Success in love and life looks different for everyone.
I think we can agree that success is something that leaves us fulfilled, feeling good about ourselves and the people around us, and happy with our lives in general. Satisfied. Grateful.
For many of us (likely you, too if you’re reading this), having integrity is part of our personal formula for success.
In this post, however, I’m not discussing integrity like you know it.
And you know integrity well:
You’ll go to bat for someone else, you’ll stay true to your word, you’re reliable and dependent. Trustworthy and honest. Whole.
No one is 100% perfect and things come up, you might have to change plans or cancel on people sometimes, but you do your best.
You hate letting people down.
You’re doing a great job and I’ll be the first to say that if more people were reliable, honest and dependable, I believe the world would function a lot more smoothly.
There’s an aspect to integrity that I heard about recently on The Mind Your Business Podcast with James Wedmore and his guest Jim Fortin that we often forget about, or underestimate the importance of.
[Click here to listen to that episode, it was great!]
Jim describes this as self integrity.
You keep your word to others, what about to yourself?
You make promises to others and keep them, what about the promises you make with yourself?
That’s self integrity.
I’ll raise my hand and share the fact that even though I highly value integrity and consider myself someone who aspires to be as honest, reliable and dependable as possible, I haven’t always had as much INTERNAL integrity as external.
In other words, I’ve broken promises to myself (when I swore I wouldn’t to others).
I’ve put my work over my family when I’ve built an entire business around NOT doing so.
I’ve scheduled evening sessions after I said to myself I wouldn’t anymore, because for whatever reason there was an exception (the exception was me going back on my own word…those days are DEFINITELY over).
I’ve said I was going to wake up early consistently to get a head start on my day, and I haven’t quite yet gotten that 5am daily thing down yet.
I am not proud of any of the above.
The good news for me, my clients and my family is that I’ve gotten better with all of this (except for consistent 5am mornings for me and no one else), but listening to Jim discuss self-integrity was somewhat harrowing in that it forced me to look even more closely at this issue with my own stuff.
The concept of self integrity is completely relevant to the work I do with couples.
A lot of marriages die because people believe that compromise and not rocking the boat in love is the key to success.
If “not rocking the boat” means self abandonment or self-subjugation, that is a death sentence for your relationship, because you’re taking yourself out of the game, and your marriage can’t survive without you.
Retain (or aspire to) self-integrity in love, and you’ll be whole, not hollow.
Your partner will never be satisfied with a shell of a person, even if it will keep them quiet and maintain the peace temporarily.
And you’ll start dying inside too, until you can no longer take it.
Self integrity might mean disappointing others, but lying to yourself and therefore everyone else around you will hurt way worse in the long run.
If it feels selfish, that’s ok, this version of selfishness is critical in love, even if you’ve been taught implicitly or explicitly to bend over backwards for others and put yourself last.
Enjoy this nearly 4 year old poor quality video with me talking slowly like a therapist…explaining WHY selfishness is critical for your best relationship [click here].
It’s kind of ironic because I don’t feel like that’s FULLY me talking, not in my full self integrity, but I’m just getting warmed up online there, or maybe just nervous on the camera?? Who knows…but the message remains the same…
How can you have more self integrity?
How can you be a better partner to yourself?
And ask yourself…
How will that impact your relationship, your business and your life in general?
Let me know in the comments below.
And if you’ve got an embarrassing old YouTube video, leave me a link so I won’t feel so foolish 🙂
To our self integrity,
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