Doing what you say you will do is what lets you sleep at night. It is what lets you look in the mirror and feel good about yourself. It is what sets a powerful example for your family and friends. It is what shows people you are reliable and confident and worthy of their respect, and and worthy of your own respect, which then reinforces the behavior of, yes, saying what you mean and doing what you say.
You may “know” it, but are you living it?
Not doing what you say you will do creates self-doubt, insecurity, inner conflict, anxiety, and fear. Your good intentions are, unfortunately, just that. Without follow-through, you can’t even count on yourself.
And that’s just the “doing” part. Then there’s the whole “saying” part.
This is why it is essential to choose the right words to say what you mean. It took me years to break the habit of saying “I’m dying to do that!” Eager, yes. Ready to die for it? Not quite. I notice people saying things like “I’m too old for that,” or “I can’t afford to.” Or they gossip, perpetuating negative words. Notice what you are saying.
Sometimes it is hard to align our actions with our words. I am one of the most outspoken, get-to-the-point people you’ll ever meet, but on some occasions I have to do it wrong before I get it right. Back when I was working inside of corporate America, I had over 300 employees and we had just gone through a merger that put a few new employees in my division. I had five employees reporting to me who had already been “Michelled” and four who had not. Talented people, but the new folks had a problem with being on time: Some would stroll into meetings late while others would rush in breathless, gushing some sort of explanation. So out of 9 people, there were always a few late ones. Little did they know they were messing with a recently converted be-on-time time fanatic (say what you mean, do what you say). The poor devils!
Meeting #1: People late again. “I expect all of you to be on time. It’s a sign of respect and personal organization. Blah, blah.”
Meeting #2: People still late. “You know, I was late for the first 30 years of my life. I understand late. Unless you have an urgent personal need or are bleeding from the neck, I expect you to find a way to be on time.”
Meeting #3: People still late. I say nothing. It is now clear to me that my words are meaningless unless I back them up with action. No point in wasting my breath. Gotta get a plan!
Meeting #4: I make sure that there are only nine chairs in the room- one less than the number of participants. Whoever is late has to stand (and stand out, like a sore thumb) for the hour. Late person #10 makes a lovely example of what not to do.
Meeting #5: People are on time.
That’s the power of saying what you mean and doing what you say.