“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity” ~ W. Clement Stone
What does integrity mean to you? Dictionary.com defines it as, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”.
Integrity is one of those words we hear, we know it’s kind of like being honest and telling the truth, but it may still be somewhat elusive. . .
Think about a well built building; it has structural integrity, meaning it can withstand the elements. When a storm comes through and the building is still standing it has structural integrity. If a building collapses, it is often said it didn’t have the structural integrity to withstand the impact.
We can translate that into integrity is being able to withstand a crisis. It’s having the courage to do the right thing even when it may be easier or more self-beneficial to do something else. Integrity is more than just having strong principles, it’s living them consistently.
If you’re wondering if you lack integrity, as yourself these questions:
Are you excessively selfish? We’re all a little selfish now and then, but are you constantly only looking out for your best interest, thinking about “what’s in it for me” or re-directing the conversation to yourself? Are you lacking deep and meaningful relationships/friendships that are reciprocal? A healthy person has an average of 4-5 deep and meaningful relationships at all times.
Do you hide things? Sharing everything with everyone isn’t healthy or proper, however if you’re hiding things from those in your inner circle or from those deep and meaningful relationships I mentioned above, then you’re probably lacking integrity in this area. Afraid to let your partner see your phone? That may be a sign of integrity.
Will you shift your values or make compromises to impress? You can’t be all things to all people. Are there times when it makes sense to do something different? Of course, when it’s the right thing to do exceptions can be made. When it comes to values they typically don’t change, you know when you’re going against your core values. If you change just to fit-in you may be lacking integrity in this area.
Does your self confidence and esteem change based on others opinions? Being comfortable with yourself, accepting who you are and keeping your integrity give you the confidence and courage to stay true to your values. If you let others opinions change your thinking about yourself you may be lacking personal integrity.
Do you keep your word? Can people trust you’re going to do what you say? I’m talking about even the small things . . . if you say you’re going to be somewhere at 9:00 are you there at 9:00 or a little after? Did you promise or even imply something and not deliver? When you say one thing and do another or do nothing at all, people lose confidence in you and question your integrity – it’s a trust issue. Start with the little things and make sure you’re keeping your word.
Integrity is tested in a crisis; pay attention and attend to these things now so you’ll be able to stay standing and maybe even lead others in tough times.
Next week’s blog will give you some ideas to build your integrity.