Sun | May 26, 2019

Glenford Smith | Action is liberating

Published:Wednesday | April 11, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Recently, I got a question from a reader of my column who said he was surprised when a friend embarrassed him with a response he wasn't expecting.

He was telling the friend about his goals, when his friend told him he needed to see actions. He knew in his heart that his friend was right.

He was only talking about his plans, but didn't have an action plan to follow that would help him bring them to fruition. It was a very good intervention by his friend even if it caused embarrassment at first.

Persons should welcome such episodes instead of cursing, becoming angry and hurt.

Good friends, counsellors and family can often be hesitant to confront, because it can feel like they are criticising your failings.

Some friends will not risk confronting you like the friend above. But it is a very necessary thing and can be a thoroughly constructive thing to do.

Many times, in our deluded sense of self, we miss the clear signals that were there all along. A kick in the rear can act as a wake-up call that we need, even though it may the last thing we would admit. That is the case for seeking out a career counsellor or older adviser who has your best career interest at heart. Such a person will be blunt with you, though not unkind.

Confronting you can be one of the kindest and most thoughtful things your friends, a family member or career counsellor can do. It telegraphs the message that: 'You say you want this and it is important to you. In fact, you say it is the most important thing to you right now, but your actions are saying the opposite. I really want you to progress in the area that is significant to you'.

When you do what you say you're going to do, you're on your way to being self-regulating and self-determining. This congruence is one of the best outcomes you can possibly realise. Congruence in one area leads to congruence in another area - it is contagious. You're moving beyond idle speculation and shuffling around.

Of yourself, it may be more difficult to happen. Give thanks for your friends, family and the professionals who are dedicated to your career success. The confrontation may be the most pivotal moment in your career. It helps you to ditch spinning your wheels and deciding once and for all what you really want deep down.

Be open at all times, especially for feedback not to your liking. I have often said that I am always a better student than a teacher, to remind myself of the need to listen more than I talk. I know that I don't learn anything when I'm talking and so I should listen to others, always.

Don't be quick to get mad when your ego is bruised or someone makes you feel embarrassed. Look into what they have said. Perhaps in their criticisms you will find your psychological and mental liberation.

Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. Email: