For most people that know me, my integrity is extremely important to me. I have always been a person that does my very best to keep my word to other people and my family. As a people pleaser, I want people to be be happy with me and whatever I am doing.
Several years ago I took a strength finder test and read the book Living Your Strengths by Albert Winseman, Donald Clifton and Curt Liesveld. If you have never taken a strength finder test, I highly recommend this book and test. It really opened my eyes to what my true God-given strengths are. It also explains why I function the way I do, especially when it comes to my integrity. See my top 2 strengths are 1) Achiever – I must feel like I achieved something every single day) and 2) Responsibility – I take emotional ownership for anything I commit to. You can see how these two strengths play into my integrity. What I didn’t realize is that while I was busy using these gifts for my work or my family, I was not using them for myself so I could be the BEST version of myself for them.
One of the first lessons I had to learn in this transformation journey was to keep my integrity to myself. In all my years of being a loyal, trustworthy employee, a wife and mother of three, I knew I had to keep my word to everyone that depended on me. I took a deep emotional ownership for anything that I was responsible for. Sometimes to an unhealthy level and it really never occurred to me that I was not having integrity with myself, until I started looking deeper.
Over the years (probably like a lot of working moms), I put my families needs and my work at the top of the priority list. I did not eat right or exercise, but made sure my kids had packed school lunches and got involved in activities or sports. I knew I wanted to end the cycle of obesity in my family, but thought it would start with them. What I didn’t realize is that with me not keeping my integrity to myself, it would be impossible for them to keep their integrity as well.
As I started with the Champ Within coaching program, this was one of the very first lessons: Keeping your Integrity. When I first heard that, I was like “well of course I am a person of integrity!”. But as I listened I could feel tears coming. I had not kept my integrity to myself at all. I thought of all the times I would start a “weight loss” program and just give up because it was too hard, too time consuming, excuse, excuse, excuse. I realized I had not kept my integrity to myself at all. Not really EVER! But how was I going to change? What was it going to take to make sure I was keeping my integrity to myself?
One of the hardest lessons for me was admitting when I didn’t keep my integrity. (People pleaser, remember?) I had to learn to admit to my coach, Bruce, when things fell off the wagon. And I still do. As the year has gone on I am getting much better in this area, but I still find it hard to admit at times when I have fallen. You just have to Confess, Reassess and Recommit.
One thing recently that has helped me is my “Power Promise Mirror”. I have made power promises to myself such as getting in at least 10 minutes of physical activity each day or drinking 100% of my water. I used chalkboard paint markers (these work better than dry erase markers) to keep up with them on my bathroom mirror. Every day it is right there for me to see. I can’t hide from it and it holds me accountable. Check mark for I did it. “X” for if I did not. This is from this past week and as you can see, I still have some promises I need to work on.
At the end of each week, I take a picture. This way I can keep track of my “Power Promises”, and about 95% of the time how my week went will show on the scale.
If you are struggling with working on keeping your integrity to yourself, start with small wins. If you can’t get in 10 minutes of activity, start with 5 minutes. If you can’t eat healthy 100% of the time, say you are going to start with one meal of the day. Maybe you have a hard time remembering to eat breakfast, brush your teeth, whatever. Start with a small thing that you know you can do. The feeling of accomplishment will help you to take on the bigger goals.
Next week I will be running in a 5k for our local school district. It is extremely exciting for me as it will be one year since I started my passion for running. I look forward to the race next Saturday and I can’t wait to share all about my experience next week.
Until then, keep working on your personal integrity. Make sure you are keeping the promises you have made to yourself. This will help you become the best version of yourself for you and everyone that depends on you.