Integrity. Have you ever been accused of being out of it? What does it actually mean to be out of integrity anyway? And, more importantly, what can you do to regain it?
In the following video, I answer these questions and share my own personal struggle with integrity.
But I must first warn you! I’m not an expert at being in integrity. In fact, for a great part of my life I’ve been out of integrity in many areas of my life – money, life purpose, relationships, and sexuality, to name a few.
The paradox about integrity is that, in order to learn about integrity, one must first learn about being out of integrity. As the old saying goes, “Every master was first a disaster.”
What I share about integrity really comes from experiencing the pain of being out of integrity, and what I continue to learn about integrity.
What does it mean to be in Integrity?
The word integrity – as well as the word integral – comes from the Latin integritas, meaning undivided, unified, or one with the whole. Thus, being in integrity is really the capacity to be in alignment with what you believe, your values, your word, or anything else that you stand for or believe in your heart is true.
In essence, when you are in integrity you are in alignment.
How can you tell when you’re out of Integrity?
When you’re out of alignment with what you know deep in your heart is true and real for you, you’ll experience this as a feeling or a sense of being disconnected from the whole.
And you can experience this in three basic areas: with yourself, others and the Universe (or God, Spirit, or simply ‘Natural Law’.)
Let’s look at what being out of integrity looks like and feels like for each:
Out of Integrity with yourself
You feel like something feels off or just isn’t right. There’s an inner sense that something is out of alignment, and you experience emotional discomfort, anger, or feelings of helplessness. This can lead to having trouble sleeping at night, or simply being able to fully concentrate or focus on what’s in front of you.
Out of Integrity with others
Your friends, family, or business partner will complain, confront you, or call you to being in integrity. You’ll feel disconnected from them, maybe even avoid them. And when you do connect, you avoid at all costs speaking about the event or situation that is causing the disturbance.
Out of Integrity with the Universe
You feel stuck, as if what you want in the external world is not happening at all, or it’s taking too long to accomplish. You feel disconnected from the natural rhythm of life.
4 Steps to Regain your Integrity
One of the most powerful awareness raising tools I use in my coaching is Nathaniel Branden‘s sentence completion exercises. The following 4 steps use a simplified version you can use to not only help you raise your own awareness about being in integrity in several areas of your life.
Step 1: Choose an Area you’d like to improve
Choose one area of your life – specific person, client, circumstance, or situation – where you might be out of integrity. Example, your primary relationship, a particular client, or simply your relationship with money
Step 2: Feel the pain of being out of integrity
Give yourself permission to feel the pain of being out of integrity. Simply, be willing to accept and embrace any feelings of emotional pain, anger, shame, or guilt that may arise when you think about the situation you are out of integrity with. Appreciate these feelings as a built-in mechanism to help you recognize the misalignment, and bring you back home to yourself.
Step 3: Boost your integrity by 5%
Complete the following sentence a minimum of 10 times, creating a list of items you would do if you were just 5% more in integrity. Let the answers flow naturally, don’t force them.
If I was 5% more aware of being in integrity with regards to _________,
the path I’ve chosen to follow
the kind of relationship I want to be in
what I told my partner I would do
the kind of lifestyle I want to create
what my heart is telling me to do
Then, I would …
Step 4: Take Action
Take Action! This is an action driven universe. Nothing, absolutely nothing will bring you in greater integrity with the Universe itself than taking powerful, inspired action. As the saying goes, “the Universe rewards action.”
The Truth Shall Set you Free
Ultimately, being in integrity is really about telling the truth. Telling yourself and others what is ultimately true about yourself as it regards to a particular situation, person or thing is what ultimately sets you free and allows you to come home to yourself. Once home, your job is to align your actions with your words so that…
What you think, feel, say and do are all in 100% alignment.
From this perspective, more than society’s pre-conditioned ideas of what is morally right or wrong, integrity is a way of being or showing up for yourself and others in this world.
And one tiny step you take today, can take you a long way towards becoming the kind of person you know in your heart you came here to be.
Photo by Derek Raugh