What is having integrity mean? Many would say being honest. To me, that is pretty much correct, not 100% but close enough for most people. Having integrity is being honest. Yet it isn’t only just telling the truth. We as people often can tell the truth and not be fully honest. The mental gymnastics we can pull are truly amazing so we feel like we are staying true to ourselves by deceiving ourselves. Excuses are one of the biggest examples of lying to ourselves and others.
We all know someone who doesn’t have a lick of integrity. They say one thing and you know they are not going to carry through. Then there is the other guy who is not what he says he is. Claims to be a hard worker but skates off and loafs more times than actually contributing to the crew, most of the time these people are not looked at in a favorable light. Often they are shunned and don’t stay at a place very long. They don’t fit with the crew because there is not trust with a man who has little to no integrity.
We also know guys who everybody trusts. When they say they are going to do something, they will do it. If you need an honest opinion on something, he will give it to you. Even if he prefaces it with the phrase, “You ain’t gonna like what I have to say…” He is a guy who is just true through and through. He says he is going to show up at a certain place at a certain time. Guess who will show up and everyone else knows he will.
Why is integrity important?
There are several reasons why having integrity is important to you and your integrity is important to those around you. The biggest is because you need to be true to the person who matters most, you. As mentioned before we have such a horrible habit of telling ourselves lies. Then wonder why we can’t do the difficult tasks at hand. That is because we are don’t trust ourselves. Your mind will just say yeah sure and not prepare for the mental shifts we have to make to achieve whatever goal we are setting. That is why we often fail, we as people often don’t believe our why and that is the reason behind so many failures. We are not true to who we are. We lack the integrity to make that big change in our life.
If we do have integrity with who we are when we say we are going to make $100,000 this year we will more likely achieve that goal. That is because we do believe our why and our brain is ready to make the needed perception shifts so we can achieve our goals. Will a person with integrity fail from time to time? Of course, he will fail as much if not more than other folks and that is because he is taking massive action to get things done. He knows he can do it. How does he know? A person with integrity said he was going to do it.
People around you are not blind. They can see when you have the integrity to do what is needed. That is why integrity with yourself is the most important. If you aren’t honest with yourself, you can’t be honest with other people, not 100% honest. When you live a life of integrity your actions and attitude speak volumes. Having that internal integrity is the foundation for any leader. IF you have problems with your kids not believing you check your integrity. Are you getting passed up for promotions? Again, check your integrity. Your self-respect and integrity are important.
People want to trust you. They want to take you at your work and know that you are a man of action. You can do that even if you now realize that you haven’t been true to yourself. You haven’t seen a project through to the end. Maybe it is time to change that. Do what you said you were going to do. Face the let down not of your kids but of yourself.
Integrity is not easy
Having integrity is not a walk in the park. Besides, for the difficulty of not lying to yourself, there are also the different choices you have to make. Many of the choice you are faced with are made not on a level of whether they are right or wrong but which one is the easier choice? I can tell you right now if you look at any choice and ask yourself which one is harder to do, that is the right choice to make. The path of integrity is a hard path. It may be something that is anxiety-ridden, or it is a physical hardship. 99% of the time the right choice to make is the most difficult.
Again, people know this, though they may not have ever articulated it. Yet they know and that is one reason they look up to people with integrity.
Value your integrity
Is integrity a part of your core values? Maybe you didn’t because you assumed it was a given, and that could very well be the case. If you are working on being a man of integrity then it may be a good idea to add this to your core values. Start making this as much of a part of your life as possible. Then changes are powerful though tough to attain. I realized about 12 years ago that I wasn’t living a life of integrity. I wasn’t who I wanted to be and I sure wasn’t where I wanted to be. That is what started me down the path of self-help. One of the biggest issues I had was that I wasn’t that honest. I tried to put up the front of being honest. Yet I was always secretive, I wasn’t open, many of my friends were of a lower caliber than what I wished for. I am still not, where I would like to be but I like myself and the improvements I have made.
I still have let myself down from time to time. I have violated a core value at times but I now see when I have lost my way a lot sooner than I did back at the beginning of my journey. Yet the value I place on my integrity is becoming greater and greater as the days go by so don’t discount the core value. It does grow and become a bigger part of you.
Your Character will shine through
Your character, which is best described as what you do when nobody is looking is a reflection of your core values and how much integrity you have. If you at first have questionable character traits then when you start working and developing your integrity your character starts to change. Now you are more than like go9ing to show up when you said you were going to do something as opposed to having people stating they will believe it when they see it. Many people who are always running late often have a character problem because they are not where they say they are going to be. If people have to adjust the time they want you to show up then maybe, you want to start making it a priority to be on time.
If you are left alone with, $100,000 just piled on a desk would you take a bill, or would you leave it? If you saw a person drop their wallet on the ground would, you return it or keep it? Could you be trusted to stay vigilant if the need be? Would you really be willing to work as hard as possible to get your business up and running? Hint, this one I am struggling with. I want to make excuses as to why I can’t. I keep letting my upper limit challenge win this fight. In other words, I keep getting in my own way.
Stay Honest to yourself and others
Honesty is another trait of a person with integrity is known for. As mentioned before, if you are going to be somewhere, are you there on time? Perhaps you are always 30 minutes late. Why is that? Are you a people pleaser? Always trying to do stuff for others only to find that you have overextended? Having integrity means you know when to say know your calendar is full and you will not be able to help a person out.
When you are honest with others, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be upset with your honesty but they will appreciate the fact that you were upfront with them. Because they know that the next time, you are able to help them, your focus will be on the task. So be honest with yourself and others. If you say, you are going to be somewhere be there. Have that difficult talk with the boss then have the talk. If you say, you will do something best if you do it.
Integrity is one of those traits that are a buzzword right now a lot like authentic. You hear people say they live a life with integrity or they are just being authentic to themselves and if you are like me, you wonder if they know the definition. It is similar to people who say “To tell you the truth”, it rings of being deceitful. Who are you really telling that you are authentic? Me, or are you trying to convince yourself? I know a few folks who that are their mantra to be real and authentic. While that is good, I believe actions speak louder than words. If you have integrity then people will notice your integrity and authentic selves.
Have a great day and in the comments below tell everyone how are you working to have integrity?