“You are what you do, not what you say you'll do.”
- C. G. Jung
Want an easy way to win the trust and respect of professors, roommates, and employers?
Do what you say you are going to do.
If you tell your professor you will email them a rough draft of a paper they have offered to look over as soon as you get back to your dorm - Email Them.
If you tell your roommate you will text her over Christmas break to ask when she needs to be picked up from the airport - Text Her.
If you promise your boss you will call her with some ideas for a project - Call Her.
When you follow through, you establish yourself as trustworthy to others, while inspiring self-confidence in your ability to get things done.
If they can't follow through on that first simple task, I don't trust them to actively participate in the sessions or to complete assignments before our next meeting. Whether it's a student or a nonprofit, I don't want to work with people who are disorganized and undependable. They are wasting their money and my time.
Similarly, if you want people to trust you, do what say you are going to do. If you know you are going to miss a deadline and have a valid excuse, inform your professor in advance about the situation. Tell your boss if you can't make it to work on Thursday evening. If you tell your roommate you will take out the garbage, then bag it up and get it to the curb.
The benefit of following through over time is that when you cannot complete a task or fulfill a promise, people will be more willing to give you the benefit of a doubt and let it go, since they know this is a rare deviation from your otherwise dependable behavior.
Form Good Habits
Every time you resist the urge to procrastinate (or skip the possibly annoying task altogether), you are further cementing following through as a habit.
Doing what you say you are going to do goes a long way for seeing yourself as a responsible, conscientious individual who respects others by honoring your word.
Act Like An Adult To Be Treated Like One
The college students I perceive as adults are those who respond to my messages in an appropriate amount of time, send me materials I request prior to meeting, and show up to our sessions prepared.
The students who claim they "forgot" or -worse- "I didn't check my email" are hard to take seriously because what they are really saying is, "I chose to not make our work together a priority."
Every promise or pledge, big or little, that you knowingly fail to honor, is a conscious CHOICE not to follow through. This is childish.
And, conversely, every time you do what you say you're going to do, big or little, it is a conscious CHOICE to decisively follow through. This is called being an adult.