Practising what you preach may sound simple but it is one of the most difficult things to do. Ask yourself how often have you advised a friend to “Stop overthinking”; “Do something you love”; or “Be punctual”. And how many times have you let your thoughts run amok, found yourself stuck in a rut, or being late for work?
We all are guilty of not practising what we preach. But why is it that despite knowing what is right for us, we still find it difficult to adhere to what we ask others to follow? Sometimes, preaching is easier than practising. Because when it comes to bringing a change, we refuse to step out of our comfort zone. In life, such attitude and approach don’t work, especially if you are a parent, a manager, a teacher or into any profession where you have to lead by example.
Truth be told, you grow when you set positive examples for others and bring promising changes to your life. And you can do this effectively when you practise what you preach. Here’s how you can do this:
Don’t be afraid to try something new
When you are comfortably accustomed to your daily routine and are working round the clock, you shy away from opening up yourself to change. When you ask someone to try something new, ask yourself if you would be comfortable in stepping out of your comfort zone and adopting the change yourself. When you consciously change your course with your actions, you are eventually changing your destiny too. It is only after you have followed through with your own advice will you be in a position to preach the same to others.
Take one step at a time
If you are advising someone to be on time, make sure you are sticking to your timelines too. If you yourself practice punctuality like a ritual, it reflects on your integrity and dependability. In this way, you not only become reliable for others, but you also inculcate a sense of confidence in yourself. Remember, a punctual person is likely to be taken more seriously than someone who turns up late and doesn’t value time.
Regularity brings routine
We all know the importance of maintaining a routine in our day to day lives, it brings assurance and diligence in the way we carry out our tasks. But did you know that following a routine could also bring meaning to our lives? According to a research, having a routine for even the most mundane things in life can promote a better sense of meaningfulness and better mental health. To start out, first set your goals and work towards them every day till it becomes a part of your routine. In this way, you not only gain more control over your time but also focus and bring about a sense of self-discipline.
Lead by example
You often see parents complaining about their kids being poor listeners or impolite. What they fail to realise is it is they who are acting as an influence on their child. One study reveals that when children are too young to comprehend the complexities of self-discipline, their natural instinct is to imitate the behaviour of their parents. If the parents shout at each other or lose their temper, their child would perceive that as normal or admissible behaviour. The only way to change this attitude would be to lead by example. When your actions are unclear or contradictory, every advice you give will fail to have an impact on the child.
Don’t make excuses or lie to yourself
It is easy to offer a handful of advice to others while at the same time looking for excuses to not follow them yourself. You are not an exception to the rule. Be mindful of the promises you make, and follow through. Set a precedent and others will follow. Practising what you preach will not only make people trust you, but will also turn you into a role model for them. By walking the talk, you will become a leader who others would want to follow.