Many of us ask ourselves how we set bigger goals for work in 2013. How can we get the promotion we have been striving for? Or even a pay rise for recognition of our hard work? A sure-fire way NOT to achieve all these things is by focusing on what people say and not what they actually do. If we do this, we will not benefit ourselves or others because we will be following the wrong people and the wrong advice. We won't grow!

"Actions Speak Louder Than Words But Not Nearly As Often" ~ Mark Twain

The Mark Twain quote above really resonates with me, how about you? A couple of years ago I had an experience that opened my eyes up to how I was limiting my thinking and my confidence levels. I'll give you a clear understanding of how and why I lost touch with my potential.

One day I was working away in the office, when I was told that we were to be given a sales presentation by a potential partner. It all sounded very good. This was back in a time where I put other people on a pedestal. I paid more attention to what was being said, rather than what was actually being done. I believed everything that I listened to and whatever words were spoken by people. I didn't know back then that actions speak louder than words.

Sure it is a famous old quote but it's so easy to forget. Anyways, the sales person came into the board room (by the way I work in sales so I am not picking on sales people) and sat down to prepare his power point presentation. He was a very polished looking individual. Nice clean suit, hair well-groomed and really just looked the business.

As he readied his presentation, my limited thinking had me saying to myself - I can never be like him, he is probably really clever, he earns so much for money than me etc... He had me doubting my own skills just by his appearance alone!

So he began pitching us and was rambling on for about ten minutes. I was so confused and seriously didn't know what he was talking about. He never told us the basic information about his company and why he was presenting to us. All of his chatter was meaningless.

I interrupted him and asked him what he was talking about. I told him that I was confused and that he had lost me. My other colleagues agreed as well. When he started to tell us about why he was meeting us and all about his work, he was clearly making it up as he went along. He hadn't practiced his material before coming into the meeting.

It's amazing what our own self-image projects isn't it? I had pegged this guy for being an academy award winner in my head but it turned out that he was just spinning the meeting. What is the lesson here? In order to reach greater heights with our goals, we need to focus more on what people do, rather than what they say. We have to learn to be less naive.

Learn to be open to what people have to say, of course that's a given. But watch carefully to make sure that they walk the talk. Never put anyone on a pedestal. If we learn to focus on ourselves and observe and learn from the actions of others who walk the talk, our personal development will sky-rocket this year!

Author's Bio: 

Gary Daly was born in Ireland and currently resides in Sydney, Australia. Besides a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Masters in Project Management, he is an accredited FIFA football agent and is also a senior sales consultant.

Gary is passionate about a lot of things, but it is personal goal setting that really gets him excited. The key to Gary’s success is clarity of his goals. Read about his success formula in his newly released ebook, “Personal Goal Setting.”

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