2. How often do you keep your word to friends and family?
3. How often do you show up on time for meetings or get-togethers?
4. Now, how often do you keep your word to yourself?
When I ask leaders these four questions, invariably I get a response to questions one, two and three. To question #4, 95% of the time I get a chuckle.
Why? Because when it comes to integrity, we tend to focus on what others can see but integrity, at a deeper level, is about one's ability to keep the promises that no one else knows about. You know the ones. Things like:
- I'm going to wake up and exercise at 5:30am tomorrow
- The integrity challenge: It's 5:15am. The alarm clock rings. You slowly open your eyes, close them and roll over thinking – tomorrow, I'll start tomorrow…. After all, you're the only one who knew you were going to exercise today so it's no big deal right?
- I'm going to work on that project for my boss that I've been putting off
- The integrity challenge: The day is passing you by while you do "stuff" all the while looking at the folder that contains "the thing" you don't really want to do. After all, it's not actually due for two more weeks. You just don't FEEL like it today even though you promised yourself you would work on it today…
What examples come to mind for you?
The challenge is this – with every private broken promise, we chip away at our core being. We chip away at the person we "want" to be and we begin to develop this sense of false-ness. It ultimately weakens our power because we know we are not being the person others may think we are.
If this resonates for you then try finding an accountability partner that is going to hold you to your intentions and your action plan. The trick is to find someone who isn't going to sell out on you and who will really hold you to your goals even when it's uncomfortable. In other words, if you make a decision to exercise today and your accountability partner phones you at 2pm only to find out that you slept in, you want someone who is going to say, "OK, so when will you exercise today?" instead of "Well ok. I know it must be hard to wake up at 5am so try again tomorrow." ESPECIALLY when it comes to goals that require new habits, we may need someone that is going to push us until the new habit kicks in.
There is power in keeping your word – not just to others but more importantly to yourself.
You were born to be great.
YES, you can!