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The Power of Commitments

Building self-esteem and confidence in teenagers.

When teenagers are able to make commitments and stick with them, it is an important step in their development. When they can give their word and follow-through, this can be a real advantage in their lives. On the other hand, if they can’t honor their commitments, it can be a significant detriment to their chances of success.

What types of commitments are we talking about? They can range from a commitment to get good grades, to being more respectful to their parents. It can allow them to reign in their out of control emotions so they don’t act out inappropriately, to how they expect to be treated in a relationship. Whatever commitments they make and can keep, helps give them the confidence to accomplish their goals.

As children grow into adolescence, it’s important they understand that society values people who can keep their word. Their ability to make and follow through on commitments can be a strong indicator of their future success in life.

One way teenagers can connect with the value of being reliable is to ask them how they feel when someone has promised them something and not delivered. Most, if not all teenagers will understand the disappointment they felt when let down by someone. This can help motivate them to work on their own ability to honor commitments, which can improve their life in many ways.


Teenagers who have a tendency to act out and let their emotions cause them to say hurtful things can make a commitment to not lash out at their families. Some teenagers get so frustrated when talking with their parents that they can literally become out of control. Yet, after they calm down, they are often regretful of their actions. At that time they can choose to make a commitment to not act so recklessly. They can agree to take a number of deep breaths and pause before losing their tempers.

Think of the difference it can make in a family if their teenager can pause and think, before acting purely on their emotions. If they can actually take a moment to consider what they’re saying before lashing out in anger, it can certainly make things better for them and their families. Their ability to communicate more logically can help lead to a more successful outcome.


By making a commitment to take school seriously and work toward getting good grades, teenagers can help keep their options open for their future education. With the necessity for specialists in most fields of employment, the better a teenager does in high school and college; the more likely they will be able to create a career for themselves that they will find fulfilling and satisfying.

Since many teenagers consider schoolwork a waste of time, by consciously making a commitment to truly focus on it and get good grades, the student can create a clear pathway to override their ambivalence. The difference between success in a job they love, versus eking out a living in a job they loathe, is often their education.


By being clear on what they will and will not accept when it comes to dating, a teenager can create a roadmap toward finding the right person. By making a commitment to only accept people into their lives who treat them well, this can help to keep the teenager safe, as well as improve their self-image.

When an adolescent has a low self-image, he or she may let people into their lives who pressure and/or manipulate them, because they don’t believe they deserve any better. If they make a commitment to only go out with people who treat them with respect, they are more likely to have a better time dating.

Getting a Job

When teenagers get their first job, it is especially important to be able to follow through on their commitments. If they have a negative experience the first time they’re employed, it can create insecurities that last for years. By being able to honor their word and accomplish what they set out to do, an adolescent helps to build additional self-confidence. This self-confidence can set them apart from other applicants and impress their prospective employers.

Building Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

The bottom line is this. The more able teenagers are to make commitments and honor them, the more likely they will be to succeed. When they can give their word and follow through on it, they open up an incredible number of possibilities for their future. Not only do others see their reliability, the teenagers start to see it in themselves. This can help them become more empowered and develop an inner strength that reinforces their self-worth and value. Being able to follow through on commitments can be the key to creating a road map toward their future, and the ability to work toward whatever they choose.