Sometimes, in the course of a busy and competitive life, we make a mistake or are falsely accused of making one. Let’s say that this results in damage to your reputation.
Such an event may occur more often than we like. But often the memory of it doesn’t last long, and you are free to try again.
But there are occasions when the damaged reputation sticks and you are stigmatized. How do you deal with such a depressing and deflating situation?
Well, one way is to realize that reputation is not the same as character. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are” (Said by John Wooden, famous coach). Focusing only on what others think will be difficult because there can be very many differing opinions about most things.
A lifetime of cultivating a good character has benefits and can buoy you up in tough times like the one described above. What are important traits in a good character, and reputation for that matter? Conventional wisdom says good character has honesty, trustworthiness, compassion for others, reliability, and a commitment to justice. You can think of more. Sound ethics for co-workers or friends is important.
We need to guard our reputation because it is so valuable. But we need to develop values that we want to have within our character for our whole lives.