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Reflection | INTEGRITY

To be described as someone who has integrity has always been something to aspire to - we would all like to be known as someone who walks their talk, who can be trusted to do the right thing, and is consistent no matter the circumstances.

However, with social media and so many different audiences and crowds to present ourselves to, is true integrity really possible?

Some of us feel under pressure to only present the perfect version of ourselves. Others fear that they will lose friends or a job if they stand up for themselves or are open about their values. Some fear conflict; it is much easier to go along with the strongest voice than to fight to be heard. Perhaps for some it is social insecurity, thinking that if they change themselves so they can fit in, people will like them better that way.

We edit ourselves, stay silent, walk away. We give in.

Most dictionaries talk about integrity first as having a strong moral code that you stick to, but the second or third line down, you will see integrity defined as a state of being whole, complete, or undivided. This feels like true integrity - not always doing or saying the right thing, but to be all of ourselves, all of the time.

Is this really possible?

Yes, but it will take work and courage.

We need to get down to the core of who we are. The foundation of our integrity is our values. When we understand the things we believe underpin life, we can start to act with true integrity. Thinking about how we would want to be remembered or what we would do anything we could to fight for might shed some light on what is most important to us. For some, this will be a broad spectrum of things and for others, a couple of core principles.

Once we know what those values and beliefs are, then we know when we will be prepared to compromise and when it’s time to stand firm. We have a foundation for our decisions, how we behave, and how we express ourselves.

Then we can be fully present in any situation, understanding what is fundamental to who we are. This is integrity.

Integrity comes into play in everything we do. In fact, it’s more than everything we do, it’s everything we are.

Stephanie Staples

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