Integrity – something I value very much, expect of myself, and want in others I surround myself with and choose to work with.

So what is integrity, really? Dictionary.com says this:

noun

1.

adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2.

the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished:

to preserve the integrity of the empire.

MY Reiki master taught me a definition I prefer above all others: “Integrity, is doing what you say you’re going to do.” ~Dan Pure.  This takes the relativity out of the behavior.

IF integrity is as the dictionary defines it, then behaving with integrity is relative to one’s personal definition, moral and ethical principles, character, and honesty. Even honesty is relative to some. In this definition, the possibility of miscommunication between people is highly likely because each may have differing levels of integrity and the consequences of a miscommunication here can be disastrous. Simple example:

Someone tells you he or she will pick you up at 4:00 but failed to time manage himself or herself in some way and left you waiting for an hour. In that hour, you could have lost wages, options to do other things, or worse, could have missed an important meeting potentially changing the course of your life, all the while, the person who said “YES, I’ll pick you up at 4:00” has several “excuses” as to what prevented him or her from keeping to his or her already agreed upon promise or commitment whatever you want to call it, such as: I lost track of time, I ran out of gas in my car, someone kept me on the phone, I was in the middle of a big sale, etc. ALL of those actions amount to personal choices that overrode the previously agreed upon promise/commitment and to some, may feel justifiable. And therein lies the miscommunicated or uncommunicated meaning of the promise/commitment. For one person, the promise is only a promise unless something that person wants more presents itself and for the other person, a promise is absolute and n0t relative.  Now, I’m n0t talking about circumstances beyond one’s control, like a death in family, a trip to the ER, an earthquake, or the like.

IF on the other hand, we adopt my favorite and guiding definition of integrity; simply doing what you say you’re going to do, then it’s far more absolute, reliable, and “my word is golden”, with the only acceptable exception being circumstances truly and honestly beyond one’s control. With this behavior, one’s integrity is predictable and therefore on the rare occasion when circumstances truly are beyond control and prevents the promised/committed action, a reasonable person is understanding and there was no miscommunication in the promise/commitment. This in NO WAY prevents someone from making good business / personal decisions and change in plans. It will prevent one from taking the easy way out of a promise/commitment and hold one to a personal standard. There is much to be learned from honoring a promise/commitment when it turns out you wish you hadn’t taken it on. It means next time you have more information and clarity with which to choose what kinds of things you will take on; you can learn how much time is needed for things; you can learn how much of your own time you are willing to give; and you can learn to build a strong neuro-pathway of integrity of being the person who simply, consistently, and happily does what he or she says he or she will do. Confident people have little to no struggle with integrity because they simply make the best decision to accept or deny requests and simply process the results as feedback for next time. Their word is golden and if they learned they had to fulfill their word in a way they didn’t really fully realize, or want, they learn the most valuable of things about/for themselves, and learning is taken as favorable.

WHAT is your personal standard of integrity for yourself? Is your word golden or not? If your word is golden, then it doesn’t matter if you want to keep your word, changed your mind, something causes you some hardship, etc. You simply take the necessary actions to make sure you don’t run out of gas and forward think what has to happen for you to keep your word to act with integrity. What motivates these courageous actions/behaviors? The importance of your word overrides your possible lack of planning, lack of telling the caller “I’m sorry, I have to pick up someone at 4:00 so I’ll need to call you back so I can be there on time”, and your dislike of what you’ll now have to do to keep your word.

WHAT are some of the behavioral changes you can make to amp up your integrity, if it’s important to you?

  • You can move the needle and find greater balance on your metaprogram of self/other directedness and learn ways to become more selfless when it’s appropriate.
  • You can amp up your courage to say “NO”, when something stands between you and your integrity.
  • You can use the motivation direction metaprogram to work with what will work for you to motivate you to change and become a person of integrity, consistently. Is it more motivating to be a person of integrity or is it more motivating to not lose the respect of yourself and/or others when you fail to act with integrity? Working with what truly motivates you may reveal the strategy of how to make changes.
  • You can learn more self-discipline by finding the strategy in areas you are highly disciplined or if you have none of those areas, you can elicit the strategy of people who are highly disciplined and model it until it becomes your new behavior.
  • You can learn how to make well formed goals so you can decide in advance if you should make the promise/commitment in the first place so you can easily have the integrity you want to be respected for and meet your own standards and feel good about yourself.

ON the other side of the coin, you can learn to recognize when others don’t have these types of hardwiring in their character and avoid the miscommunication that’s likely to happen with these people. They won’t have the integrity you want in your interactions.  Plan for that – so if you really want to be picked up by 4:00, have your list of go-to people that have the brand of integrity you want to associate with and you have sensory based evidence of it. They are on time because their word is golden and it’s consistent.

SO, behaving with this brand of integrity is a win-win-win situation. THEY win because you did what you said you would do for them. YOU win because you strengthen your neuro-pathway of behaving with integrity and possibly learned new things about you and life in general, enabling more confidence. THE WORLD wins because things move forward and advance in harmony.

INTEGRITY. What’s your brand?

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