It has come to my attention recently that I am perhaps suffering from “an integrity outage”. Though the terminology makes me smile, the idea makes me sad.
This isn’t coming from anyone confronting me…at least not directly. It’s coming from some reading and listening I’ve done lately (Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time, by Susan Scott).
Even posting on this blog was a struggle. Funny how easy it is to try to sugar-coat life and keep up appearances. This blog is a good example. I’ve started multiple blogs in different places to tailor my writing to a topic or audience, but honestly, this is my life. The name of this blog was ultimately chosen because it was to be my personal take on life. And I am ready to start to pull all the pieces back together and just be me. And write.
This is what started this train of thought:
“However, if you feel a creeping, deadening depression, a malaise, as if you are merely drifting, bumping into the bank in a rudderless boat, held in the current of the particular river you are in, if you are tired and listless much of the time, if you sense something’s off . . . then do an integrity scan. Ask yourself, “What values do I stand for, and are there gaps between these values and how I actually behave?” In fact, if you are depressed, it may be because you have repressed some important truths from yourself. Truths about yourself. Integrity requires alignment of our values—the core beliefs and behaviors that we have claimed as important to us—and our actions. So if, for example, you say that you value time with your family members yet haven’t spent much time with them lately, you are, by your own definition, out of integrity. If you have taken the stand that fidelity in a marriage is essential, and you’re cheating on your spouse, you’re out of integrity. If you tell yourself that honesty is important, yet you frequently bend the truth in an attempt to stay out of trouble or get what you want, you are out of integrity.”
– Scott, Susan (2004-01-06). Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time (pp. 52-53). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.
I’ve been thinking about this for a little bit now. What are my core values?
- Openness – Listening before speaking, allowing dissonance to exist until it’s resolved, rather than denying/blocking/refusing (truthful intake)
- Speaking truth, and acting truth in love – Honesty (truthful output)
- Self-responsibility and self-discipline (e.g., owning my own %^*&)
I want to be up front with my outages lately. I’ve done a lot more talking than listening. I’ve done a lot of eating when not hungry. Overall pretty freakin’ selfish. I’m going to attend to that. In fact I’ve started already. How about you? Are there any places where your core values and your actions do not coincide?
Some music to go along with the theme: