My harshest critic is always watching for the smallest chinks in my personal integrity. No, I couldn’t fool myself even if I tried. In fact, I know that how I perceive my personal integrity will color how I see every other facet of my life.
No matter how much some want to fool others, it won’t happen. Even when you can pull some of the charades off, you never fool yourself. In fact, when your words and actions don’t match up, you feel slippage within your integrity immediately. I see many signs that our self-confidence and our self-esteem begin to decline as our integrity erodes. When we sense that we are fraud or phony, we don’t want others looking very closely. We want to paint a happy face and hope others won’t pull back the curtain of our lives.
Don Miguel Ruiz’s 4 Agreements provide a great place for us to consider our personal integrity. For me, my personal integrity begins when I reflect on the first agreement, “Be impeccable with your word.”
When I am impeccable with my word and consistent throughout, my heart knows that I am a man of integrity. With my integrity at the highest level, my self-esteem and self-confidence operate at a high level. Sure, my confidence and self-esteem might improve, yet I know that my heart is consistent and my integrity shines brightly as my internal beacon in every situation.
As a Relationship Coach, I feel that I am the brand. By that, I feel a sense of obligation to those I am here for to be real, genuine, and transparent. It is important to live out the values and principles that I share with my coaching clients. I MUST be impeccable with my word and use that internal admonition as foundational to everything else. When I know that I am impeccable, my confidence is sufficient to put myself out there to help others. My self-esteem re-enforces that conviction that I am the good and faithful coach to help others in their situations.
Whether external opinions ever judge me, I feel a strong sense of internal conviction to live a life of integrity. I have some difficulty in providing a clear definition of integrity or how I see my own integrity. Still, I know some fundamental things that must be in place to know that confidence and high self-esteem that I seek to help others.
My own definition of integrity would include these core elements:
Choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy
Practicing my values and not just professing these values
I know I would be more popular many days and could find a much larger following to provide a message that is “Fast and Easy.” And the most popular message will always be “Fast, Easy and FUN!” I remain constantly perplexed that “Fast, Easy and FUN!” is an answer to many of life’s weightier issues, but there seems always to be a large market for this type of answer. I don’t trade in this market and offer wisdom and substance for people truly seeking lasting answers. I’d love to be a bit more popular, but not at the expense of my integrity!