The age-old saying, “actions speak louder than words,” is powerful. How can you ensure you’re living a life filled with actionable results instead of false promises?
As a child, you likely heard someone say actions speak louder than words. People typically say it when they believe a person, in theory, wants to do something actionable, but taking the steps necessary to do so never quite come to fruition. Meaning, the statement of someone declaring they’d do something was a mere matter of words. I can sit in my room all day and tell myself I will be the next Michael Jordan, but if I don’t put in the work necessary to accomplish the goal, it’ll never happen. That’s a straightforward analogy, so let’s think about a more complicated one.
Take any personal relationship you have in your life. Parents, friends, significant others, it doesn’t matter. They are all a part of your support system. Let’s say you and your partner have dealt with an ongoing problem. You grew up in an affectionate household, and your partner knows this. They, on the other hand, didn’t. You’ve struggled for months now because your partner hasn’t given you much affection; you’ve expressed you seek affection in relationships, it’s one of the ways you feel most loved, and they’ve done little to address the issue. Coming from a background opposite of yours, maybe they have put forth more effort, and you’re too focused on what they’re not doing to see it.
When your partner makes a concerted effort to change something about themselves or how they act for you, you should acknowledge it. Affirmation is a two-way street. In the same way, you want your partner to be sensitive to your need for affection; you need to be aware of their efforts towards changing it. What steps have they taken to give you more affection? Have you noticed a difference? If you did, did you acknowledge it right then or forget about it? Well, let’s say you’ve given your partner affirmation, and that fuels them to try harder. Until all of a sudden, you notice a few weeks go by, and they stop. You bring it back up, and your partner believes you’re nitpicking.
You explain that you want them to provide this affection consistently, and it wasn’t a one-time thing. Your partner takes offense, and a heated debate commences. Instead of focusing on the problem’s silver lining, both of you bring up every negative thing about the situation, which does neither of you any good. This is a pivotal moment because if you can both show each other some grace, speak on your feelings, and move forward, you could be on your way to resolving the months-long obstacle in the way of your relationship’s success.
Things can take a turn if your partner isn’t interested in ultimately changing something about themselves for the greater good of the relationship. If you’ve already done this on your side, it hurts even worse. You don’t want to change everything about someone because if you feel the need to, you probably shouldn’t be with them in the first place. However, when you’re with someone for a substantial period of time, you must grow together for your relationship to evolve. It doesn’t take long to see if the way someone leads their life is word or action-based. Make no mistake, if actions are taken, the results will speak for themselves.
It’s one thing to get a little stagnant, as we are all guilty of this. But the day someone stops trying is the day you may need to reevaluate your relationship. This isn’t exclusive to relationships, either—no matter the facet of life, health, career, etc. If your actions back up your words, you’ll reap the benefits of them. If they don’t, you’ll quickly find you must change your approach if you wish to see results. The point is, when you have an objective, talking about it does help, but it ultimately gets done through action.
Our actions don’t always match our words, and much of it is a part of growth because the more you know, the more you grow. The older we get, the more clarity we have due to learning more information and piecing things together easier. Quite literally, words and actions matching also comes down to sheer will. We’ve all made decisions we regret and wish we could take back. The critical thing to remember is that your experiences have seasoned you, allowing you to take action with confidence. You see, words become the framework of a plan to act, but planning without action is futile.