• Nichelle Rae

Be Impeccable with Your Word


If you haven't read the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz I highly recommend it. The first agreement is Be Impeccable with your Word - " Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love." It sounds easy enough, but it isn't.


he quote itself is about Being Impeccable with your Word in all aspects of your life. Every time you speak, your word should be a solid verbiage of truth and goodness. Your words should flow as water, not harming or hurting but moving forward gracefully through the atmosphere. It's fitting to speak about since this blog is about your having a lifestyle of success, which is all encompassing. Your word being a major part of that.


To be clear about what this means in your everyday life, do what you say you're going to do and be consistent. If you don't like apples, well then you don't like apples. Don't allow someone to give you apples to keep their feelings. Don't have a conversation where you change to "kind of like them" when the truth is you don't, all to be included in a conversation about them. I'm simplifying it for the sake of understanding but truly it is this simple.


In your career, you should always stand on your words. If you don't know something, be clear or honest about that. If you're learning or willing to learn, state that as a fact. As for water cooler talk, it will ALWAYS come back in a way that you cannot clearly explain or clear up so don't gossip. If your opinion is worth stating then do so, but with unemotional and unharmful intention. Being Impeccable with your Word means to flow through interactions with others as if you were talking to yourself; or your Grandmother before she became forgetful.


Why am I talking about this? Because you can't be successful with anything long-term if your word is not solid and consistent. Remote work is not going away, by most reports there will be a growth in the area of people working from home; where ever home is located. Your relationships, specifically professional relationships, will be built on your words.


Even over a zoom call, it's your words that are being focused on. Since technology is not always stable, your words are being listened to more so than your facial expressions. Your chat conversations, your presentations and your emails of course. All words from you. So what are you saying? What are you agreeing to? What are your intentions when you speak? It all matters, and it matter long-term.


Right now, your reputation is built on words alone. There are no team building outings, happy hour meet-ups or weekend ball games to attend. Nope, what you say determines who you are to those who interact with you. It's not as easy as it seems. It upsets me to no end when people don't. Sadly, I do understand why they can't.


Why they can't seem to be counted on. Why they just can't seem to understand their own limitations. Why instead of moving out of the way, they open their mouths and raise their hands to say "I will and I can". The reason they can't is because they are insecure about not being counted as the person who does things for you or the team or whomever. People are more concerned with not appearing to be incompetent then they are with being Impeccable with their Word. They don't want people who are counting on them to be disappointed, so they say they can even when they know they can't. Several events or projects take place, big and small, pushing up against a deadline or need, instead of saying "I can't" "I'm unable" they just let the clock run out. Then want to give reasons as to why they couldn't and are upset when you don't accept their reasons. They are confused and begin to paint the narrative that people are uncaring and cold and selfish. Well, that's because the fact is, you didn't do what you said you would. This leaves the other person or persons scrambling, stressed out or without what they need because your word was not true of your actions.


Know yourself and your limitations enough to be true and consistent. Admit you can't but you'll try next time. Say you're unsure but will look into it. Agree it's not easy and you need some help. Whatever you do, be clear and know yourself enough to say what you can and can't do; what you believe and don't. Working with people you can't count on, is cause for people to leave a job or relationship. All because a person could not move past their desire to be "helpful" to see the reality that they can't do it.


Some of this piece is a rant and some of it is what I should have said years ago. You must Be Impeccable with Your Word. Once you are, you'll be true to yourself which will flow to those around you.


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