Putting the “I” Back In Integrity

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

Men and women in business are astute when it comes to watching out for integrity. You want to know that everyone you deal with, hire, or promote is working from a space of integrity.

The word integrity conjures up images of politicians, business people and individuals in authority. It’s a blue ribbon that people feel a need to conquer.

How are you doing with your integrity? This isn’t the, ‘am I being honest?’ self check. This integrity is how you approach your work, your relationships, and your life. Do you let people walk all over you? Are you habitually saying yes when you mean no? How often do you hang up the phone feeling miserable because of how you let someone speak to you?

These are questions worth answering. Integrity isn’t only about truth and honesty. It’s about following your core values, establishing your beliefs, and measuring your behavior. Since integrity is closely linked to core values, why then do so few people actually live a way that exemplifies their core values? Two reasons; they either don’t know their core values or they have a hard time living them in all circumstances.

Your integrity shows by how you live your values AND how you allow others to connect to those values.

What does it really take to be a person of TRUE integrity?

  1. Possess a Fundamental Knowledge of Who You Are. You need to know what you believe in and possess an understanding of your capabilities. This happens when you are challenged and face overwhelming circumstances. It’s how you deal with these circumstances that defines your character and sets you apart from the rest. Be open to a new level of self awareness. Start identifying the character building situations that come along – then participate fully.

    Write out a personal vision statement that gives you clarity about your beliefs. This will give you insight to where your belief system originated and what may need to change.

  2. Be Responsible For Your Personality. You are accountable for the affect you have on people. Find Your Number One Strength. It may be an appreciation, a skill, a talent, a desire. Search until you find that ONE thing that gives you courage, reflection and peace.

    Once you discover that strength, answer these questions; How are you using it? What benefits are you getting with that strength? How can you make it stronger?

  3. Re-Design a Life That Aligns With Who You Really Are. Welcome the growing pains of this process. Learn from each step forward and every step backward. Know that the difficult times, where you feel the most resistance, are the opportunities for the biggest learnings and opportunities for growth. Commit to daring to think, feel and act outside the box. Remove the obstacles that have become too familiar, stopping you from reaching your potential.
  4. Identify where you are not being truthful in your life. Restore that truth. Your mission is not where you currently are, but where you want to be.

The real question you need to answer is this: what have your life experiences taught you about yourself, your values, your belief system and what you are really made of? Then make note of how you’ve gone on to live in sync with this deeper knowledge.

Living with integrity is living courageously, to first recognize, then, be who you are, while facing up to the challenges that life presents. Commit to increasing the pace and energy devoted to “integrity” exploration and expansion. Your integrity continues to increase as you evolve. Integrity is not static. As you grow, it upgrades.

Related Posts:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tyrell Mara June 27, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Thank you for your great post Karen! I love the way that you describe the process of self-awareness and truly understanding who we are.

Your discussion of finding the must opportunity for growth in some of the hardest times is a mindset I try to constantly live by. It is a powerful frame of mind that actually empowers us positively when we come up against obstacles and challenges.

I really enjoyed your post and look forward to reading more!
Cheers
Tyrell Mara
@TekeraInc

Reply

Karen Keller, Ph.D. June 27, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Thank you for the kind words! Integrity can be a touchy subject because so many people believe it to be something for someone else. Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments!

Karen

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: