The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom
This is not your average self-help book. It’s a short read, but with so much ancient Toltec wisdom packed inside, it’s worth reading over and over again. The Four Agreements is an easy to follow guide to removing the self-limiting beliefs that keep us from our personal freedom. Not to mention, it spent over ten years on the New York Times Bestseller List. So, that definitely says something.
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The Four Agreements was written by Don Miguel Ruiz. Ruiz believes that each of us, over the course of our lives, create agreements with ourselves. Some of these agreements cause suffering in our lives because they are fear based or were implemented because society told us that we should behave or be a certain way.
What are The Four Agreements?
Ruiz teaches that there are four agreements that we should make with ourselves. These agreements will, despite unfavorable external circumstances, allow us to improve our well-being.
Be Impeccable With Your Word
Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself.Don Miguel Ruiz
A sin is defined by Ruiz as anything that goes against oneself. And, impeccable is defined as being without sin. To be honest with others, as well as ourselves, means we are being true to who we are. We can practice being true to ourselves through the words we use and our intentions.
You can measure the impeccability of your word by your level of self-love. How much you love yourself and how you feel about yourself are directly proportionate to the quality and integrity of your word. When you are impeccable with your word, you feel good; you feel happy and at peace.Don Miguel Ruiz
Don’t Take Anything Personally
When you make it a strong habit not to take anything personally, you avoid many upsets in your life. Your anger, jealousy, and envy will disappear, and even your sadness will simply disappear if you don’t take things personally.Don Miguel Ruiz
The reason for this agreement is that everyone who walks this planet has a unique view of the world. The opinions and beliefs of others have been developed due to the circumstances of their like. Therefore someone else’s beliefs about you don’t necessarily have anything to do with you.
Don’t Make Assumptions
Communication is crucial to prevent misunderstandings. If I ask someone a question, I will know the answer. If I presume to know the answer, it can lead to all kinds of negative emotions that may not even be necessary.
We make the assumption that everyone sees life the way we do. We assume that others think the way we think, feel the way we feel, judge the way we judge, and abuse the way we abuse. This is the biggest assumption that humans make. And this is why we have a fear of being ourselves around others. Because we think everyone else will judge us, victimize us, abuse us, and blame us as we do ourselves. So even before others have a chance to reject us, we have already rejected ourselves. That is the way the human mind works.Don Miguel Ruiz
Always Do Your Best
You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action. Without action upon an idea, there will be no manifestation, no results, and no reward.Don Miguel Ruiz
I think it’s important to remember that the best I could do yesterday may not be the same as the best I can do next week. There are times when I just have more to give because I have more energy., more motivation, and a more positive mindset. There are times when the best I have to give is far less. But if I’m doing my best consistently and avoiding self-judgement when that means doing a little less, I can more easily avoid feelings of regret.
Breaking Old Agreements
Part of the process of forming new agreements like the ones above, is breaking some of old agreements. This includes those we created because we felt compelled to by society. It also means letting go of the agreements we developed after traumatic or difficult experiences. For me this means disagreeing with the thought that I’m not enough. Pretty enough. Smart enough. Strong enough.
The first step toward personal freedom is awareness. We need to be aware that we are not free in order to be free. We need to be aware of what the problem is in order to solve the problem.Don Miguel Ruiz
This awareness comes from spending time with our own thoughts and figuring out what our misguided agreements are. This can be achieved with journaling or through meditation.
Once you forgive yourself, the self-rejection in your mind is over. Self-acceptance begins, and the self-love will grow so strong that you will finally accept yourself just the way you are. That’s the beginning of the free human. Forgiveness is the key.Don Miguel Ruiz
Have you found it to be true that the most difficult person to forgive is ourselves? I definitely have. You can read the post I wrote about forgiveness here.
“Today I will be impeccable with my word, I will not take anything personally, I will not make any assumptions, and I am going to do my best.”Don Miguel Ruiz
If you’ve read The Four Agreements, I’d love to see your thoughts below. If you haven’t yet read it, what did you think of the quotes in this post?
P.S. I’m excited to get started on Ruiz’s The Voice of Knowledge and The Mastery of Love. If you’ve read either book let me know your thoughts.