I reckon we’d all like to think that we live life with integrity. It’s fundamental to trust isn’t it? And, without these two, our relationships might be hollow and shallow.

As a coach (whether working in people development or with horse riders), my integrity is part of my brand.

So, if you’re looking at this area with curiosity, here are five ways you can demonstrate your integrity.

Why would you do it?

There are many reasons to demonstrate integrity. Living life with integrity is linked to increased self-esteem, life satisfaction, mental health, emotional stability, resilience and professional success.

Living life according to your values drives behaviour according to internal factors. Because these are under your control, your life satisfaction will increase as you can see the differences you can make. Focusing on those intrinsic (important for their own sake not because of other value they might bring) recognises and allows you to demonstrate who you really are. You’re likely to be more empathetic too and feel more resilient as you have an internal ‘power’.

With integrity, you’re more likely to navigate relationships as people will trust you more. Even when disagreeing with others, it’s easier to have the debate when you’re clear about your values. This is in personal or professional relationships. Think of team leaders you’ve had or colleagues you’ve worked with who have demonstrated integrity; how much smoother was the relationship versus someone you didn’t quite trust.

Resilience is cited by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s (2000) introduction to positive psychology as one of the fundamental human strengths. Acting with integrity helps us develop resilience.

What would you see?

One of the easiest ways to think about this is to ask yourself what you’d see in someone else demonstrating integrity. What would they say? What would they do? How would they act? Here are the top five ways they would demonstrate integrity;

  • They would be practicing what they preach, being consistent in their behaviour. You’d see that their inner life matches their outside one.
  • They would be standing by their principles, even when it’s not popular or difficult.
  • They would take responsibility for their thoughts, words and deeds. You would see them being accountable and making an apology if needed.
  • They would have the same standards of behaviour for themselves as they would expect of others, whether friends, family or at work.
  • They would be dependable, delivering on commitments, including self reflection.

What comes next?

The best way to begin to develop and demonstrate integrity is to simply reflect on your behaviour. Because integrity is behaviour based (we’re not born with it), it means that you can always notice when you want to make a change. Even when things go wrong, acknowledging where you’d like to do things differently can be the start of building even more integrity. Making a difference to your own health and wellbeing as well as in the world you live in.

It’s acknowledged that continually acting with integrity isn’t always easy. And, there’s a simple test. It is belived that C S Lewis once said that integrity is doing the right thing if noone is looking?

What stories can you share of when you’ve seen (or seen someone else) demonstrate integrity, no matter how hard it was?

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one thing for wellbeing - for your horse