Embraceable You: 5 ways to stay true to your integrity

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not. ~Oprah Winfrey

How do you define integrity? The word, itself, is defined in the dictionary as: honor or uprightness. The definition I personally prefer is completeness.

When you’re in alignment with your personal integrity you experience a sense of wholeness or completeness. And, who doesn’t want that?

Staying true to your integrity offers a sense of flow to your days. Life seems fully embraceable, and it’s easier to embrace yourself and be at ease with the woman you see in the mirror. When alignment is shifted from this core and central place, that’s when friction kicks in. Life moves from embraceable to abrasive. This abrasiveness can be felt in a myriad of ways, sometimes described as the following: a sense of overall discomfort, being out of balance or feeling unsure, operating more from the head than the heart, feeling scattered, out of sync, or disconnected.

Which begs the question: Do you feel somewhere outside of integrity — at friction with — the very essence of who you are? Has something or someone pulled you away from that sustainable place of being?

If so, may I suggest that you first go easy on yourself! You see, we all get pulled out of this space of integrity from time to time. Life will offer up bumps in the road, but through integrity you can go back to what sustains you — your values and your purpose.

Let’s begin with exploring these questions:

  • Are you saying yes to situations when you want to say no?
  • Are you feeling stressed and uptight because you’re trying to be someone you’re not, as you work to meet up to someone else’s expectations?
  • Are you moving your personal boundaries and accepting into your life what is not healthy and whole?
  • Are you being a people pleaser?

Answering these questions can lead to more discoveries as you further define how you may be living out of alignment with your integrity. And, the good news? You can get back to a process of alignment and this can begin right now!

Here are five tips to help you return to a more embraceable you, through staying true to your integrity and living that truth out loud!

  1. Start with setting your standards, as it is through standards that we maintain our integrity. Standards are those rules that you make for yourself that you choose to obey. These are not shoulds, they are musts. Taking ownership of your standards is key. They are yours and yours alone. The critical question here is: What standards do you need to put in place so that you can live from a state of completeness? Take some time over this holiday weekend and write down the standards that you want in your life. Then, show up with those standards everyday.
  2. Be flawless with your words. Another way of putting this is: do what you say you will do because you said that you would. Be impeccable in this way!
  3. Don’t take anything personally. Remember that nothing others say or do is because of you. It’s just not. Their opinions are outside of you, so don’t let those in. If you need to clean up your side of the street, then clean it up. This is all you have control over. Forgive and let go.
  4. Take the guess work out of your life. Don’t assume anything and don’t take anything for granted. Be grateful in all things.
  5. Always do your best. Your best may change from moment to moment, but everyday — in every way — give the best that you’ve got, in all that you do.

These simple steps will begin to transform your life and anchor you to your integrity. Review those standards that help you maintain your sense of integrity, and notice when any abrasive situations arise that are counter to your values and to your truth.

One important facet of my own life is turning to my faith during times that are abrasive, and during times that are embraceable. I want deep connection with my Creator through the good times, as well as the difficult times.

I make mistakes just like everyone else on the planet. And, sometimes I’m misunderstood. This happens when I fall outside of integrity — when I unknowingly allow friction to slip in. Just like you, I’m learning and growing along this journey called life. It’s nice that we’re in it together.

To embrace my truth means that I must live up to one essential standard that drives me forward above all others: faith is my guiding light. It’s the place where I renew all that I am, and the place where I reconnect to all that I can be. My faith is the wellspring from where I can hear the voice of integrity speaking to me as I ground myself in what is pure, good, and of God.

I have these three wishes for you. May you always:

  • see yourself as a woman of integrity and discover your embraceable you
  • live an embraceable life and not an abrasive one
  • celebrate your choices and soar above the clutter and the chatter of this world.

You see, from integrity we find the wings to fly.

Integrity is essential, my friends. It’s the blueprint for living a life of completeness.

Onward to that big and wonderful embrace!

Michelle Madrid-Branch is an author, speaker and global advocate for women and children. She is the host of The Greater Than Project, a web series exploring the greatness within women. She is also the author of Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart, The Tummy Mummy, and Mascara Moments: Embracing the Woman in the Mirror.

You can connect with Michelle on Twitter @LetHerBeGreater or on Facebook. To learn more about Michelle, please visit MichelleMadridBranch.com.