Do you like to talk a lot? Are you the kind of person who likes to talk about all the things you’ve done or plan to do, but there’s a lack of evidence in your life to match?
I have some bad news for you. You’re really not fooling anyone but yourself. Unless you’re talking a big game to people who’ve just met you, or you’re an exceptionally gifted liar, the people around you already know better than to believe you.
Three Types of “Big Talkers”
People who talk a lot but never seem to have any actions to back up their statements are usually one of three types of people:
Fakes: They talk a lot about things they’ve done or things they’re going to do, but don’t think the people they’re lying to are paying attention or will ever check to see if their words are true.
Back in the 80s we called this type of person a poser. It doesn’t matter what you call them—fakes, frauds, hypocrites, impostors, charlatans—the core truth about them is that they’re lying to someone. They might be lying to themselves which leads them to lie to others, but it amounts to the same thing—saying something that’s not true in the hopes of making oneself look good.
Cowards: These are people who talk a lot about what they wish they could do, what they would do if circumstances were different, but they rarely or never move forward because of their fears.
Fear has them asking, “What if I fail? What if I get it wrong or make a fool of myself?” Fear is the destroyer of hope because hope needs action, and without action, you never make any progress. Fear destroys hope by freezing us in place.
I don’t necessarily believe that cowardice is always a major character flaw. Cowardice can be due to lack of character, but I don’t think every single instance in our lives is a sin. Fear is often brought about by the unknown and the unknowable. Fear is often called unreasoning because we can be so overcome with fear that our ability to reason is inhibited.
Dreamers: Are those who talk a lot about what they’re going to do someday, but never do anything. Their lack of movement isn’t due to fear or fakery, but probably more of an “I’m waiting for the right moment, but it hasn’t come yet,” sort of attitude.
The road to awesome is paved with dreams, but the journey is only undertaken through action. A dream without action is nothing more than wishful thinking. Achieving dreams takes work and lots of it.
Becoming a Person of Action
Choosing to be someone who’s not all talk is simple, but you must make it an intentional and conscious decision—not just today, but every day. Here are some tips on how to become someone who is known for their actions matching their words.
- Always be authentic. Remain truthful even in those times when it may not seem personally advantageous. This includes telling “white lies” such as stretching the truth or embellishing stories to make them more interesting.
- Face your fears. Yes, count the potential costs of making a move, but when you see that moving forward is advantageous—when you see the pros outweigh the cons—you need to step out and go for it.
- Make a plan. If you have a dream, turn it into a goal by coming up with a plan. What help do you need to get there? What resources to you need to gather? What do you need to learn? How long do you forsee it will take you to reach your goal?
- Ask for help. You don’t have to move forward alone. Finding solutions is not something you have to do in isolation. Ask for input from people you trust, and make yourself accountable to people who will agree to watch over you and help keep you straight.
Also published on Medium.
I’m Jeff M. Miller, and I help ordinary people who are stuck in a rut change their behaviors so they can be extraordinary. I’m an entrepreneur who retired from my full-time job in my early 40s to work from home. I’m a financial counselor, life coach, graphic designer, and passionate believer in helping others improve their lives a little more each day.
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