Integrity, What Does it Really Mean?

Integrity, What Does it Really Mean?

What does ‘integrity’ mean to you?

A common definition I hear used is:

Integrity is doing what you say you’re going to do.

While I love the simplicity of this definition, I think in practical terms integrity stands for something so much greater and more personal. 

Let’s dive into integrity as a fundamental component of self-confidence, and explore how it works in everyday life with constantly changing circumstances.

Firstly, integrity is for your own self-confidence. 

Actually, your self-confidence depends on it.

With every conversation you have in your head where you tell yourself that you are going to do something, one of two things will happen:   

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You do what you said you would do.  This creates self trust.

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You don’t do what you said you would do.  This creates self distrust.

Over time, the amount we believe ourselves, or believe in ourselves, is the product of building self trust and distrust through what we say and what we do.  The amount we trust ourselves underpins our self-confidence.  As self trust increases, so does self-confidence.  As self trust decreases (due to self distrust), so does self confidence.

Let’s look at some common examples of promises you might make to yourself:

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Exercise

You say to yourself, “I want to get back into shape so tomorrow, I’ll go for a run.”  And the next day, you either go for your run (building self trust) or you don’t go for a run (building self distrust).  

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Career

You say to yourself, “I’m unhappy at work, so I’ll start applying for other jobs as soon as I get home.”  You arrive home and either start applying for other jobs (building trust), or you spend time doing something else (building distrust). 

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Relationships

You say to yourself, “I’m going to ask him(or her) out on a date next time I see him (or her).”  And the next time you see them, you either ask them out (building self trust) or chicken out (building self distrust). 

The exciting part of this, is that we have a way of building self trust and self-confidence.

The more you keep the promises you make to yourself, the more self trust and self-confidence you build.  It’s that simple! And the more you believe in yourself, the more you’ll be able to achieve. 

Here’s an exercise to try:

Write a list of 3 things you would like to accomplish in your day. Keep it simple and choose actions that are important but easy.  Writing them down is crucial for self accountability.  Tick them off at the end of the day, and see how it feels to build self trust.

Secondly, the definition of integrity above doesn’t take into account a conscious change of choice.

We live in a fluid environment and we are constantly absorbing new information so changing your mind will happen.

How do you know you are making a conscious decision to change your action as oppose to getting distracted or off track? Let’s take a closer look:

 You have an intention to complete something today, and have received new information that means your action is either irrelevant or there’s a better option available to you.  Do your research and make your decision knowing all the relevant information.

Are there downsides to this new action? Are there new obstacles to deal with? What’s the additional advantage to it? 

Does all of this outweigh your original course of action? 

If the answer is yes, change your action and associated timeframes for completion.

There is  a way to stay in integrity when you change your mind.  You need to consider two things – effective communication and restoring trust.

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Effective Communication

Get in to contact with anyone that will be affected by your change of mind.  Who is expecting something different from you or counting on your intial course of action? Communicate with them about why your action has changed and what they can expect instead.  Be clear with new expectations and timeframes. 

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Restoring Trust

Ask your affected network if they have any concerns about your change of action.  Are there other downfalls that you did not know about or expect.  Does your change of action impact them positively or negatively?  Work with them to resolve any resulting issues to restore trust.

In summary, integrity is fundamental in being able to trust yourself and those around you.  By bringing integrity back inside your head first, you can notice where you are letting yourself down and how often.  From here, you can work to restore your self trust and build self confidence.  And knowing that your world is constantly changing, it’s possible to make conscious decisions to change your plan and stay in integrity through effective communication and restoring others’ trust in you. 

Benefits of Personal Leadership Coaching

Benefits of Personal Leadership Coaching

What are the benefits of personal leadership coaching?

