Integrity. It really is a loaded word. A word that can just as easily tear someone down as it can build someone up. It comes down to whether or not you keep your promises. Both to other and to yourself. Which is where brutal honesty comes into play.
If you can do something, agree to do it and get it done. If you cannot do something, say no. It really is that simple. But for some reason saying no is hard for so many of us. We will volunteer to do things, take on projects, help someone with something, and we really MEAN to do it. But for one reason or another we don’t. Whether it’s a lack of skill, a shortage of time, just too many commitments, or we said yes knowing full well we were not going to it.
It’s tempting to say yes to basically anything and everything. It plays well into our ego. “I Got this” we think, lulling ourselves into a false sense of heroism. We want to look good. And if we complete the task we do look good and we FEEL even better. We won. We became the hero in that moment.
But what about when we fail to come thru? How do you feel then? And there’s the trap. We said yes with high expectations anticipating the feeling of victory. Then, total let down. So why say yes to something we know deep down has a high probability of failure?
Because for some reason we think saying no will look worse than saying yes and then failing to come thru.
It’s a complete fallacy and we need to put a stop to it. Saying yes to everything doesn’t make you superhuman or a martyr. What it does is make others begin to question your integrity because you refused to be honest about the situation and your ability (skill/time/know how) to get it done.
It also sets you up for a pattern of failure…even at the things you ARE good at. How? By failing to come through repeatedly, you establish in your brain you aren’t trustworthy, even with yourself. Now the things that were automatic are a struggle. You get down on yourself and down the spiral you go until you feel completely incapable of doing anything right. Sound (or maybe even FEEL) familiar?
So what should we do? First, say “No” a whole lot more. Say “no” to things you don’t want to do even when you feel “obligated”. Say “no” no when it’s not in your skill set. Say “no” when you just plain ol’ don’t want to. In order to build a record of integrity with others, and more importantly yourself, you have to say “no” more often so you can say “yes” to the things you know you can crush.
Yes, you do need to do things that push you out of your comfort zone. Yes you do need to take on new things and grow your skill set. Yes you should do kind things for others. But not at the expense of building a reputation of integrity.
It starts with the promises you make to yourself. If you say you’re going to do it, do it. Follow through with yourself first and build that reputation and confidence with you before you try and build it anywhere else. If a new challenge comes up that seems fun and cool, truly assess whether or not you can take it on and have the confidence to say no if you you can’t. If you do it with yourself first, it gets easier with the requests of others.
Bottom line, say yes when you can but say no more often. Saying yes to save face may end up worse and will make you less productive in the long run. And, by saying no to more things, you can spend more energy on the things in your life that truly matter and that can make the most difference in your life. Not to mention you will have the full capacity to do what you say you will do (DWYSYWD).
Until next week; God bless, work hard, and be Excellent!