Personal Integrity... keeping the promises you make to yourself.
Updated: Nov 24, 2018
We are all seeking to have a better/kinder relationship with ourselves. The question is - how do we do that? I am finding that when I keep the promises I make to myself - my self-worth and confidence grows.
Alignment. I like this word... and not just because I'm a yogi! The cool and elegant way it sounds makes me feel assured. Like everything is in the right place. Simplicity and order. I imagine a map with neat lines ruled between via points, directing a course. As a dreamer needing direction and grounding, it feels comforting and good.
As I seek to cultivate my own self-worth and confidence, (and share my findings with you), this concept of Personal Integrity often pops up. I'm beginning to see why.
What is personal integrity? Essentially, it's walking your talk. Being honest with yourself and others. The alignment of intention with action.
Personal Integrity is consciously living in a way that reflects your values and principles. Doing what you say you will. Simple, but not always easy.
Personal integrity was something that had been missing in my life for a long time, along with authentic self-confidence. I can see now the connection is not coincidental. My talk was lovely - but I was a little erratic with walking it. "Let's catch up next week!" I would say when parting with a friend, knowing that was not going to happen. "I will do my taxes today." NOT. I think the worst one was delivering a great yoga class, showing up as my best calm self to my students, then coming home to lose my temper with my big and little man. That gap between what I was presenting outwardly and the reality of who I was being, left me feeling like a fraudster. In a word... icky.
Rereading Don Miguel Ruiz's "The Four Agreements - A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom" really helped me to simplify the plan, and stay on the path to developing my personal integrity. It's a short and beautiful book, full of ancient wisdom for the modern world. The four agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don't Take Anything Personally Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don't Make Assumptions Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.” ― Don Miguel Ruiz
My aim is to be so comfortable with who I am being, that there is no difference between the woman I am at home, and who I show up as out in the world. I want to be my best self everywhere, for everyone - including myself.
Working on building my personal integrity, being consistent with aligning my intentions and actions, gives me the sense that I am a person that can be trusted, and that feels very empowering. Especially as an introvert.
Walking my talk seems even more urgent now as Roman is getting older. There are little eyes and ears absorbing it all. I want to be proud of myself, and I want him to grow up with a mother who is strong, kind, honest and impeccable with her word. The more I learn about the various forms of motivation, the easier it becomes to identify and harness the different styles in my own life, and also to best support my clients to grow. "Empathetic motivation" can be an excellent way to move into action when you know you need to, but are struggling to find your own steam. As an act of service, if not for yourself - then others.
Tools for cultivating Personal Integrity
1) Be impeccable with your word
I really believe that witnessing ourselves keep the promises we make sets a strong foundation on which to build personal integrity and self-worth. We begin to trust and believe that we are capable and reliable. We see ourselves doing the work, following through, being consistent. We practice honesty, determination and grit.
It's funny - this blog post was born out of keeping a promise that I made to myself last week. To send out a weekly Friday email, to check in with my tribe, and to share anything worthy from the last seven days. As the deadline loomed, I knew I couldn't not deliver. Even with Man away in Tokyo, and this mama tired and just wanting to snuggle up with an episode of Poldark - I knew that keeping my word would make me feel good. And it does.
What's one small promise you can make and keep to yourself today/this week?
2) Practice healthy habits
I also find that cultivating good habits is a great way to build personal integrity and self-worth. They require you to be devoted and disciplined. Here are a few habits I'm working on right now:
Daily meditation and exercise.
Minimum 30 mins work time each day to build my coaching practice.
I'll do a separate post (or series) on the power of habits, because they are fundamental in creating a well and flourishing life. For now, I'd love to know...
What's one tiny habit you can start today that your future self will thank you for?
Signing off for tonight, Poldark is waiting... ;-)
ps - If you don't know Sarah Blondin yet... this is the moment to discover her... click here to listen to her gorgeous meditation "Remembering your worth."