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Posts Tagged ‘strength’

It’s a question I get asked so often and the answer is really simple. Having clarity about what your values are and why they are important to you makes decision making easier, makes you stronger and most importantly it lets people know that you have integrity and consistency.

In today’s uncertain world knowing that someone stands for something counts for a huge amount. We often talk about the concept of Brand You in business today. Brand You is not just about your logo, or your title or your profession or even your business name or how you look. Its all of these, but in addition, what it really means is that everything you do and everything you say, positive and negative, is part of Brand You.

When you are crystal clear on your values it is much easier to stay in integrity and not allow anything to taint your brand, simply because you know who you are and what you stand for, and perhaps most importantly, who you stand with. Because if you say one thing, and then endorse people who stand for its opposite, your brand is instantly tarnished. 

This might be hard at first. You might have to upset some people and you might have to change a few allegiances. You might feel you are missing out on opportunities and losing touch with the “cool” crowd. You also might feel vulnerable, letting people know who you really are and what you stand for can feel really scary at first. You might feel exposed and all alone. But in the long run it’s much less stressful than pretending to be someone you’re not, compromising what you believe for the sake of expediency and living your life on shifting sands.

In the long run like attracts like and you will draw to you others who share your values. Leaders do what they say they will do and by doing that they attract other leaders to help them.

So do you want to be in with the cool crowd? Or do you want to run with the leaders?

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Wikpedia defines integrity as “a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness of one’s actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs. The word “integrity” stems from the Latin adjective integer meaning whole, complete.”

Obviously to have true integrity first we must have awareness of what our values are, which was what yesterday’s exercise was all about. So now let’s look at what it means to always be acting from integrity.

Once you are aware of your values system, it makes decision making much easier because you can check every decision off against your list, much the same way as knowing what your true purpose is. Values are not the same as purpose – values refer to how you act. So two people could have very similar life purposes, but their value systems could be very different so the way they live their purpose will be very different, and their vision and goals will also likely be very different.

That’s why when you are creating a team its important not just to have a clear and powerful purpose, but to be aware of the values of the team as a whole and of the individual members. Having a common purpose is fantastic but if the team members have very differing values  (and they will!) their ideas of how to manifest that purpose may cause conflict. That’s not to say that having team members with different values is a bad thing, the more different your team members are the more powerful the mastermind is because there are more unique connections it can make. But team members have to be aware and not just tolerant of their differences but actually appreciative.

So integrity comes from always living and acting in accordance with your personal value system. When you are doing this life goes a lot more smoothly, you attract the people you need to help you, you are less stressed and you will have an ability to deal with challenges much more effectively. You will also be more confident in your decision making and less likely to second guess yourself.

I love the fact that integrity comes from the Latin for whole or complete. It also means strength. If you are coming from a place of integrity you are automatically stronger and the people you interact with will sense this and have confidence in you.

If you’ve ever tried to be someone you’re not you will know how hard it is to maintain that facade. Its hard work and its stressful and it is not susatainable. Well, living out of integrity is exactly like that, its really hard work.

So make life easier for yourself and your team by always working with integrity in congruence with your personal value system. That way you can stay in flow and thrive!

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OK! I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear today!

Do you ever have those moments where you ask “Why me?”, and usually follow it up with “I didn’t ask for this!”?

I know I do!

But the thing is you DID ask for this! From the very moment that you heard that little voice in your mind saying “I know I can be more” you invited change into your life and the truth about change is it’s probably, OK definitely, going to hurt! Anyone who’s spent any time in a gym knows that in order to get results there is going to be some pain!

My grandmother used to say “you can’t bake a cake without breaking eggs!” and she was right. As perfect and beautiful as an egg is, we can’t make use of it without breaking it!

If you want to create a better life for yourself, if you know you can be better, do better, you are going to have to let go of some old things. Everyone’s life is already full. From the most successful to the least successful of us, we each have the same number of seconds in the day. The difference is the more successful people have willingly let go of the things in their lives that hold them back, in order to make room for the things that move them forward in the direction of their dreams.

When we try to avoid OUCH we limit our growth and stand in our own way to success!

So change = OUCH = results!

Here’s a great story about change = ouch:

A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.
Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far
as it could and could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.
But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment,
the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around
with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and
the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need to grow. If we went through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. And we could never fly.

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