One of my biggest reasons in choosing to focus on the phrase “to be honest” in my business name and marketing is how important honesty and integrity are to me. I used to have this idea that honesty and integrity were these rigid things determined by someone else (aka my dad or the church). Someone else would determine if you were honest or if you had integrity.
Somewhere along the course of the past few years, I began to understand these words in a new and much more empowering way. Honesty and integrity aren’t just about not stealing, cheating and lying. They also aren’t about living by someone else’s definitions of what is right and wrong. To accept that definition is to sell these golden words far short of their real value.
To me, honesty is when your inner truth and outer words and action are aligned. Integrity is when your values and actions are aligned. For instance, honesty can be practiced when you decline an invitation and instead of saying you are busy, you say the truth – “I am feeling a bit down and need a night in. Thanks so much for thinking of me.” Integrity can look a lot of different ways depending on your values. If you value courage and connection, integrity can look like telling your most secret shame to a trusted friend who has earned the right to hear it.
The closer your inner life and outer behavior match, the more peaceful and joyful you will feel. It isn’t always easy, but I promise that you will thank yourself for the effort! Over the next week, I invite you to think about how you can incorporate honesty and integrity into your life.