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As we conclude our thoughts about 2021 and focus our attention on 2022, we ought to think about our reputation.
I’d normally shy from this topic because it sounds so very vain. I’m realizing though, that our reputation is just an extension of character. To have a good reputation among your tribe is to reap the benefits of their trust, honour and love. Over time if you have upheld these high standards, the blessings compound year after year, giving you true power of influence and a continual say at the table.
It’s the times when you showed up when promised. The times when you stayed late for the project or the times you were a relied upon friend when the chips were down. These things shape your reputation – slowly, surely and without question.
The converse of this are the times you lied to make a small gain. The times you decided not to show up when you were needed and especially, all the times you skimped on your own goals, when you proclaimed you would commit to them come rain hail or shine.
Your reputation is what IS talked about by others. I’m not advocating that you worry around the clock about what others think of you – That will only breeds annoyance and paranoia. Once and a while let’s say, on the first of January each year, it is worth reflecting if your reputation is mostly positive, or mostly negative? What could you change this week/month/year that would nudge you the furthest in the right direction? You probably already know the answer to that question, and know what needs to be done.
You’re scared, I get it.
Changing the person within us and showing this new version can make you feel like a fraud. “You never showed up for me, so why now?” somebody may ask you. That can hurt. And because it’s the beginning of your journey, nobody has reason to trust your word that you ARE suddenly changed – There’s no evidence to prove your trustworthiness.
Take hold of your small courage – each day is an opportunity to water the seed of change, until it’s a tree which you can share its fruit from. Don’t be surprised when results come and people will know you for increasingly positive things. Enjoy this fruit, and don’t squander it to the birds.