Webster’s dictionary defines integrity as the state of being complete or undivided. When we act out of integrity we’re operating from a deep and secure space within ourselves. This affords us enormous power to achieve our dreams and goals.

When our inner selves and outer selves are in concert with each other we are not easily thrown off course with what we say we want.

Consider the metaphor of an iceberg.  We can only see about 10 percent of it above the water.  That 10 percent is the part of us that tells our colleagues and business partners things like, “I want my business to thrive,” “I want to make more money and attract more customers and clients,” “I’m ready to step into being a highly respected business owner and leader in the community,” or “I want to manage my time differently.” 

The other 90 percent of the iceberg is hidden beneath the surface.  This is the part of us that believes things like, “I’m not that good at making money,” “I’ll never be able to make more money in this economy,” or “I’m not that good at leading and managing people,” and “We don’t have a great team (or great employees) -- and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

What really determines our level of success in business

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 with 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,” “the truth,” or “the way things are,”) we can determine whether or not we’ll successfully achieve our business goals. 

One way to access this content is to simply ask, “What are my unconscious beliefs about this situation that I’m not currently aware of?”

Many events 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 (the submerged portion of the iceberg). 

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 filled with puffs of smoke and a loud, intimidating voice -- only to discover eventually that the Wizard was but a timid, shell-of-a-man who was running the show behind a curtain.

Like the Wizard we declare in a booming voice, “I want such and such!”  And then we talk about it.  We tell our colleagues, employees or managers.  We may even envision it happening in vivid detail.  However, the question remains, who’s really running the show? 

It is our deep-seated beliefs that determine whether or not we’ll succeed

It is our deep-seated beliefs and intentions 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 below the surface 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 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 there’s something going on that I’m not admitting to myself.

A long time ago I received an email from a friend who brought up an incident that had occurred over a year prior when I told her I would give her ten dollars for gas money.  Time passed and I had forgotten 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!).  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.  I was excited to email my friend to let her know that I was 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 businesses.

Author's Bio: 

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur who would like to discover unique, cutting edge approaches for doubling your sales while making an extraordinary impact in your business? Check out Leslie’s website: http://www.ImpactAndProfits.com for free articles, resources and to sign up for her free video training series, “How to Double Your Sales By Leading Your Team to Create Outrageous Results in 3 Simple (And Unique) Steps!

Award-winning Small Business Coach and Teamwork expert, Leslie Cunningham is one of the leading experts in empowering small business owners to achieve outrageous results with their employee teams!