Personal leadership coaching works at a deep level on the client’s way of being.  Creating shifts at this level, changes the client’s approach and perspective to all situations, so the benefits are immense and long lasting.  The International Coaching Federation states improved self confidence, improved relationships, elevated communication skills, and improved work life balance as the most commonly experienced benefits by clients.  The work I’ve done with my clients has most often resulted in:

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Finding Choice

By creating self awareness, clients can choose who they want to be in any situation, rather than reacting automatically.  This choice opens up possibilities for the client and empowers them.

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Confidence & Motivation

By overcoming obstacles, making small shifts daily, and creating positive habits, my clients transform their lives.  They believe in their own abilities and continue to create the life they want.

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Leadership Development

Building self integrity, self awareness, and accountability means that my clients are able to continue building their ideal life for years to come.  Developing personal leadership is also key to being able to lead others powerfully.

How do personal leadership coaching sessions work?

Personal leadership coaching sessions create a space for the client to choose the agenda, set the pace, and explore how you want to transform the client’s way of being.  The client drives the content of the session, while the coach is there to hold the process of working through the issue.  The coach’s role is to ask questions, share observations, and challenge assumptions.  

Who benefits from personal leadership coaching?

Personal leadership coaching may be for you, if you are ready to explore yourself in depth – your core beliefs, your motivators, and what really drives you.  Personal development coaching is great for clients looking to better understand how they show up in life, work and relationships.  My personal development coaching clients approach me with the following comments and concerns:

Recurring Obstacles

“I am trying to achieve the next step in my career, and I keep getting overlooked by my manager.  I need to better understand who I am being at work and what I am missing.  How can I develop myself to be ready for the progress I want for my career?”

Communication & relationships

“I am not communicating clearly in my personal / professional relationships.  This creates extra work and tension.  I feel like I do not get my point across and others don’t understand my perspective.  How can I communicate more effectively?”

Lacking confidence

“I don’t feel confident and second guess my decisions.  I know I have a lot to contribute, but in the moment I feel like what I have to say is not valuable or might be wrong.  I am holding myself back.  How do I build confidence and learn to speak up?”

Leading a team

“I don’t feel like I am effectively leading my team.  They don’t seem to listen to me or respect my decisions.  Sometime they do not complete the tasks I give them.  How can I change this and become a better manager/ leader for others?”

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One Word to Eradicate From Your Vocabulary

One Word to Eradicate From Your Vocabulary

Language is a powerful tool, in fact, as humans it’s our most powerful tool. 

Language is the foundation on which we build partnerships, families, communities, and countries.  In my coaching sessions I pay a lot of attention to the language of my clients.  It often gives hints about how they perceived their current situation, and what is stopping them from moving forward. Through language, I can ask about assumptions, limitations, and perceived obstacles or simply for more clarity. 

the ‘should’ word

There is one word that jumps out to me in coaching sessions as well as everyday conversations that is never helpful – the word ‘should’.  For example:

I should be making more money

I should eat healthy.

I should attend the event.

When I hear the word ‘should’, I wonder what is really going on for my client?  

‘Should’ implies that there is a right and a wrong action according to someone, or some higher authority, or some ethical guidelines?!  It implies that they are taking an action while resisting some part of it. 

Where is the client’s choice in the matter? 

If you hear yourself using the word ‘should’, ask yourself these questions:

I should ______.  According to who?

Why do I feel like I have to do ____ rather than I’m choosing to do _____?

Does doing this action serve me? How?

Are there drawbacks to taking this action?

Do I still want to do _____?

Uncover the real meaning behind your ‘should’.  Perhaps you are trying to satisfy the needs or expectations of others?  Or you don’t feel like doing the action, and know it will benefit you in the long run?  Is there a way to choose your action powerfully and let go of your resistance?

If the action is aligned to your values, morals, core beliefs, or goals – choose it powerfully and take responsbility!  Change your ‘should’ word to ‘will’ or ‘want to’ or ‘choose to’.

Obstacles – Real or Perceived?

Obstacles – Real or Perceived?

How is this year going for you so far?

Has the sense of renewed energy and purpose faded away since January or are you still full steam ahead towards your 2018 goals?

