[New Year, New You] Day 19: The Power of Personal Integrity
The way our modern society is organized, it is very easy to believe that the most valuable skills are those that involve a high capacity for traditional learning and knowledge. The “thinking” professions of medicine, pharmaceuticals, law, accounting, etc., are the most consistently high paying professions. Many professionals in the arts (music, drawing, painting, etc.) have a reputation for being “starving artists.” There are only a small percentage of artists who achieve significant financial success, never mind make a comfortable living at it, compared to the number of lawyers, doctors and accountants who consistently pull in the big bucks for what they do.
“Thinking” is the state of being most highly rewarded socially and financially, and it’s pounded into us for at least 12 years of the standard education most children receive. But it is not the most rewarding state of being, nor the most influential for improving your overall health, happiness, confidence and prosperity in life.
In fact, it is the least important and should receive the smallest amount of your time and attention compared with other, far more life-altering, confidence-boosting states of being, like certainty, self-confidence, the ability to trust your own perceptions, observations, and the ability to make decisions and to trust the decisions you make. When it comes to being alive and feeling alive, trusting your gut and having the courage to stand by your convictions is more important than just about any other thing you do in life.
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others.
You need to accept yourself.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
What The Heck is “Personal Integrity” Anyway?
You could lose all your money, lose all your personal possessions, your income and friends and even your relationships, and if that happened, you would still be left with the primary foundation of your life–your relationship with yourself–your confidence, your certainty, your ability to stay true to your values, goals and beliefs. If you have that, nothing can hold you back from making life go right and from feeling alive, no matter where you are, no matter what you’re trying to achieve.
I understand “personal integrity” as having the courage to be YOU–to say what you honestly believe and observe to be true, even when you are afraid of punishment or rejection. It’s being willing to hold your own ideas, state your goals and personal views and “take up space” as you are for who you are. This website defines “personal integrity” as the quality of being honest with yourself and others, and living a life that is aligned with your moral principles.
Personal integrity is knowing what you know, trusting what you know and having the courage to stay true to those observations in spite of pressure to do otherwise. And any time you compromised your own personal integrity, you broke trust with yourself and began to doubt yourself and your decisions.
Self-confidence has everything to do with trusting yourself and trusting your decisions.