I consider integrity to be one of the most important qualities we can cultivate if we want to show up as the best version of who we are in all areas of our life.
Integrity is one of those things that you either have or you don’t. It has nothing to do with ‘doing the right thing’ and has everything to do with being in alignment with who you are.
It literally means that what you say and do are totally aligned. Anything less basically means you are sending mixed messages to the world around you which feels to others like a lack of honesty and authenticity coming from you. Not to mention your subconscious then builds a belief around it and then it becomes a habit.
Without integrity it will be hard for people to trust you. An example of this is a business owner who expects the best from his team yet in the background does nothing but run around barking orders and putting people down rather than being an example that inspires others to step up.
When what you say and do doesn’t line up then the message to your inner world is also that you can’t be trusted. As you continue to justify your behavior and make excuses for not being a person that keeps their word then it has a flow on negative impact on your self respect and esteem.
This can then result in external things in your life like your work, finances, relationships or health starting to fall apart around you. Ultimately, lack of integrity creates an internal split inside you that can only be healed by coming back into the wholeness that living with integrity provides.
Three Steps To Unstoppable Integrity
In days gone by there have been times that I have been out of integrity more often than I’d like to admit. Yet, out of the rubble of the mess I made came much growth and awakening. It wasn’t until I started focusing on the relationship I had with myself that my integrity started to strengthen.
Here’s what I found worked to help me rebuild my inner trust and become a person of integrity again:
1. Your word is your bond
If you say you are going to do something then do whatever you can to honor it. By failing to honor our word we undermine ourselves and diminish who we are as a person. Now, it’s not always going to be possible to keep your word as things sometimes happen that are out of our control. But, if you are a person of integrity, you will always honor your word. It’s when you don’t honor your word that you mess up and then you need to clean up or fix the mess.
2. Make a declaration to yourself
The foundation of being a person who lives and breathes integrity starts with you. Make a declaration to yourself that, “I am a person of my word”, and “I give my word to myself that I am a person of integrity.” Don’t make this declaration lightly otherwise it’s just going to be hot air. Tell others what you are doing so that not only you hold yourself accountable, but others will as well.
3. Cultivate integrity daily
Integrity is like a muscle. The more you work it – the stronger it gets. The more you keep your word and follow through with what you say you are going to do the more self-respect you will develop. As this grows, so to will your identity of being a person of integrity.
Being in integrity automatically means that you are in alignment mentally, physically and spiritually with yourself. This alignment then gets expressed through your words and actions that are a vibrational match. It is also the simplest way to live a life of authenticity and wholeness.
The greatest and most inspiring leaders that you know you can trust will always be people who live with integrity. Sure, there are leaders who ooze charisma yet lack substance but that’s okay as their lack of integrity will be blatantly obvious if you look close enough at their actions.
I don’t tend to focus on the integrity of others though as honestly it’s irrelevant. You can’t change who people are but you can change yourself. I focus on making sure that I keep my word and that if for some reason I can’t then I still honor my word. That way my integrity stays intact.
If you’re not sure what I mean by honoring your word then let me explain. We can honor our word by either keeping our word as it was expressed when we made it, or as soon as we know we won’t be able to keep our word, we inform any other parties involved in advance so that they are kept in the loop and not left out to dry.
This also applies to yourself. If you say you are going to go to the gym five times this week then make sure to follow through and do it. Otherwise, your integrity will diminish and you won’t even be able to trust yourself let alone anyone else trusting your or your word.
My final recommendation is that if you are sincere about being a person of integrity, then think carefully before giving your word to anyone or anything – ever! It’s better to commit to nothing than to make frivolous promises that you had not intention of keeping.
Step into the next level of self mastery and leadership by being the embodiment of integrity in all areas of your life. This is how we can not only elevate ourselves but also be the change the world needs right now.