This article is for those of you that have slowed down, become stuck or didn’t really get going in the first place. We’re going to look at what is getting in the way, and how to move past it.

Are the obstacles getting in your way real or perceived?

There are 2 types of obstacles that stop us from living the life we want to live – real obstacles and perceived obstacles.  Both of these are as effective as each other in halting our progress, and each type needs a different action to overcome it. In fact, they often are disguised as the similar issues.  

Here are some obstacles that can be both perceived and real:

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I don’t have enough time

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It’s not the right time

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I don’t know how to take action

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I am not able to take action

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I don’t have the energy

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I don’t have enough money

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I am comfortable where I am

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I’m afraid of making a change

So how can you tell the difference?

So, how can you tell which obstacles are real and which are perceived?

Look for proof! Ask yourself these questions to see if your obstacles have substance to them.

Can you see the constraint physically?

Would it also be a constraint for anyone else?

Is the constraint linked to timing? 

Does the constraint apply 100% of the time?

If you answered no to the above questions, it is possible that you are being held back by a perceived constraint.  If you answered yes to some or all the questions, you may be dealing with a real constraint.  Let’s look at each of these in more detail and go through possible actions to overcoming them.

    Perceived Obstacles

    These gems are the obstacles that we create in our heads.  They are mental blocks made up by our brains, and they often linked to our core beliefs.  These can seem like ‘real’ reasons to not move forward, and are often just as difficult to shift as real obstacles.  Here are some examples of perceived obstacles. Click on the perceived obstacle to see the associated mindset, underlying issues, and core beliefs.

    Perceived Obstacle: I don’t have the time to take actions towards my goal.

    Linked Mindsets:  There is not enough time for me to do all the things I want to do.  I am too busy to make time for this.  My goal is not that important.

    Underlying issues:  You have not fully committed to your goal by prioritising it over other focuses.  You have not protected time to take action, by saying no to other committments.  

    Associated Core Beliefs:  You do not believe your goal is important. You do not trust your decisions or ability to be successful.  You don’t believe others will accept/love you if you say no to other committments.

    Perceived Obstacle: I don’t have the money to pursue my goal.

    Linked Mindsets:  I don’t have enough money to do the things I want to do.  I’m always broke.   My goal is not that important.

    Underlying issues:  You have not prioritised your goal over other focuses that also require money.  You have not planned how to fund your goal and how long that will take.  You are not saying no to other committments in order to save money for your goal.  

    Associated Core Beliefs:  You do not believe this goal is important. You do not believe in yourself.  You don’t believe you have the ability to make more money that you are currently.  You don’t believe you deserve to succeed in your goal.

    Perceived Obstacle: I cannot try to succeed in my goal, because I am afraid to fail.

    Linked Mindsets:  If I fail, I’ll lose too much time/ money/ hope.  If I don’t succeed, others will see me as a failure.

    Underlying issues:  You are focusing on possible negative outcomes rather than the potential gains.  You are letting fear become a reason to not take action.  You would rather stay safe and comfortable than risk discomfort.  You tell yourself that your current situation isn’t that bad.

    Associated Core Beliefs:  You do not believe your goal is important. You don’t trust your decisions or ability to be successful.  You do not trust that you will gain from the experience of pursuing a goal, whether you succeed or not.  You do not trust that others will accept you if you fail.

    Perceived Obstacle: I don’t believe things will turn out well.  I am unlucky.

    Linked Mindsets:  I don’t believe I can accomplish my goal.  I don’t think others support my goal.

    Underlying issues:  You don’t believe in your own abilities to succeed at your goal.  You believe the universe does not often work in your favour.  You don’t trust others to help you with your goal.

    Associated Core Beliefs:  The world is unsafe.  Other people are not to be trusted.  You are not good enough to be successful.

