Burden of proof: Most of you know this is a legal term. Here, in America, you are innocent until proven guilty, right? We all know this and most of us know that if someone is charged with a crime, it is on the prosecution to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that that individual did in fact commit that crime
But, how does this apply to the context of being a better man?
That’s what I want to talk with you about. I want to talk with you about how this concept will make you a better man, what it means, and how you can incorporate this line of thinking to get more done for yourself and be more influential in the lives of the people you care about.
First, let me give you a little insight into what I see most men do and the way a lot of men are approaching their lives. In fact, I think this line of thinking I’m going to talk with you about is becoming more and more prevalent.
What I’m referring to is the thought that someone owes you something. And, in the context of the conversation today, that someone owes you their loyalty, their support, their guidance, their direction, the allegiance if you will.
When in all reality, I think most of us would do well to remember that no one owes us a thing.
If you’re starting a business, your wife is not obligated to support you. If you’re starting that business, your friends are not obligated to buy something from you. If you’re looking for a job promotion, your boss is not obligated to invest his time, money, and energy into you.
That is all on us.
Should our wives, and bosses, and friends support us? Maybe, but rather than deal in hypotheticals and the way we wish life would be, let’s instead decided to operate in reality and take the position that it is on us to prove that we’re worthy of the support, the guidance, the direction, the investment, and basically anything we’re asking someone else to provide us.
See, I hear things like, “I’m starting a business and my wife doesn’t support me.”
Real talk here: she might believe in the idea or in the business but it’s you she doesn’t believe in.
That’s harsh. That’s not fun to hear. But, that’s the reality. I know there have been times in my marriage where I would ask my wife to support me in some crazy idea or project, and I just wouldn’t feel the support I was hoping to get from her.
But, if I took a minute and really asked myself why that was the case, it would have been painfully obvious that I hadn’t had a track record of sticking to my word.
I told her I’d be a good husband and I wasn’t. I told her I’d be a good dad and I wasn’t. I told her we were going to be okay financially and we weren’t.
And, believe it or not, I had the audacity to ask why she didn’t believe in me. Why should she?
Why should your wife believe in you? Why should your boss believe in you? Why should your clients believe in you?
Should they? Prove it. Prove you’re a worthy investment of their time, energy, money, and resources.
But, before anyone gets fired up about this and says, “My wife agreed when she married me that she would support me” or “My boss agreed when he hired me” I want you to understand that may be true but, let me ask you this, “How does that thought serve you?”
It might be true, but how does it serve you?
This is where the burden of proof comes in. You really want her support? You really want your boss to invest in you? You really want your clients to buy from you?
Then, it’s on you to prove they should.
How do you do this?
Very simply, you become a man of your word.
If you say you’re going to do something around the house, do it. If you tell a client you’re going to call him or her at 3:00, you call him or her at 3:00. If you tell your boss, you’ll have a project done by Friday, you have it done on Friday.
Every time you miss a deadline, a project, an expectation, an agreement, you give away a piece of your integrity and lessen the ability and desire for other people to believe in you.
Most of us develop these patterns of letdown over months, years, and even decades on the seemingly insignificant little promises we make to the people we care about, even our children then look back and wonder why no one believes in or supports us.
Guys, I think we can do better. I urge you keep in mind – and I try to remember – that the trust we hope people place in us is not required by them but earned.
As you know by now – after any amount of time in listening to this show – that our job as men is to protect, to provide, and to preside.
We cannot fully be the men we’re meant to be, we cannot fully fulfill our obligations, we cannot fully influence the people we care about until we recognize and adopt into our lives that the burden of proof falls on our shoulders.
We need to be men of substance. We need to be there physically and emotionally for our children. We need to bring home the bacon if you will for our families. We need to do the things we say we’ll do. We need to hit deadlines. We need to fulfill our promises. We need to remember that our word is our bond.
And, when we prove that and we show those we care about we can be relied upon we’ll no longer even need to ask for their support – because it will be evident that we have it.