We hear the word integrity splashed about, but I often wonder if most people know what it means. To me it represents the relationship you have with yourself & that is reflected in all that you do. That is pretty interlinked with happiness too. So how do we live with both happiness in integrity in this thing we called life?
Life can be wonderful, exciting and full of happiness. Sometimes we can’t explain why we feel such joy, but we do. When we feel like this, life flows, it feels effortless and we often wonder why we don’t feel like this all of the time! This is how we should feel every single day, we are all capable of it.
Life however, can also be stressful, frustrating and full of struggle. Little things get on top of us, but sometimes we can’t explain why we feel this type of pain. It feels like a huge struggle and such a stark comparison to when everything seems to be going right.
The single biggest reason that creates either positive or negative feelings is whether we are living true to our values.
“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values” Ayn Rand
What are values?
A value signifies what is important to us in our life and they reflect our highest priorities. Think of them like your internal GPS; your navigation system everyday guiding you down a particular path.
Simply put, a value is simply a feeling or emotion you wish to experience. It’s a feeling that makes you feel alive with every cell of your body. It just feels right. There’s no overthinking, you’re more relaxed and feel more capable of trusting in your own decision. There’s no resistance, life is flowing beautifully as it should be. Life just is.
So what happens when we don’t consciously choose our values to be in alignment with who we WANT to be?
Not Living By Your Values
They are chosen for you based on your upbringing, friendships and your environment. If you base your values on what you think you should do, on the expectation of others, on what society deems appropriate, on the values of your parents or your friends then you’re forever living out of alignment with who you really are. This certainly doesn’t create happiness. And if you don’t truly know who you are, integrity is something that will constantly evade you as well.
Values are so prominent in my life now, but they weren’t always. I didn’t even really know what values were, it wasn’t something ever taught to me. The result of which meant I was living based on a value system that didn’t reflect who I really am, or wanted to be.
Running a network marketing business ignited the desire to discover more about myself. As a result I went through a huge shift in who I was. Everything about my life became about success, personal development and inspiring others. The reflection of this value system in my life meant I was always working, never actually relaxing; reading, growth or learning dominating my thoughts and conversations and in general how I could achieve success.
This is fine if this is what TRULY fulfils you on the inside, not just because of what it looks like on the outside.
One day at a life changing seminar, I discovered that these values were who I HAD been, not necessarily who I REALLY was, or wanted to be. The conscious decision to look at who you are and your true purpose on this Earth creates a shift in you at a core, cellular level. Looking into your values creates your own identity, integrity and alignment with what matters most to you.
This goes back to the big old distinction between what it means to live in your head & your heart.
The heart is a reflection of your inner world from feelings of pure love. Your true core values come from your heart, nowhere else. When I lived in pursuit of success, achievement and inspiration I was living in my head because I was surprising my true feelings deep down.
Success was nowhere to be seen when I looked at what values I wished to feel every day. The top and most important value I realised was LOVE, and that’s still true today. As I told myself that being successful was important to me, it dominated all of my actions, causing me to silence the little voice inside that was telling me it wanted love. It was one of the most powerful shifts I have ever been through and was the catalyst for the work I do now.
We live in a generation of social media, celebrities and reality ‘stars’ as well as a society with huge emphasis placed on what you do and the success you create. Not only is this a very fake, surface world, it creates huge confusion as to what is right for you.
This is pretty much saying it’s ok to place your worth on what you do, how much money you have, the type of car you drive, the number of businesses you own, your next promotion etc etc. of course these things have an importance in our life, but a life that prioritises the material things, creates huge disharmony with who we really are and what we have to offer the world. What would happen if these were all taken away? Then where will your self belief be?
When there’s elements of self doubt and disbelief in who you are and where you’re going in life, you’re not likely to achieve what you’re capable of achieving, are you? Living like this can often result in feelings that if you lose what you have, you lose who you are. This is deep rooted feelings that we must shift our perception of to live with integrity and happiness.
This is one of the most important characteristics that have to be in place for you to be successful. A big aspect of success to me is living true to your values and having integrity. It enable you to set your boundaries for what makes you happy, whilst still being able to give enough to others.
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” Brené Brown
Comfort zones kill dreams, courage nurtures them. Doing what’s right sets leaders and authentic people apart from followers and fakers. Practising our values defines who we will be and how we show up every day.
Living by your values creates strength and as you build confidence in who you are, you unleash a power within you. Living by your values makes every day fulfilled, happy and in pursuit of a purpose.
When you choose to do things based on how it FEELS and sits with you, rather than thinking of pleasing others or receiving approval, you empower yourself.
Reaping The Benefits
STRENGTH – You have the strength to say no to things without the worry of what others say.
COURAGE – You have the courage to follow your heart without giving into fears.
CONFIDENCE – You build up confidence in yourself because you’re now living according to what gives you your own sense of happiness.
RESPECT – You act with integrity in every situation and thus earning respect
ATTRACT – You attract people into your life who love you for who you are, not who you portray.
You begin to watch your life unfold in truly magical ways as every day has the potential to become an adventure. Stay true to your values so it leaves you more alive & energised. Re-ignite belief in yourself so you can reach your highest potential.
Even if you go off course, your internal GPS will guide you back on track. Raising your awareness to your own GPS system will help you back on track quicker. The length of the journey and what happens along any diversions is what creates a stronger and more aware sense of self.
Knowing what your core values are, their hierarchy and knowing how to live in alignment with them will keep your internal GPS on track. Getting lost & feeling stuck often ends up creating the clearer path to where you are supposed to be. Never forget that the times you lose your signal, the times you feel like you’re losing who you are and what you stand for, are the moments that define who you’re going to become.
“Who you’re becoming is more important than what you do, yet it is what you’re doing that is defining who you’re becoming.”
Click here for a list of values
Click here to delve further into your value system with me in an empowerment session.
Peace & love