I just shaved off my beard. In the grand scheme of things, seeing as how I’ve only had it since November 2016, this wasn’t a life changing decision. But, as far as recent memory goes, six months is a good chunk of change.
As I was quickly buzzing off the beard, a very unoriginal thought hit me. It takes much longer to grow a good beard than it does to get a clean shaven face.
When I first started growing out my beard, it didn’t look all that great. Early on, it’s a little patchy and uneven. Too be honest, my beard really didn’t look good until the end of December. It took two full months to get a nice full beard. But it only took two minutes to shave it off.
Integrity is a lot like a beard. It can take a long time to build integrity. It can often take a lifetime to become trustworthy with other people.
When it comes to my clients, they rely on my previous clients to build that trustworthiness. They rely on my actions day in, and day out to decide if I’m trustworthy. It takes time, relationship and intentionality to build integrity in the eyes of a new client.
Growing integrity can take a long time. However, it can take a two minute bad decision to ruin it all. One misstep has the potential to ruin the credibility you’ve built with others.
But, like beards, trust can grow back. But it will, again, take time.
Ultimately, you can grow (or regrow) your trustworthiness, just like a beard. In those first few months or years, you might have to deal with your credibility being a bit patchy and uneven, but eventually, you’ll have regrown your integrity beard.