The importance of keeping your word

When you know who you are and what you stand for, your word is an extension of that persona or personal brand. Being true and authentic to yourself also means being true and authentic to others and that means keeping your word. It is difficult to overstate the importance of keeping your word and why...

this is good for you and the people important to you. Keeping your word builds strong relationships based on trust and dependability. It shows that you respect and value the person to whom you’re keeping promises and in return people will be less likely to let you down when the tables are turned. It’s not just about keeping promises, on the flip side people will ultimately respect you more when you are strong enough to say no when you mean no and only say yes when you’ll deliver. Consistently doing this builds trust, confidence and respect.

Part of this trust and respect means respecting yourself and your own values and beliefs. It is important that you don’t make promises just to please others or agree to things you’re not comfortable with. Keeping your word starts with being clear and confident about what you’re willing to agree to in the first place – having your values and beliefs aligned with your actions.

If you know who you are, it’s a whole lot easier to identify when something is not in line with your values and beliefs and it is also a whole lot easier to know when to say no. Learning when and how to say no is an incredibly important skill, one that will ultimately make people respect and trust you more both in and out of the workplace. Being able to say no shows a great deal of integrity and means that the value placed on your ‘yes’ is that much higher. Having the integrity to say no to things you know you can’t or won’t do gives you a large degree of personal power not only because the value of your 'yes' goes up but also because your self respect is intact.

Keeping your word is an extension of knowing who you are. When you – and other people – know that your word means something, that it is a valuable currency, you increase your personal power. Keeping your word to yourself and to other people is a fundamental part of learning to respect yourself and earning the respect of others. It’s a pretty simple concept but… it doesn’t work if you do it once and then forget about it. It’s something you have to keep doing, keep practicing every day. It has to become a habit. It isn't difficult as a concept but it does mean you must follow through on your promises even when it’s tough.

And that is a VERY quick way to become unhappy!