The most honorable attribute about a person is if they say what they mean and mean what they say. When you really think about it, your word is your bond and if when you speak, people can’t believe you, then you have no credibility. People who lie make no sense to me. I have learned over time that it is not hard to tell the truth if you don’t do things that you have to lie about.
Let’s take the phrase again. Say what you man and mean what you say. It is self-explanatory, and is something that sounds so easy, but often times as women, men, or people, we lie. We have grown accustomed to lying because everybody lies. I want you to examine the people in your lives. We all know that unreliable person that always tells us they are going to be somewhere at a certain time, but never shows up. They have trouble keeping their promises, trouble telling the truth, and as a result they are someone we cannot trust. We all know that person that makes plans with us, but never follows through. We all know that person that we will never trust with important stuff because although they say that they are going do it, they always manage to forget. Do we think that person is a bad person, not necessarily; we just think that person is unreliable.
Now what kind of person are you? Is your word your bond? Or do you make a habit of giving your word and not following through on it? Saying that you are going to do something but don’t? And then make excuses as to why you didn’t do it, is not acceptable. Words have meaning and words have power, they have the power to tear someone down as well as lift someone up (see my blog here for more on that topic). When you think about it, your word means a lot. It’s your credibility as a person. It determines if people think you are a liar or if you can tell the truth. It determines whether people feel they can trust you are not.
A common term that people say is that actions speak louder than words. But I would beg a differ; I would like to think that they go hand and hand. Because if your words were followed by actions, that is a way that we become a more trustworthy person.
If you meet a man and he says that he will call you the following day, and does, then that begins to build trust. On the flip side, if it doesn’t then that begins to build distrust. If while in a relationship a man says that he loves you and goes out and cheats on you, then that builds distrust. Although he did not directly say that he would not cheat on you, it is implied that if someone loves you, then they would not want to hurt you, and since cheated, you feel like he doesn’t love you. In essence although it may not seem like it, a broken word always seems like a lie to us.
The same can be said in a professional relationship. It determines if you can be a trustworthy employee versus and untrustworthy employee. If your boss is going to give you a second chance when you mess up versus no second chance. Weather a boss if going to consider you for a promotion versus no promotion. If a boss gives you a deadline and you commit to doing it, that is the same as your word. If you miss deadline after deadline, then you are making yourself as an untrustworthy person. If you have a job, then call in sick a lot of time, then that goes back to your word. When you take a job, you made a commitment to do the job to the fullest of your ability, therefore not following through on your commitment is like breaking your word.
Your word is your bond, it is what you are known by. Even if you look at the issues of credit, anytime you sign a receipt using a credit card, it says I agree to pay this amount. That is another form of your word. Having bad credit, speaks about your word. It speaks about whether you agree to pay your debts off or not. There are unforeseen circumstances that happen that may affect your credit, but when you do get money or another job, then pay off the amount because you have agreed previously to do so.
At the end of the day, what I want you to see is that it is not okay to go around saying you are not going to do something but don’t do it. It is not okay to tell your children something, and then not follow through on it. It may sound like something so minor, but it affects the way others see you. It affects weather someone is willing to enter into a romantic relationship with you, weather someone is willing to put their neck on the line for you, weather someone is going to give you a promotion, or weather someone will co-sign for you.
Knowing the importance of saying what you mean and meaning what you say will also make you think before you speak. You understand that words have power and you won’t just say things just to say them or make promises with no intention of following through; you will learn not to say things if you do not mean them. You will learn to behave in which a way that you feel comfortable telling the truth and will not put yourself in a position to lie. Let your word be your bond and let that bond be a strong as gorilla glue!