Integrity is a matter of considering the consequences of every action and of never being drawn mindlessly into anything. This implies a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes.
Dr. Robert Sherfield states in his book, The Everything Self-Esteem Book, (which is EXCELLENT by the way) that “Integrity is always possible. It is not easy, but it is very possible. There will always be people who lie, cheat, steal, use, abuse, and betray, but integrity is possible within yourself. Think back in history (and you won’t have to think too far) and examine the number of people who were at the height of their careers when they failed their integrity. From Richard Nixon to Enron’s Kenneth Lay, you can examine the multiple causes and reasons of integrity failure.”
Where does integrity lay within your system? When you talk about integrity is there an automatic behavioral gesture you make? I must admit there is an obvious one for me. I always place my hand over my heart when speaking of integrity – even in just using the word. For me the connection of integrity and heart somehow got established. Was that because of my parents influence, my life experiences or the profession I have chosen for my life? Maybe for all of those reasons. I do understand the importance of integrity as I move through my life. I have also seen the “cost” to those people who lack integrity and it is never a pretty sight. Once you lose your reputation it is one of the most difficult things to recover – not impossible, just difficult.
Amy Rees Anderson in an article she wrote included this statement, “Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to lose, so never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity.” Consider your behavior on a daily basis. Are you doing behaviors that support a solid integrity? If not, what needs to change? It is in your hands so work to “do the right thing”!
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” ― Oprah Winfrey