Welcome back! It’s time for your weekly dose of our FinerMinds 19-Part series on Becoming Just Awesome.
Part 15 is up this week and we’re going to cover INTEGRITY. What is integrity exactly? Well, the Oxford Dictionary lists integrity as the quality of being honest and morally upright. The definition is a bit stiff, but it works–we’ve got the concepts of honesty and doing the right thing in there.
You can also think about integrity as a value, like persistence or courage. Some people seem born with such values, but it’s actually a choice each person has to make. It is these values that help to shape and form your character and personality. Much of your sense of self is determined by how well you live up to the values that are most important to you.
And it is integrity that enhances all your other values–it’s a quality that locks in your values and causes you to live consistently with them. Or, put another way, integrity is the bedrock of your character.
Unfortunately, we’re sometimes confronted with the concept of integrity when we encounter those who don’t have it. The boss who promises to give you a raise each quarter, but it never materializes. The husband or wife who you know is having an affair, but swears up and down that nothing is going on. Yes, these people are doing massive damage to those around them, but they’re also damaging themselves.
Here’s the thing, each time a person lies, or even exaggerates or fails to follow through on a commitment, they lose a little bit of their power. People are so scared of the truth–mostly because they want to be liked–that they tell little lies and fail to follow through much of the time.
The goal is to speak your truth with compassion.
When you start to speak the truth and honor the things you say you’re going to do–basically live your life with integrity–this will make you more powerful and successful. When you walk and talk with integrity people sense this. This builds their trust in you, which in turn builds your confidence. Ultimately, you end up with a network of friends, family, colleagues, and even acquaintances who know your word is gold.
And it’s not about others trusting you right off the bat or going in search of people’s trust. First, you must trust yourself. Only when you trust yourself will others trust you.
YOU need to fully believe in the words you speak and the actions you take.
It’s also about keeping your small commitments–picking up the groceries, taking out the garbage, watching your kid’s soccer game, etc. How in the world, if you can’t handle these small commitments, are you going to be able to take on the big ones?
Success is practice, a habit. If you can’t handle nailing all the mini commitments (or successes) the universe knows you won’t be ready to take on bigger commitments, responsibilities and successes.
You need to make your word law.
If you continue to not keep your word, the value of your words will keep going down. And your actions are equally important. You must walk the talk. All of you must know big talkers. People who boast and exaggerate and make commitments, but nothing ever comes of it. What are their words really worth? They don’t mean much in the end, do they?
The mark of people who live their lives with integrity is that they’re honest with themselves and others. They live their lives honoring their highest values and virtues. They expect the best of themselves–excellence, if you will. And they expect it of others too. The Law of Attraction states that you inevitably attract into your life the people and circumstances that are in harmony with your dominant thoughts and values. What better reason to strive for an existence of integrity?
The aim of the following three simple reflection exercises is to help you recognize small moments in your life where you may be failing to exhibit integrity. Recognition of these moments and understanding the reasoning behind them is one of the first steps on the path towards living with greater integrity.
On a piece of paper:
- List three errors that you frequently observe in others.
- List three things that you say or do to persuade others to believe certain things about you.
- List three commitments you often fail to keep.
Corresponding questions for contemplation:
- Are there times when you refuse to recognize these errors in yourself?
- What beliefs are causing you to doubt these things about yourself?
- What beliefs are responsible for creating the circumstances of your failure to commit?
To learn more, watch this short video on the importance of personal integrity.