Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

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Written by Joe Wilkinson

September 1, 2016

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

It's simple advice. Advice that has had the single largest impact on how I live my life and how I react to the people I interact with. To understand the power in this statement, we need to break it down into it's two parts.

1.) Say what you mean

People can only make as good of decisions as the information they have. If you conceal your feelings or intent, you are impeding everyone's ability to make quality decisions. This makes your life more difficult as you are now reacting to unpredictable behavior. It's easy to imagine a scenario where people are capable of helping us if only given the opportunity. If you are unwilling to say what you mean, you close the door to receiving a helping hand.

Be consistent in translating your thoughts into words. Being honest is scary. It opens us up to criticism. Push through the fear and you will open up new opportunities and resources.

2.) Mean what you say

Be realistic about what your capabilities are. Don't over promise. People won't remember all that you were able to do when you fall short on what you promise.

Your reputation is dependent on consistent follow through. You should take it personally when you fall short on what you said you would do. It decreases the value of your word. 


Take responsibility for translating your thoughts into words into action. You will have to make difficult decisions. Avoid pandering to what you think others want to hear. Open yourself to new opportunities. Be the person you think you are.