“It takes a lot of effort to win back credibility after having lost it so heavily.” – Giorgio Napolitano

There will always be fables that will be relevant. Fables are used as an avenue to teach moral lessons. There are many wonderful stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. The most famous fable may be The Boy Who Cried Wolf. The overall story is about a young boy who believed it would be fun to trick the town’s people into believing the local flock of sheep have been eaten by wolves. He did this repeatedly until they no longer believed him. Eventually, wolves did eat the sheep and he tried to warn everyone and no one believed him. His credibility was shot. The story of the boy who cried wolf will always teach children to value truthfulness and the importance of being credible.

It is very important for people at a very young age to learn this life lesson. It does not matter what you are saying if your behavior does not reflect what you are verbalizing you have lost your credibility.

The sayings “put your money where your mouth is” or “you better walk the walk” are further testaments that people expect others to behave in which they say they behave. Why should we accept that a person has “changed” if their behavior doesn’t reflect that change.

Its true, “Talk is cheap”. No one is interested in hearing what you have to say if you are not altering your behavior to reflect that change.

This all relates to credibility. To be credible we have to be reliable and confident in our words and behavior. Both our words and deeds must be in one accord.

You cannot ask someone to believe you have changed if you are still in your old habits. Making that change is crucial. Too often people want the benefit of making a change without actually doing anything to change. Or they may start the process of changing old habits and immediately expect others to fall in line and praise them for said changes.

Often they do not receive those accolades right away and become angry. However, why should one expect to receive the benefit of change so quickly. In most cases it took months or years to become the way they are or develop those old habits. Shouldn’t one expect for others to acclimate to this change. Or at the very least wait it out to see if this change is in fact real.

Unfortunately, some folks believe announcing to the world that “I’ve changed!” is enough. They don’t want to make the behavioral changes that need to take place.

It isn’t fair to expect people to believe you have “changed” without any evidence.

Here is a short list of things to look for in a person that has “changed”:

1) They aren’t going to announce it to you every time you see them. If they do, its possible they are attention seeking and only doing it for their benefit. If this person has truly made a change, you’ll notice it and should acknowledge it.

2) They have stopped engaging in old habits. Its pretty straight forward. You will visibly see their behavior altered and their pattern broken.

3) Other folks will give them credit for their change. Unfortunately, we live in a world where everyone talks. However, if you have made improvements for the better it will quickly get around. You won’t have to brag on yourself. Others will be doing that for you.

Credibility and reputation could be one of the most important characteristics you own. Its a lot like trust. Once its broken its difficult, if impossible, to fully repair. There will be times when our credibility is tested. Being as honest as possible with others will help us avoid a blow to our credibility.

Thankfully, we all have the ability to be a credible person. We must always strive to be positive and honest. Even when its not easy. We should always follow our words up with action. Our behavior must match our speech.

So always be prepared to “Put your money where your mouth is”.

This in itself is humbling.

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