Being reliable involves discipline and commitment, showing up and doing.
Reliability is commonly defined as…
Sounds pretty grown up, but being reliable doesn’t mean being boring. And being responsible, disciplined and committed, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun doing it!
In fact, the sooner you incorporate the value of reliability into your life, the sooner you get to do what you imagine in your most amazing dreams.
Before we dive in, a heads up: there are lots of selfs and selves being bandied about here, so try not to lose yourself, ok?
We start by showing up reliably for ourselves. When we know and trust who we are, we have better control of our actions. Which gives us the confidence and courage to show up for others with compassion and integrity.
Self-sovereignty incorporates three domains — self-knowledge, self-care and self-discipline. If managed well, each helps us to function as reliable, well-adjusted humans (most of the time).
Emotional Intelligence (or EQ), a concept made popular by psychologist Daniel Goleman, is based on our ability to pay attention to ourselves, and notice more about the people and things in our environment.
Knowing ourselves includes:
When we have a good awareness of self, a strong presence of mind, and healthy self-management tendencies, we have a greater degree of psychological flexibility.
Developing our EQ can make us more adaptable, improve our social awareness and help us be more empathic.
So, knowing what makes you tick means you can rely on YOU. And others can then rely on you too.
Apart from breathing properly* (a non-negotiable)*, our self-care fundamentals are sleep, nutrition, movement and focus. They’re interlinked — whatever impacts on one aspect, affects the others. If we build a reliable foundation of self-care, we strengthen our ability to perform well and have more consistent interactions.
Healthy sleep habits set us up for showing up reliably
We know this and yet… just how often do we consume stimulants at the wrong times or do another screen scroll before bed? Or, do too many days of too little sleep, and the repercussions are far reaching. Stress and diet play obvious parts too. Like I said, it’s all connected.
Being conscious and responsible about what we ingest not only improves our gut health, it charges up our mental and physical performance too.
Ever had a “hangry” head-biting snap at your coworker due to missed meals? And next time your mind is petulantly yelling “I need doughnuts”, weigh up how the sugar hangover is going to affect your mood and reliability later on. If you have young kids (or access to them), you’ll especially relate to these unreliable responses!
Evolution didn’t factor in “long hours seated” becoming such an unhealthy norm.
Our body is our partner. It’s the framework that carries us through life and we need to be able to rely on it. To build physical strength and resilience, connect with your body’s natural movement abilities more regularly.
This means more than a morning run or gym session. Set a timer to get up from your desk every 30 minutes. And do a few stretches and power poses every time you wait for the kettle to boil. “It works!” she booms (hands on hips WonderWoman-style).
Doing focused deep work — regularly — is now a prerequisite of our noisy, distracted digital workplace. Can you see the disconnect there? As Maria points out in her talk, we need to build more “pockets of stillness” into our lives.
If you’re struggling with getting into the zone, try out digital minimalism. Or exercise your focus muscles with mindfulness, meditation, yoga and deep breathing techniques. (There’s apps for this too). Good for deep work, but also great for managing busy minds, anxious or negative thoughts, and low moods.
Developing a strong work ethic requires reliability.
Persistent practice equals being disciplined and following through. Putting in the work consistently. Just like a professional. (Read Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” for further instruction on what’s involved).
Being a Pro means we accept responsibility for both ourselves and what we put out there. When we take responsibility, we can control how we interpret and respond to our often uncontrollable environment. The key is separating the situation from our response to it. (Read Mark Manson’s Ebook “Self-Knowledge” for more on responsibility).
Building consistent, reliable rituals around our work practice, helps keep internal resistance at bay and opens the door to inspiration. Learning to trust ourselves, despite what other people think, helps us to deal with external resistance too.
In Maria’s Do Lectures Talk, she also touches on the idea of creating reliable rhythms in our life to help us to fill our cup with more of what we want to enjoy.
It takes practice and preparation. If we’re practising being who we really want to be through the act of doing, then we close the gap between the two more quickly.
Our behaviour then becomes a reliable reflection of our best self.
So, see every day as a practice session for activating your potential and actually living the life you dream of.
If you make reliability part of your foundation for how you DO everything, you facilitate becoming a better YOU.
Being reliable also leads to another “R” worthy of our attention.
Becoming REMARKABLE… and that is something certainly worth doing too.