When we experience harmony and balance in our lives, it’s most often because there’s a conscious alignment between what we think, feel, say and do. We are in integrity. Our life choices and decisions – be they at work, at home or in relationship – have a deeply-felt sense of being honest and sincere.
When we lack congruity between what we think, feel, say and do, often we experience an emotional or physiological sense of imbalance. We feel disconnected, out of equilibrium or “off.” How could we not? Think of an equilateral triangle standing on just one of its points – ungrounded.
The ground of our being, the foundation of who and how we are is built on the degree of honesty in our thoughts, feelings, speech and actions. This foundation can begin to deteriorate when integrity – the stuff of our foundation – contains too much water, or too little sand or unwanted impurities. The result is that we feel confused, unsure, powerless – like a fake or phony.
The way we honor our integrity is to first be clear and conscious of the values that matter most – our core values – those that reside in our heart. Secondly, we are in integrity when we live, not just espouse, these values at 9:00 Monday morning – holding them, speaking them and being them.
“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one’s self.” Phillip James Bailey
When what we think, feel, say or do lacks alignment or congruence, we are deceiving ourselves. We are a fraud. We spend much of our life telling ourselves, and others, “stories.” We rationalize, justify and argue in feeble attempts to be comfortable with our deception, our excuses, and our faux-self.
If you scan the various areas of your life – your personal life and relationships as well as your career – where are you in integrity and where are you out of integrity? Where are you forthright, above-board and honest and where are you dishonest, deceptive and cheating? Where are you trustworthy? Where are you taking the wrong path?
The Energy of Integrity
When we’re in integrity, we experience a positive energy. We feel a strength, courage, steadfastness, discipline, inspiration, intuitiveness, will and equilibrium that arise from deep within. We are able to ward off thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, premises and impulses that would otherwise knock us off our game, force us to take a “left turn.”
The way we stay in integrity is by being conscious and mindful, continually, throughout our day, asking, “What am I doing right here and right now…and why?” “How am I being right here and right now…any why?” This means consistently looking at my motives? Am I angry, afraid, fearful, resentful, jealous, overwhelmed, confused, resistant, etc.? Am I feeling connected with other? Am I being selfish? These questions lead to motives. Motives come from values. So, mindfulness presents an opportunity to explore what’s going on in this moment and why. This practice is a wonderful way to become more conscious of our fundamental motives and whether our motives truly serve us well and support our being in integrity.
Some questions for self-reflection:
- Are there choices and decisions you need to make right now that could take you out of integrity? How so?
- Do you use the same definition to define integrity for yourself as for others? If not, why not?
- Do you consistently walk your talk? Would others agree with you?
- Do your life choices and decisions support you to hold yourself in high regard?
- Do you feel integrity is a robe you can put on and take off when convenient?
- What stops you from acting in integrity? How so?
- When you’re not acting with integrity, what kind of self-talk do you engage in?
- Do your needs for control, recognition and security stop you from acting with integrity?
- Does it matter if you’re not acting with integrity?
- Do you ever excuse or justify acting without integrity? If so, when and why?
- What was your experience around honesty and integrity like when you were growing up?
(c) 2016, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful. Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.
What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”
I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship. I coach by phone, Skype and in person.
For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.