Do you have it?
Do you know what it is?
How important is it?
What Does Integrity Mean?
Billy was wise beyond his years, but I thought I had him stumped, “What is integrity?” I asked him.
He looked down for a moment and then stared directly into my eyes.
“Integrity is when what you say, and what you do are in alignment.” He nodded, with a small amount of satisfaction and left me alone with my thoughts.
According to Wikipedia integrity is, “a concept of consistency of action, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes.
It comes from the Latin word, integer, meaning whole or complete.
Undivided, uncorrupted, intact.
“When you are ‘whole’ and consistent, there is only one you. You bring that same you wherever you are, regardless of the circumstance. You don’t leave parts of yourself behind. You don’t have a ‘work you,’ a ‘family you,’ and a ‘social you.’ You are YOU all the time.”
– So-Young Kang
Does Integrity Mean You Have a Backbone?
To me the most important aspect of integrity is honesty. There is no way that your actions and your words can be in alignment if you are not being honest. First you need to be honest with yourself. And then be true to what is honestly the best that is in you.
Clarity can not be overlooked. Essential to building your integrity through your honesty is being very clear about what you believe. What you love, what you dislike. Who you want to be. Who you don’t want to be. What you are willing to stand for when no one else is looking.
Another aspect that plays a huge role is consistency.
Promises can be made and broken easily. Someone who keeps their promises every now and then can not be said to have integrity.
Consistently, intentionally, and without deviation, regardless of the circumstances, cultivates integrity. It is a connection, made consciously by you, between doing the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time.
The Importance of Personal Integrity
You must first have the self-awareness to be able to identify what your core values are. This takes a certain degree of knowledge about yourself. You need to know where you stand, in order to walk the line. You need to care about things enough to pick a side.
Once you know what you stand for and what you believe in, it is time to apply your integrity.
By no uncertain terms, the quality of your character, the caliber of a person you are, is determined by this. By how well you live up to the values you have chosen to be important.
Enrique Fiallo put it best, when he said, “There are many things you can lack and still steer clear of danger. Integrity isn’t one of them. Establish a set of sound ethics and policies…and make clear that you will not tolerate any deviation from any of them. Then live by them.”
6 Attributes of a Person With Integrity
- Trustworthiness – Trust is valuable to these people. They earn it and work to keep it.
- Honesty – They know themselves so well and they do not hide it. Lying will not only remove them from their chosen path, but the cognitive dissonance that it creates is intolerable to them.
- Authenticity – By never needing to hide their true nature they are always their true selves. Undivided, uncorrupted, and whole.
- Humble/Respectful – They do not require praise. That is not why they do what they do. And they are always aware of the intentions and feelings of others.
- Accountable/Responsible – They mean what they say and say what they mean. If they say they will be there they will be there. If they say they will do something they can be counted on to do it.
- Consistent – Day in and day out they strive to live up to the expectations and values that they have given themselves. Unwavering and undaunted.
How Can You Cultivate Your Own Integrity?
The AscensionGlossary.com came up with a nice check list for those who wish to have more integrity. I put it here for you to take a look at.
- Identify the behavioral traits that need to be addressed and are required to change.
- Determine the underlying reasons why you have not behaved with greater personal integrity.
- Observe the obstacles and other people that are used as excuses to lie or violate your personal values or moral code.
- Commit to build authentic relationships through greater truthfulness, honesty and being open and direct.
- Compile a list of tasks and behaviors in which you dedicate to become more trustworthy and honest.
- Protect your basic human rights to be authentic and protect the
rights of others, by respecting the decisions and opinions of other
- When possible, be of service to others and live as an example for embodying truthfulness and integrity.
- Be willing to honestly self-assess progress on your commitment to personal integrity, making adjustments along the way.
- Look for the support of others who are inspiring examples of
personal integrity, and have similar goals and personal values to be
honest and trustworthy.
- Develop Accountability
for personal behaviors and actions, and if you make a mistake that
impacts others or you break a promise, be willing to admit it and
Hopefully you find that you are a person of great integrity. But none of us are perfect. I strive to do these things every day and sometimes I fall short. But I am consistent in my effort. And you can be too. If you wish to build up your own integrity now you have more information to do so. The path is a little clearer now I hope.