    Steps to Overcome Perceived Obstacles

    Step 1: BS Goals Meter

    Rate your goal in terms of importance (1 = what goal?; 5 = kinda important; 10 = crucial) and your level of commitment (1 = not committed; 5 = it would be nice to complete it; 10 = I will achieve my goal).  If you rated yourself as 5 or below on either scale, you need to throw this goal in the bin.  Sometimes we set goals because we think they sound cool or we are inspired by them for five minutes.  I call these BS goals.  It’s helpful to re-evaluate your goals often, and throw your BS goals in the bin so you have more time and energy for goals that you are passionate about. If you rated yourself  above 5 on both scales, proceed to step 2. 

    Step 2: Underlying Concerns

    The key to overcoming a perceived obstacle is to identify it as such, and examine your underlying concerns and associated core beliefs.  Once you are aware of and understand the obstacle, it holds less power  and opens you to more possobility.

    Step 3: Opening Up Possibility

    Now that you understand where your perceived obstacle is coming from, you have a choice.  You can either let this obstacle continue to block your progress, or you can choose to change it.  Start with shifting the core belief, what can you replace it with?  And with your new core belief, what new actions are possible?  What are new ways you can approach your goal and overcome your obstacle?

    Step 4: Take Action

    Choose your action and get started straight away.  Overcoming your obstacle will be easiest to sooner you start behaving differently.  Use this momentum to continue towards your goal.

    Real Obstacles

    In the process of pursuing goals, you will encounter real obstacles that are tangible, measurable, and partially or entirely out of your control.  These roadblocks are encountered by others in the same way as you. Let’s look at some examples of real obstacles:

    The resources required to complete my goal are much greater than I originally planned for.  Resources required could include time, money, information or energy.  My proof is that I have run out of time / money/ energy before my goal is complete.

    I do not know the right people to help me be successful or support my goal.  I need to start with building my network and reaching out to others that can make this goal obtainable.  My proof is that I do not know what step to take next or I do not have access to the information or expertise I need to achieve my goal.

    I know what I would like to achieve, but I don’t have the skills to be able to do it.  I need training / a mentor / practice before I can begin to progress towards my goal.  My proof is that I make time for my goal and know what step to take but do not know how to complete the step well.

    I know what I would like to achieve, but I keep going about it ineffectively.  Sometimes this can be due to not understanding prerequisites, the order of steps to be taken, or how the logistics all fit together.  And often, we do not know this until we begin to take action towards a goal.  My proof is that I have had to repeat steps and back track numerous times. 

    Steps to Overcome Real Obstacles

    Step 1: BS Goals Meter

    Similar to Step 1 for Perceieved Obstacles, rate your goal in terms of importance and your level of commitment.  If you rated yourself as 5 or below on either scale, you need to throw this goal in the bin as above.  When you encounter real obstacles, it is likely that the goal will require more investment of time and energy than you oroginally thought so make sure it’s not a BS goal!  If you rated yourself  above 5 on both scales, proceed to step 2. 

    Step 2: Rewrite Your Goal

    Take time to rewrite your goal, adjusting the steps, resources and training required, and timeframe to support you overcoming your obstacle.

    Step 3: Take Action

    Get started on your first step and build momentum to progress towards your goal.  Although the goal may take longer and require more from you than you originally thought, achieving it will likely also give you more of a sense of accomplishment as well.  And you will have learned a lot in the proccess.

    Working with a Coach

    Working with a coach can help you identify what obstacles, real and perceived, are preventing you from achieving your goals.  With ongoing sessions, a coach can help you stay motivated and accountable to progressing towards your goals.  For coaching options, click the button below.

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    12 Adventuring Lessons

    12 Adventuring Lessons

    I’ve had the fortune of seeing Cas & Jonesy’s documented trip to Antarctica at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and hear them speak at the lululemon athletica leadership conference last year.  Their stories, courage and friendship will take your breath away and inspire you on your adventure called life.

    Check out 12 lessons they learned from adventuring, and if you want to read more about them or watch their adventures go to casandjonesy.com.au.

    Cas and Jonesy – 12 lessons