Including your reputation. I was once fired by a client because he believed I was dishonest and had lied. I was devastated. I spent several weeks wondering if I had been a fraud. Had all the building of a consulting business and reputation been a fraud? The title of the book I had written was Trust Me. Had I been fooling myself along with others?
After several weeks of soul searching my actions and memory, I just couldn’t come up with anything I had done to deserve the label so I decided to keep moving toward the future but I knew I was doing so feeling much more vulnerable that I had in the past. It took a while but I began to get my footing back and I continued to move forward. However, this client was a member of a very large global company and my reputation had certainly been dented.
A few years later, this client reached out to me and let me know that he had been misinformed and even deceived in believing that I had done something dishonorable. He has continued to hire me as a trusted consultant for many years since. I feel very fortunate for how this story turned out in my life but it could have easily been left unresolved and unfortunately, there are often lasting consequences.
It’s critically important that we are self-aware and self-reflective, constantly judging our actions. But sometimes our reputations and future are damaged through unrelated or untrue events. Don’t stop building. When you stop growing you wither very rapidly. Grow. Build. It gives us life.
Headline from a wonderful little book titled Anyway by Kent Keith