Saturday, January 30, 2010

Believe Them When They Show You Who They Are.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Oprah Winfrey.

In my 30 day quest to get into action every day in “throwing out the baggage that keeps me stuck” and while coaching people this month, I’ve referred to this quote many, many times.

We listen to what people tell us instead of watching their actions and then, we’re hurt, disappointed, frustrated and angry when they continue to do the same actions or behaviors they’ve done all along. When is it time to stop listening and start watching?

A CEO I once worked for gave me this definition of integrity: Do you do what you say you’re going to do even when no one’s looking? This may be a loose version of the definition but, it’s a pretty simple way to define integrity. So, why is integrity so hard to find in people?

Mistakes happen. People make bad decisions. And, people can change. I get it. However, when there’s a pattern or it continues time after time, isn’t time to open your eyes? If you’ve been completely honest (This is a MUST in this equation because we can’t hold people responsible for what they don’t know.) with your feelings, what matters to you, how you feel most respected, loved and cherished and this person still continues to tell you one thing but do another... Well, obviously this person just wants to tell you what you want to hear…they’re telling you what they want you to believe.

If you’ve been in a relationship with someone and you’re connecting with what I’m saying, stop being frustrated or angry with them because the ball, as they say, is now in your court. The responsibility for this relationship is now yours. Your choice is to accept the person and move forward with them knowing that you can’t trust what they say, you watch what they do. Some relationships you just have to love them for who they are. Or, you may choose to leave the relationship—drop the baggage--if your values and your heart are being crushed because of being in the relationship. Either way, the choice is yours. They’ve been “telling” you all along who they are.

I have to say that Oprah isn’t one of my most favorite people because I don’t really feel a connection to her—she’s too hard to emulate. She’s perfect. I’m not. This quote, though (thanks to Oprah) that I’ve carried with me—and used-- over and over and over again is one that has made the most sense to me throughout the last 10 years of my life. It’s brought me peace (because of the decisions I’ve made) and pain (because of the realization of its truth).

So, believe them when they show you who they are and, either drop your baggage...or theirs.

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