Webster’s dictionary defines integrity as the state of being complete or undivided. When we act out of integrity, we’re acting from a deep and integrated place within ourselves, and from this place, we have enormous power to achieve our dreams and goals.
We’re not thrown off course by some unacknowledged place within us that is in conflict with what we say we want. Our inner selves and outer selves are in concert with each other.
Consider the metaphor of an iceberg. We are able to see about 10 percent of the iceberg above the water.
That 10 percent is the part of us that tells our friends and family things like, “I want to find a new career,” “I want my relationship to be different,” “I’m ready to turn my financial situation around and make more money,”
“I want to have more time for myself and to really make a difference in the world,” or “I want to manage my time differently.” And then there’s the other 90 percent of the iceberg that is hidden beneath the surface.
This is the part of us that believes things like, “My partner will never change,” “I’ll never find someone I can commit to,” “I’ll never be able to make more money in this economy,” or “I’ll never find my ideal career.” It’s the hidden underbelly of our higher intentions.
It’s one thing to claim that we want our particular situation to be different, but what determines whether or not we achieve success or act out of integrity is who we’re actually being in a particular situation – not what we’re saying about it. And who we’re being is often determined by that 90 percent of us that is just below the surface.
By tuning in to below-the-surface conversations that we’re having with ourselves about a particular situation (which reflect our unconscious beliefs and can often appear as “reality,” “truth,” or “the way things are,”) we can determine whether or not we’ll successfully achieve our goals.
One way of accessing this stuff below the surface is to simply ask yourself, “What are my unconscious beliefs about this situation that I’m not currently aware of?” … and then notice what comes up. It might be surprising, even uncomfortable to do this process.
Many events that occur in our lives unfold in a particular way because of our true intentions – or what we’re really up to at the fundamental level of who we’re being (that portion of the iceberg concealed under the water). This is incredibly hard for us to see in the moment because it often looks like everything is “out there happening to us.”
Remember in the movie The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Lion arrived at the Wizard’s house? They entered a palatial room that was filled with puffs of smoke and a loud, intimidating voice, only to discover later that the Wizard wasn’t the big booming voice, but a timid, shell-of-a-man who was running the show behind some curtain.
Like the Wizard, we declare in a booming voice, “I want such and such!” And then we talk about it. We tell our friends about it. We dream about it. But the question remains, who’s really running the show?
Our deeper intentions rest just below the surface
It is our deep-seated beliefs and intentions that rest just below the surface of our awareness that will determine whether or not we’re able to achieve what we claim we want. Many of us instantly jump into action because we think that action is what’s going to produce our desired results. However, action without integrity is futile.
We become the proverbial hamster in the cage, spinning our wheels, but not getting anywhere. We can talk the talk but if fear, doubt, and blame are operating just outside of our awareness we will continue to miss the mark.
When we’re not achieving what it is we say we want, we’re being given the opportunity to take a hard look at what’s really motivating us. This isn’t an easy task. Life presents us with countless smoke screens and distorted halls of mirrors that won’t accurately reflect what’s going on inside of us.
I’ve learned over time that my reactivity is often a sign that there’s something going on for me below the surface that I’m not admitting to myself. A while back I received an email from a friend who made a joke about an incident that occurred over a year ago when I told her I would give her ten dollars for gas money.
Time passed and I forgot about my promise. When I first read her email I instantly felt reactive and judgmental (she’s still stuck on those ten dollars—get over it!). Because I felt defensive I didn’t stop to consider for a moment that perhaps my friend really was just joking. My mind quickly raced to think of all the clever, subtle ways I could respond.
However, I had to take an honest look at what was fueling my reactivity, what did I have going on behind the curtain that I wasn’t acknowledging to myself? And in an instant I got it. I realized that I was feeling reactive because of ME – not her.
I was reacting to all the times I had loaned money to other friends who had promised to pay me back and never did. It didn’t matter if it was a small sum of money, I was reminded every time I saw them that they hadn’t followed through on their promise.
Within seconds I understood that my reactivity was actually my internal resistance to acknowledging a disowned part of myself – it had nothing to do with her. When I saw what was really operating for me, my resentment vanished in an instant. I was excited to email my friend to let her know that I would be happy to pay her back.
By viewing our judgments, beliefs and reactivity as an opportunity to get clear about what is really running the show in our lives, we can begin to look deeper within and act out of a place of integrity and wholeness.
Integrity is the golden ticket to personal transformation and achieving what it is that we truly want in our lives.
Leslie Cunningham specializes in working with women entrepreneurs who experience fear and self-doubt in their ability to consistently make more money in their business. The end result that women achieve through following Leslie's advice and expertise is that they are able to permanently get off the emotional financial roller coaster ride and break into six-figures and beyond. http://impactandprofits.com/