Owning Your Identity
Let’s start here:
Do what you say you’re going to do.
Seems simple enough … apparently it is not.
There are two facets to this aspect of integrity: the things we tell others and the things we tell ourselves. Both are important, but neither seem to be all that valued any more.
Once upon a time, not doing what you said you were going to do wasn’t something we shrugged off with an “oh well, I forgot” or dismissed completely with a half-hearted, “my bad”. At one time the failure to follow through on your word simply made you a liar.
There was no softening of the accusation and no excuse to dismiss you from responsibility. You were your action (spoiler alert … this hasn’t changed).
The lies we tell others damages the confidence others have in us.
The lies we tell ourselves damages the confidence we have in us.
Each one of those New Year’s resolutions we make and quit on, each attempt at dieting that we start with great intentions only to bail out on come the weekend, and each time we swear to ourselves that it’s the last time we allow someone to treat us like that … each one of those failures to follow through on our word to ourselves, is another blow to our personal integrity.
The lies to ourselves are just as damaging as the lies to others.
Why Should We Care?
Here’s the thing: you are what you DO.
You aren’t what you say. You aren’t what you say you are. You are what you DO.
You aren’t what you did. You aren’t what you say you’re going to do. You are what you DO.
Your ethos is in your actions, not your words.
That will not change, ever.
Your integrity is dependent on doing what you say you’re going to do. Other’s belief in you hinges on your willingness to do what you say. Your belief in yourself is being lifted or dampened with each of these seemingly innocent choices as well.
Recognizing that it is simply a choice is significant.
We are not victims of circumstance.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Our integrity is how well we are living to our values. I’m assuming most don’t have dishonesty as a core value. Intentionality is a must, but here are a few other ideas to help maintain our integrity as it pertains to following through on your word.
Doing what you say you’re going to do seems like a really simple ask. For those in your inner circle, I hope that’s the case. For all those you lead, I’m sure it’s not. It’s our responsibility to help them understand the significance of their follow through on their self-image and impact with others.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.