Are You Congruent?
John: Sandy, we were talking about congruence last week, when we do as we say and say what we do. I wonder why this is hard? It isn’t. It seems like basic follow through.
How do you get your work done? By sitting down and doing it. How do you prioritize what needs to be done? Look at your list of things to do, what is the most urgent or with the tightest timeline and then do that first.
If you find yourself getting distracted, the way to eliminate the distraction is to just say, I am not going to allow myself to be distracted anymore, and then you do it. Again, this seems like second-nature to me, probably because I am older and I understand the consequences of what happens when you allow things that are not a priority to become a priority.
So how do you, or would you, advise someone to live congruently?
Sandy: A great topic John! Being congruent means that you walk your talk (as they used to say). It’s easy to make promises, to yourself or others, but much more difficult to actually focus and follow through.
It’s important to know that when you are congruent you build trust. If you say you’ll do something, or not do something, and then follow through, people will learn to respect and trust you. They will believe you and what you say. You will also trust yourself.
However, if you say you’ll do something and then just don’t people will quickly learn that you are untrustworthy and your word means nothing.
Awhile ago I wrote an article about this important topic, and what to share it with you below:
At a meeting last week, I met a man who introduced himself as a personal trainer and health coach. He seemed quite knowledgeable about his field, but later, at the break, he went outside to smoke a cigarette! This surprised me, since his focus was health. It made me wonder how effective he could be with his clients if he is asking them to do something he can’t do. It started me thinking about congruence.
Being congruent means living your life so that your words, values and behavior all align. You live your values and do what you say. I think the old phrases are “walk the talk:” or “practice what you preach.” In the case of this man, I was confused about how he could coach people to live a healthy lifestyle, and then deliberately do something unhealthy to himself. He obviously wasn’t living a congruent life, and my response to this was to distrust him and his ability to do his work.
When I became a business and life coach, my first job was to coach myself so I could be congruent as I worked with my clients. I focused on always being responsible, honest and trustworthy, following through, cleaning up things I tolerate in my life, and valuing the person I am. If I were going to ask my clients to do this, then I had to do it first. It’s something I continue to do, every day.
So, this month I’m reflecting on the importance of being congruent.
How about you?
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.
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