Integrity and Authentic Living
By: Anna King
“Integrity, always” is one of our ideals at Integrated Work. Integrity may express itself as a tugging at our heart, a small whisper in our head, or the calm or nervous feeling in our belly. It’s a compass for right action, and it can look different for each of us, since our values shape what integrity means for us as individuals. It spans all aspects of our lives—work and beyond. Ultimately, integrity is living in alignment with the truths we hold near and dear.
Integrity stems from knowing the values that drive and direct how we show up in the world: what we prioritize, the specific ways we work, and how we interact with others. While some of us go through the exercise of identifying our values and then assessing how our behaviors and choices measure up, it’s our gut, our heartstrings, and our thoughts that serve as a barometer for knowing when we hit or miss our integrity target, regardless of whether we’ve clearly identified our values.
To bring more awareness to the ways in which you are living in integrity and where you can grow, here are reflection questions you may wish to ask yourself:
- Notice the moments when you feel most centered and fulfilled, what factors contribute to your sense of well-being and alignment?
- Consider times when you may have taken action that felt forced, dishonest, or disconnected from what’s important to you, what do those instances suggest about what matters most?
- When have there been times when you did not take action and wished you had? How do those land for you? What might you do differently in the future?
- What are your most important priorities now, six-months from now, and in a year?
- What are some specific things can you say, think, or do—internally and with others—to feel centered and aligned as you make progress on your priorities?
- When, and to what do you need to say “no”? How might you communicate with others when this happens? What statements or assertions may be important in creating clarity about what you value?
Integrity can be defined as the state of being undivided; when your heart and your mind align with your actions. We walk the path of a life well–lived without regret when we know ourselves well enough to speak and act based on what gives us meaning. And when we can do so with clarity and kindness, we open the door for colleagues, friends, and loved ones to lean into their own integrity and purpose.