There is a saying that says you are truly who you are when no one is watching. It's easy to make lighthearted decisions without thinking about the consequences. Sometimes we want something in particular and within us we know that it is not correct or does not suit us because it will have consequences. Choosing the harder right over the easier wrong is a sign of integrity. Many of us have to make decisions that define who we are and what we believe in. Even the smallest action can have an impact on our self-respect, our integrity, and ultimately, our reputation. Acting with integrity gives you peace of mind in knowing you did the right thing regardless of the outcome.
When we speak of a person of integrity, we are referring to the value of living with rectitude, goodness and honesty. Living a life of integrity is important for several reasons. Your conduct reflects your character and builds your reputation. By committing to live your life with integrity, you provide an example for others to follow. People are going to open up with you because they trust you. Your relationships can prosper based on honesty. You are also responsible for your integrity. Choose your words and actions to be consistent with your values and beliefs.
Being honest. This means telling the truth, being open, not taking advantage of others.
Being respectful. This is showing respect to others and expecting respect in return. Respect comes in many different ways- respecting one's beliefs that may be different than yours; respecting boundaries; respecting property that is not yours, etc.
Being trustworthy. This goes closely along with honesty, because if you are honest and open, people will likely also trust you because you have shown that you are truthful and can be trusted.
Being responsible/taking responsibility for your actions. If you wrong someone, take responsibility for your actions and apologize.
Helping others. Be willing to lend a helping hand to others in need.
Combine all of these traits and you get someone who lives a life of integrity.
Integrity is living an honest life, knowing who you are, what you believe and living by those principles. In real life, integrity looks like knowing that drinking alcohol in high school is not a safe or positive option and choosing to not attend parties where there is a temptation or pressure to drink to fit in. Integrity is not based on creating rules for other people, but living by your own personal values and recognizing that not everyone else may agree. If we look at going to a party as an example, integrity does not mean that we judge others for choosing to party or drink alcohol but instead holds the belief that for ourselves personally it is not a healthy choice.
When we think about going to a party, there can be tremendous pressure to want to fit in and not look lame. When we think about what our goals are and what we want out of life, it helps us to see potential consequences of going to a party. If you’re an athlete and you get caught, you might be suspended or kicked off the team. If you get into a car with a drunk driver, you could potentially end up in a car accident and have injuries that could affect your whole life. By living with integrity, we can avoid some potentially devastating consequences and live a life that shows others that we hold ourselves to a higher standard and hopefully inspire others by our example.
Integrity is staying true to yourself. To be truthful you have to recognize what is your truth? What do you really care about in life? If you have certain values that are important to you, stick to them no matter what. Life will throw at you tests to see if you really are about it and those are the times you must prove yourself.
Sometimes it’s easy to be sneaky and get away from being who we say we are. Truth is, what is done in the dark will always come to the light.
For example, a person might say they are healthy and eat well. But the hot pockets, chocolate cake, and soda they hide in their refrigerator will reveal something else in their physique. Don’t be that person.