to empower ourselves and those around us to get to the goal faster and more effectively. Leaving people to figure out their own motivation, while we focus on our own, will release the grip we hold on expectations, as a measure to judge others and as a result, we will develop cohesiveness on any team.

Always do our best, does not mean to overdo, overwork or 'over' anything. It means to show up, as we are--authentically, even if all we can do is breathe. There is no room to beat ourselves up, or sabotage our own efforts. If we practice self-awareness, we will have insight, as to when we are out of balance with ourselves. When we are out of balance it is reflected in our output. To do our best at all times, may mean it relaxes us mentally during times of stress, which is enough to allow other options, to shift our perception and open us to new frontiers.

In applying all four agreements to our lives, we are raising our EQ. We are managing our emotional state by not making it reliant on others. We are in agreement with ourselves, as to how we perceive our motivation while undertaking challenges. We will then understand our 'why' and if it makes sense to the trajectory we are on, as we grow into more empowerment.