Integrity has always been one of the qualities I admire and respect most in others. The definition of integrity is: The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness. Simply put, someone who lives in integrity honors their personal values – actions and choices align with an internal code. There is nothing inside that is divided; they are whole. Honesty is another dimension to integrity – spoken words reflecting the inner world without distortion. Integrity is also about honoring your word and following through with commitments.
To live in integrity, one must first be CLEAR about what is important to them (the internal code) –and understand what it looks like to honor it. Morals and the sense of “wrong” and “right” is integrated in this code. For some people the quality of integrity is engrained in their system. For these people, decisions are clear and matter-of-fact, as they KNOW what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to.
Honoring integrity sounds simple. However, for those of us that have the “people pleaser” gene, sometimes this can get confusing. Since “pleasing others” is important that can conflict with my truest integrity.
It’s important to understand that integrity is about honoring YOUR internal system, and that doesn’t always make others happy in the moment. I personally LOVE to make others happy – and have often found myself making concessions in the name of pleasing another, avoiding hurting them or wanted to “look good”. But, I know I ALWAYS prefer the TRUTH – even if it’s not what I want to hear. Is this true for you too? The sooner the truth is available, the more quickly everyone can adjust accordingly.
I like to think of integrity as a rudder of sorts. It’s an internal guidance system that directs you along the path of life. The more you honor it through your actions, the more fulfilling your life is – and the more quickly you ultimately realize your goals and dreams. When you compromise, with others or yourself, it’s like a tiny piece of sand rubbing between two people. The lack of integrity is always there, saying – “no, this isn’t right”. Freedom and energy arises when integrity is present.
I’ve had several opportunities over the years to witness my own relationship with integrity – and observe the impact. At times, acting upon integrity is often uncomfortable in the moment – but, that is quickly followed by RELIEF. It’s been freeing to say “no” to certain business projects that weren’t aligning with me. In several relationship situations, speaking a “hard truth” made room for greater understanding and deeper friendships to emerge.
In one instance, I chose to stop seeing one gentleman, so I could explore a relationship that was pulling on my heart strings. Saying “no” to the person I was fond of, wasn’t easy – however, it allowed me to be fully present to that ONE relationship that captured my heart. I firmly believe that had I “hemmed” and “hawed”, I would’ve compromised both relationships, or wasted considerable time. I noticed that acting in integrity, sped up the process of realizing the potential of BOTH relationships. Integrity is one of the great catalysts in life.
Cultivating your own internal awareness about your values is the first step in expanding the integrity in your life. Knowing what to say “yes” to, and what to say “no” to – is a process of discovery that evolves throughout our lives. Awareness allows you to more distinctly identify your own personal internal blueprint that will guide your decisions. Then, your WILLINGNESS, COURAGE and DISCIPLINE become the keys to acting upon this internal code and integrating it into your life.
SOUFUL CHALLENGE: How well are you honoring your integrity? What do you notice about the impact of honoring your integrity? Increase the awareness of your integrity system over the next week. Act upon the clear “yes’s” and clear “no’s”. Notice the impact on your life.