The popular saying goes something like this ‘Talk is cheap’ and it is often the case that it is our actions not our words that say a lot about who we are. The ultimate test of character and credibility are revealed through our actions.  This principle applies to both our personal lives and professional settings. 

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the importance of aligning words with deeds which include personal branding, being proactive, and more.

It’s Not What You Say That Matters but What You Do: 

Powerful orators like Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama have captured the hearts of millions with their compelling words. However when we think of people like Lance Armstrong who inspired so many with his LIVESTRONG slogan and can-do spirit and it all came crashing down once the allegations of doping surfaced. Words hold little value if they are not backed up by corresponding actions. In the world we live in today where canceled culture now reigns supreme, most of us have to be careful about building a clean reputation. 

Be True to Yourself When No One Is Watching: 

Our actions speak loudest when no one is watching. When there are no external pressures or eyes on us, our true nature is revealed. Living an authentic life should be your main objective and will help build your personal and professional brand and identity. Anecdotes of individuals who display unwavering dedication and commitment even in the absence of supervision can highlight the significance of personal integrity. For instance, a software developer who consistently puts in extra effort to meet project deadlines, even when their supervisor is absent, demonstrates their commitment to excellence.

The Art of Being Proactive:

Proactivity is a vital trait that sets high achievers apart. Being proactive means taking initiative and responsibility for one’s actions and outcomes. It involves anticipating challenges, seeking opportunities, and taking necessary steps to achieve goals without waiting for instructions. Proactivity demonstrates a solutions-orientated mindset, which is highly valued in the workplace. A good example could include employees who identify problems and propose solutions without being asked to do so.

Learn to work successfully and independently:

Self-motivation and the ability to work independently are highly desirable qualities. Individuals who can effectively manage their tasks without constant supervision or being micromanaged are more likely to be trusted with greater responsibilities. An example could be an employee who consistently meets deadlines, exceeds expectations, and takes ownership of their work, thereby gaining the trust of their superiors.

Striving for Continuous:

Improvement: Being better at what you do not only enhance your personal growth but also boosts efficiency and productivity. By continuously improving your skills, knowledge, and work methods, you become more proficient, which allows you to work faster and accomplish more. Practical examples could include professionals who invest time in professional development, seek feedback, and apply lessons learned to enhance their performance.

Seizing Opportunities Rather Than Waiting for Handouts:

Opportunities rarely come knocking on our doors. Instead, they often require us to actively seek them out and seize them. By demonstrating a proactive attitude and being open to new possibilities, individuals create their own opportunities for growth and success. Examples can include entrepreneurs who identify market gaps and take calculated risks to start their own ventures.

Follow those who know the road and mind your own lane:

Unfortunately, with the rise of social media, it can often feel like we live under a microscope, constantly scrutinizing the lives of others. Additionally, we are extra demanding on ourselves, leading to a rise in mental health conditions such as insecurity, depression, and anxiety, especially among young professionals. The glamour of success portrayed on social media is real, but it also puts tremendous pressure on individuals.

An inspiring lawyer and city arbitrator from London, Baiju, emphasizes the importance of patience and hindsight. Looking back, he shares that he was always eager to achieve the next milestone. However, with time, he realizes that a delay of a few years would not have made much difference.

By embracing the power of action and aligning our words with our deeds, we can shape our identities, build strong reputations, and create meaningful impacts in both our personal and professional spheres. Let our actions be the true testament to our character and let us seize the opportunities that lie ahead while cherishing the present moment.

I would like to add that it is crucial to savour the present moment. Failing to do so is a form of poor self-care and ingratitude. Take the time to appreciate how far you have come, and remember to celebrate all wins, big and small.

If we consider both personal and professional contexts, it is evident that people judge us based on our actions rather than our words, as true integrity is demonstrated by living up to what we say. This is precisely why most offices have a charter or code of conduct in place, even with rigorous hiring procedures. It’s crucial for individuals to comprehend that their actions significantly impact their reputation. When we consistently exhibit integrity, reliability, and accountability through our actions, our words naturally gain credibility and influence.