The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements used as a coaching exercise can help reveal the source of self-limiting beliefs that can rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives into a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love by Don Miguel Ruiz.

There are thousands of agreements that you can make with yourself, with other people, with your dream of life, society, your parents, your partner, or with your children. It is important to remember that the most essential agreements are the ones you make with yourself. In these agreements, you tell yourself who you are, what you feel, what you believe, and how to behave. The result of this develops your personality.

The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable with Your Word– Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid speaking against yourself or gossiping about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally– Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality and their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions– Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as possible to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  4. Always Do Your Best– No matter what you are doing, always do your best. Even if it’s something that you may not want to do, still do your best. Avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Bonus! There is a fifth agreement that was recently released.

  1. Be skeptical, but learn to listen– By being skeptical, we don’t believe everything we hear, we don’t put our faith in lies, and when our faith is not in lies, we quickly move beyond emotional drama, victimization, and the limiting belief systems that have been programmed into us. The Fifth Agreement prepares us to return to our innate wisdom, and live our lives based on truth. The truth leads to self-mastery or a life that’s very easy to live. As messengers of truth, we are free to express ourselves and live our lives without fear, regret, or shame. This agreement is ultimately about seeing our whole reality through eyes of honest truth. The result of practicing this agreement is the complete acceptance of ourselves exactly the way we are. The reward is our eternal happiness.

Preparation: Have a pen and paper or your journal ready for this exercise.

One Minute Meditation: Take a moment to relax, take a few deep breaths and center yourself.

Begin the Session: Think about something that has been on your mind lately that you would like to resolve or get more clarity on.

Now ask yourself powerful questions related to each agreement: Take a few minutes to review each one and make notes on your insights and answers.

Be Impeccable with Your Word

In this situation, did you say something you didn’t mean?

Did you judge or blame others?

Did you judge or blame yourself?

Have you expressed words of doubt or fear in this situation? Did your opinion hurt another, or did another’s opinion hurt you?

Do you feel like you have been in integrity to yourself regarding this situation?

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Did someone else say or do something that affected you?

Have you allowed yourself to suffer because of this?

Have you limited yourself because of something someone else did?

How is your personal truth different from another?

Have you expressed your true feelings in this situation?

Don’t Make Assumptions

Was there a misunderstanding in this situation?

Did you ask for what you wanted? Did you get it?

Were you afraid to ask for what you wanted?

Did an assumption create sadness or drama for anyone in this situation?

Are you sure about what others were saying and their intention?

Did you or others make an assumption that leads to a misunderstanding?

How can you find more clarity in this situation?

Always Do Your Best

Do you feel like you are doing your best in this situation?

Could you do better? What could you do?

Are your words or actions coming from a place of love, for the highest good of all?

Did you do or say something only to expect the same thing back?

What ideas do you still have that may be stopping you from doing your best in this situation?

Is there a part of your past that you are willing to let go of to make way for your dreams?

Be skeptical, but learn to listen

Do you believe everything you have heard about this?

Have you put your faith in lies?

Has this created drama, victimization, and limiting beliefs?

What is the truth in this situation?

Have you experienced any fear, regret, or shame regarding this situation?

Can you accept the situation as it is?

Can you accept others the way they are?

Can you accept you the way you are?

Focus the session: If you had to choose one of the five agreements to work on first, which one would it be?

Create an action plan: What action are you willing to take to create better agreements in your life? Write it down.

Reference: Don Miguel Ruiz, the Four Agreements and the Fifth Agreement.