Acting with integrity
What does it mean to act with integrity? This question has been on my mind almost continually for the last few months.
Here’s the best definition I’ve come up with so far:
- Know thyself. Do the hard work to figure out what’s true for you. Especially seek out those things that perhaps you’ve avoided acknowledging or admitting even to yourself, for way too long. I know you know what they are.
- Articulate. Do the even harder work of expressing your truths to those around you. Examine them as much as you need in the privacy of your own mind, but don’t worry about trying to capture them perfectly—authenticity is what matters.
- Take ownership. No matter how difficult or painful the ramifications may be, make a deal with yourself to work through anything and everything that comes up as a result. There may be some tough pills to swallow, but swallow them you must. You can’t predict what will happen, nor control how others choose to react, but you owe it to yourself and those around you to resolve things in a way you can live with.
…and repeat. Change is constant. What’s true for you will change over time as you grow and evolve and explore. If you’re going to live with integrity though, this will require continual effort.
I can’t guarantee that this will be easy or pain free. In fact, the opposite will almost certainly be true. What I can guarantee though, is that you and everyone around you will benefit in the long run from your bravery, your authenticity, and the example you set.