Being honest and having strong moral principles isn’t easy. However, life is easier when you live with integrity. Others can trust you, and that trust is useful, even if it isn’t easily earned. Acting with integrity is harder in the short-term, but invaluable down the road. Life steadily gets easier when you act with integrity.
Live life with honesty and integrity:
1. Work on your personal growth. Developing yourself is an effective way to strengthen your integrity. When you grow as a person, you become more comfortable with yourself and feel less need to be inauthentic.
2. Be reliable. Be on time, avoid cancelling appointments, and do what you say you’re going to do. If you say that you’ll deliver your report by noon on Friday, ensure that it’s done on time. It’s easy to be reliable if you under-promise. Make promises you know you can keep and you’ll never disappoint anyone.
3. Be honest with yourself. Before you do or say something, question why you’re doing it. What is your real purpose? Are you being self-serving at the expense of others, or are your motives more honorable? Self-awareness is a primary component of integrity.
4. Be gentle, but be honest. Do you people believe that you’re an honest person? Do you lie to be comfortable or to pretend that you’re something you’re not? However, honesty isn’t a license to tell a coworker that she’s fat or that her husband looks like a troll.
5. Live by your values each day. If you’re unaware of your values, now would be a great time to figure them out and list them. Knowing your values makes it easier to make decisions. It also makes your behavior more predictable, which makes others more comfortable. Know your values and live them each day.
6. Be willing to say no. When you say yes to things you don’t want to do, you’re not demonstrating integrity. You don’t have to take part in every opportunity that’s presented to you. Valuing your time is smart. Be honest and say no when you mean it.
7. Be more confident. Confident people are comfortable. Comfortable people are better able to act with integrity. A lack of integrity is often a response to discomfort. You’re not comfortable meeting your new girlfriend’s parents, so you fake an alternate appointment. You lack the confidence to give a speech at work, so you stay home “sick.”
* The more uncomfortable you are each day, the more likely your integrity will be challenged. Confidence and self-esteem are the answer. Work on both each day.
8. Stop doing the things you know you shouldn’t do. Are you stealing pens and post-it notes from work? Stealing your neighbor’s Sunday paper? Not putting a quarter in the kitty at work when you pour yourself a cup of coffee? Stealing napkins from the fast-food restaurant to stock your kitchen? Think about your behavior and adjust accordingly.
9. Be willing to stand up for something. Most of us have values and opinions, but few are willing to even share them, never mind stand up for them. While others won’t always agree with your stances, they will respect you for having them.
Live your life with integrity. It appears to be a more challenging way to live on the surface. But living with integrity is easier in the long run. You’ll be more respected and experience more success.