Being honest and having strong moral principles takes conviction and confidence. Doing the right thing…even when no one is looking, means living in integrity. When integrity is a priority, it actually makes life simpler. Others can more easily trust you and you remove the need to second guess yourself and your intentions. You say what you mean and you mean what you say. There’s no hidden agenda or deceitful motivation behind your words, actions and behavior. Want to show up more powerfully, purposefully and with more integrity this coming year?
Here are a few tips I hope you find helpful:
- Work on your personal growth. Developing yourself is an effective way to strengthen your integrity. When you grow, you become more comfortable with yourself, more emotionally mature, and feel less need to be inauthentic.
- Be reliable. Be on time, avoid cancelling appointments, and do what you say you’re going to do. If you say that you’ll deliver your report by noon on Friday, ensure that it’s done on time. It’s easy to be reliable if you under-promise. Making promises you know you can keep prevents disappointing others while giving you an opportunity to overdeliver.
- Be honest with yourself. Before you do or say something, question why you’re doing it. What is your real motivation behind the action? Are you being self-serving at the expense of others, or are your motives honorable? Self-awareness is a primary component of integrity.
- Be gentle, but be honest. Do people believe that you’re an honest person? Do you “bend the truth,” exaggerate or minimize something to be more comfortable or to pretend you’re someone you’re not? When you are honest, are you sharing your views with kindness and compassion? It’s one thing to be honest and another to be purposefully hurtful with your words.
- Live by your values each day. If you’re unaware of your values, now would be a great time to figure them out and list them. Knowing your values makes it easier to make decisions. It also makes your behavior more predictable, which makes others more comfortable. Know your values and live them each day.
- Be willing to say no. When you say yes to things you don’t want to do, you’re not demonstrating integrity because you’re not being true to yourself. You don’t have to take part in every opportunity that’s presented to you. Valuing your time and well-being often means saying no. Be honest and say no when you mean it.
- Work on increasing your level of confidence. Confident people are more comfortable in their own skin. It’s when we’re uncomfortable that we risk making decisions that aren’t in our best interest in an attempt to minimize the discomfort. For example, are you calling in sick because you’re terrified to present that report at work? Are you not taking that call because you’re avoiding that awkward conversation? Increasing your confidence allows you to more easily do what you know is the right thing to do. The more uncomfortable you are each day, the more likely your integrity will be challenged. Confidence and self-esteem help us act with integrity.
- Stop doing the things you know you shouldn’t do. Are you stealing pens and post-it notes from work? Stealing napkins from the fast-food restaurant to stock your kitchen? Taking credit for something you didn’t do? Think about your behavior and adjust accordingly.
- Be willing to stand up for something. Most of us have values and opinions, but few are willing to even share them, never mind stand up for them. While others won’t always agree with your stance, they will respect you for having one and not compromising it when questioned. That doesn’t mean you’re unwilling to learn a new perspective, it means that peer pressure doesn’t persuade you to do something or go along with something you don’t agree with.
Living with integrity may seem to be a more challenging way to live on the surface, but it’s actually easier in the long run. You don’t have to remember what you said and who you said it to, you don’t have to question your values and beliefs, you don’t have to rebuild trust with someone because you did something intentionally hurtful. You simply have to keep your values a non-negotiable priority with everything you say and do.
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute