Adopting a lifestyle of integrity is a decision that affects all aspects of our life, from our personal choices to the way we handle ourselves in our professional life.
Unfortunately we live in a day and age, where integrity is a rarity and it is pretty common practice that people lie and cheat to get whatever it is that they want. Lack of integrity has a variety of causes like lack of confidence, fear of not being accepted, lack of communication skills, fear of being vulnerable, wanting to be in control, the way we were raised, etc.
We are all human and occasionally lie, however, if we know our values and live by them, we live a much better life and can actually sleep at night. So how can we improve our integrity? Here are our TOP 10 ways to help strengthen our integrity.
#1 Keep Your Promises
A promise is a decision you made by choosing to take on a responsibility. Following through with your promises means that you stay focused and fulfill your responsibility. The simple solution to keeping your promises is to be aware not to overextend yourself and don’t take on too many promises so that you can fulfill and maintain your obligations in a timely fashion. Keep in mind that you want to enjoy life before overcommitting to promises that take away from important moments you take for yourself and spend with family and friends.
#2 Be Honest
Living with integrity means that you are honest in the way you communicate and actually do what you say you are going to do. We all know that life is filled with challenges and when we communicate honestly about everything we have on our plate, others will better understand why something can or cannot happen in the time frame you promised. If you overcommit yourself in order to please others, you will risk the loss of integrity and your relationships will suffer. Be honest with yourself and know how much you can take on and promise.
#3 Consider the Habits and Skills Needed
Take a moment and think about the skills and habits you need to develop to strengthen your integrity. You may need to stop certain habits that you have right now and focus on others like improving your personal courage. Fear is one of the major players that holds us back from acting with integrity. Take inventory of your habits and skills and determine, which ones are supporting your integrity and which ones you have to eliminate because they are holding you back.
#4 Be Transparent
We all like to portray a perfect picture of ourselves to the world, but the truth is, we all have shortcomings in different areas of our lives. Admit to them. That doesn’t mean that you tell everybody about your struggles, but tell someone who can help you eliminating your flaws. Part of being honest with yourself means that you are also honest with others. No matter how much you fear that the other person will think less of you, living with integrity means that you aren’t pretending to be someone you are not. It means to be transparent about who you are and usually it makes people think more of you if you have the guts to admit to your shortcomings, which can be a highly transformative experience.
#5 Seek Wise Counsel
On you way to improving yourself and strengthening your integrity it is important to keep in mind that we all have our blind spots. Even if we have resolved to be completely honest with ourselves, at times we are just blind to some of our faults that others can easily see. Find people in your life who you trust and who know you well and aren’t afraid to tell you the truth and ask them for an honest feedback. It will help you to see what you have to work on in order to be fully living a life of integrity.
#6 Be Hard on Yourself
When you have decided to dramatically improve yourself and live a life of integrity, use your mind’s powerful subconscious system of motivation that always wants to move away from anything that causes us physical or emotional pain. Failing to keep your promise to live with integrity causes pain to others as well as yourself. Allow yourself to fully feel the pain, because this will program your subconscious mind to find a way to avoid that pain in the future, which strengthens your integrity.
#7 Apologize the Right Way
If you did fail to keep a promise, apologize the right way to the other person. ‘I am sorry, but…’ isn’t a true apology, because you are trying to make excuses, which nobody is really interested in. Simply and honestly give a real apology: ‘I am sorry.’ And keep in mind that you want to avoid promising the other person the world to make up for not keeping the first promise, because reality is that you will most likely not be able to keep that promise. Show the other person respect by being true to your word.
#8 Avoid People Who Lack Integrity
The people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your life. Don’t associate with people who lack integrity because over time, their thinking and behavior will rub off on you and be the downfall in your quest to strengthening your own integrity. And besides having a bad influence on you, others pay close attention to the people you surround yourself with and will inevitably judge your character by the character of your friends, so make sure to surround yourself with people who live with integrity and support you on your quest to strengthen your own.
#9 Strengthen Your Decision-Making Power
Your personal integrity is intimately liked to the power of your decisions and by power we mean the ability to keep the decision you made a priority and keep it in the forefront of your mind. Set reminders on your phone for things that are important to you and as soon as the reminder pops up on your phone, do what you need to do. Drop whatever else you were doing and as soon as the alarm goes off, do it right then and there.
#10 Keep Yourself Organized
Recognize that you are the master of your own universe and you can’t positively influence your life or the life of others, if you don’t take the time to be self-aware of yourself and your environment. Organize the clutter in your mind and in your environment and get rid of the things that take away from your focus and attention. Eliminate the emotions, feelings and things that keep you scattered and free up some space and energy and living with integrity will become a lot easier.
If you want to step up and become a person of integrity, someone others can trust and rely on and be accountable for your actions, start living in a way that you can be proud of and that positively affects the live of others. Keep in mind, integrity is more than just doing the right thing. It’s about building a character that can survive a crisis without getting compromised.
TAKE THE HIGH GROUND AND LIVE A LIFE OF INTEGRITY
Joschi & Monika