Don’t Break Your Word……
“You are in integrity when the life you are living on the outside matches who you are on the inside.” Alan Cohen. How do you show up in life? Do you take 100% responsibility for all of your actions and decisions? Do you realize that every decision that you are making or have made is going to affect the outcome of your life? How do you want your life to look? Do you do what it takes to do a better job? Do you follow through with your word and have integrity? I know exactly what it is like to NOT take responsibility in my life. I didn’t even know how to do that, let alone live it. It was a sad and destructive place to be and I couldn’t live that facade anymore. It wasn’t getting me what I wanted in life and I was utterly miserable.
I was married and divorced after 7 years. It came down to integrity. I made promises and I just couldn’t keep them. My word meant nothing. It was the demise and downfall of not only my relationship with myself, but my relationship with my husband. I was not being honest at all, it crumbled and ultimately lead to my divorce. I learned one of the greatest life lessons from the dissipation of my relationship and with a lot of work, it lead me to be become more confident because I transmuted that very emotional experience into wisdom. But it took a lot of hard work, a lot of learning, evolving and a burning desire to move beyond my old self to become a new self, living in an elevated state called integrity. Either way you cut it, you are going to have to face the harsh reality, if you keep going in that same direction and do nothing, nothing will change and there will be the pain of staying the same, which I didn’t like, or you will make the choice and take a different path, and there will be pain that comes with growth and evolution. It is up to YOU to decide.
What is Integrity?
Are your actions and behaviors consistent with your promises and commitments? Integrity is about following through with the promises and commitments you have made, not only to yourself but to others. It is being faithful to your moral and ethical principles and convictions. Integrity is who you say you are and what you do and the alignment of those values expressed through your life. Do you keep your word? Are your actions congruent with your verbal word? Do you follow through with your promises? Are your contractual obligations fulfilled? Do you pay your bills on time? Are you on time to work everyday? Do you always do the right thing? Integrity is not lying and cheating.
Integrity IS the foundation of character. People with high levels of integrity will always do their best to strive for excellence in everything that they do. People who have high integrity realize that their life is a self- portrait and everything they do is a reflection of the person that they are, even when no one is looking. Warren Buffet said “Honesty is a very expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people.”
At the end of the day, all you have is your integrity. Do you follow through on what you say you are going to do? One definition of integrity is from the book The Four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is, “Be Impeccable With your Word.” He defines it as this; “Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” Integrity and follow through are vital functions of success. Warren Buffet also quoted: “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy.” Usually, people with high levels of integrity also emit confidence and have high self-esteem.
Can you Be Honest and Authentic?
What if we take a risk and be transparent and honest with not only ourselves but with everyone else? Why is that so risky? I believe in honesty and consistency and I believe in accountability and responsibility, that IS integrity. Why is it that we are afraid to speak our truth? Do we think we will be judged or that we may hurt others if we don’t speak up? if we don’t speak up, we will inevitably hurt ourselves and not get what we want in life. Why do we instead go within and retreat? Or go dark and disappear? Or just plain lie? Isn’t that more difficult than just telling the truth of your experience? Lying to yourself and others is far more risky and detrimental than being authentic and honest.
Transparency works, so does being honest, sincere, having integrity and following through with your word. Are you who you proclaim to be? Or are you hiding behind a facade of fear and non-transparency? I challenge you to be 100% honest, and authentic, live life with the utmost integrity, you never know what may happen, but more than likely, it will set you free and support you in achieving your deepest and truest desires!
“Champions are not the ones who always win races – champions are the ones who get out there and try. And try harder the next time. And even harder the next time. ‘Champion’ is a state of mind. They are devoted. They compete to best themselves as much if not more than they compete to best others. Champions are not just athletes.” Simon Sinek. Having integrity is having a champion mindset. Try harder, be better, work harder to become more honest, more authentic and more transparent. Get out there and set an example of this higher quality of living. Stop talking about it, just go BE it.
How you can have Integrity, The Don’ts
- Don’t keep secrets.
- Don’t make excuses.
- Don’t cheat on a test even when someone is not looking.
- Don’t cheat on your taxes.
- Don’t cheat people out of money.
- Don’t participate in road rage.
- Don’t cheat on your diet.
- Don’t tell white lies.
- Don’t let someone else take the blame for something you did.
- Don’t steal.
- Don’t cheat on your spouse or loved ones.
- Don’t drag out relationships that are obviously over, move on with love and compassion and let each other go.
- Don’t gossip about other people.
- Don’t steal from your workplace.
- Don’t do something for your company that is against policy.
- Don’t leave anything out of business contracts, so you can do business professionally and with transparency.
The Do’s of Integrity
- Do keep your promises no matter how difficult.
- Do show up on time.
- Do be honest and transparent.
- Do fess up when you have made errors. It is the first step in making things right.
- Do remain true with your spouse and loved ones.
- Do pay your taxes.
- Do pay your debts.
- Do be responsible in your own life and whilst at work and in public places.
- Do adhere to your organization’s policies and codes of conduct.
- Do show respect and be courteous to your fellow humans.
- Do be a kind and loving person.
“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.” Chinua Achebe. Don’t compromise your integrity for anything, or anyone it is not worth it is it? When you do, that pit in your stomach starts churning and you regret that you made the decision in the fist place and remember to choose wisely, some things cannot be reversed or undone. Don’t let this be you.
Promises are easy to make but hard to keep. Next time you say you are going to do something, do it. Because every time you keep a promise, you enact integrity and your character is strengthened! If you can live your life from this elevated state of being, you hold fast to that higher ideal even when it isn’t convenient. Your life will completely transform for the better and you will never question the decisions you made because they came from a place of wholeness and a place of integrity.
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters, if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” Alan K Simpson
Live life at the highest level.
Cheers to your integrity,