ARE YOU INTEGRATED?
To be integrated means to have a sense of wholeness, of being unified and feeling complete. When you are integrated, everything in your life is in alignment. You have a deep sense of integrity as you live the life you want to live and you are satisfying your deepest values. You are the person you say and think that you are. You are not wanting one thing and doing something completely different. Nothing is missing or incomplete. You feel whole and that you are truly your best self. You are running on all cylinders. There is a congruency where everything in your life lines up. There are no conflicts. Everything is under the same “mission.”
Since integrity means integration of all parts, when we are not fully intact as a person, such as when an area is underdeveloped, amiss, or unavailable – we get into trouble. We can feel inauthentic. You’ve probably noticed in life when things aren’t congruent or in alignment within other people or in a business situation. Something seems off. You can lose trust. You wonder – what is this person or this thing really about?
The opposite of being integrated is to be fragmented. When we are fragmented we are broken into pieces, something has fractured, shattered, or has imploded. There is a sense of incongruency or mis-alignment. Not being integrated, or having areas of life that are fragmented, gives off a sense of incompleteness, insincerity, incompetence, hypocrisy or even deceit.
An example of an owner not being integrated with their business would be a mortgage broker who puts mortgages together for people’s homes and for their investment portfolio but is renting his home and would never dream of buying for himself. Or an all-natural skin care specialist who gets Botox and has plastic surgery. A personal trainer who never exercises. Can you imagine if the globally renown organizationalist, Marie Kondo, had secret rooms full of messes and things she was hording? These are a few extreme examples of where the mission and business does not line up with the person.
What about the smaller, less obvious things such as when our values don’t match up with our life style? When we are not integrated, we can feel inauthentic, embarrassed, fragmented or divided. We know that something is off because we aren’t fully following through with who we say we are and we are not in alignment with our true values. In contrast, when we are integrated we feel completely authentic, transparent, confident, and even bold. Staying integrated takes effort and is a continual balancing act.
Now for the real news – we all live lives that at times are not whole and complete and where things are not in alignment. Some of that happens because: we are not being aware and intentional; or life happens and we are not being able to stay on top of everything.
How can we become more integrated and whole?
1. FACE THE CONFLICTS
Are there any massive conflicts in your life? Do you feel the niggling of inauthenticity, embarrassment or fragmentation? The first step in anything is to acknowledge any internal conflicts and where things are specifically amiss.
2. DECIDE WHAT INTEGRITY MEANS FOR YOU
Each person must be clear on what integrity means for them and not take on other people’s expectations. What does it mean for you to be whole, complete, and to have all parts of your life integrated? Being whole and acting with authenticity happens when you uncover and act on what’s important to you.
3. REMOVE ANY SHOULDS
Differentiate between what it means to be integrated, aligned, and your best self; and any “shoulds” that might be unnecessary expectations put on you by other people. When we take on other people’s expectations, we can be inauthentic. You will likely need to remove any “shoulds” of other people’s expectations and obligations of what you “must do” to be free to do what you want to do and to become the person you want to become.
4. ALIGN YOUR THOUGHTS, WORDS, ACTIONS, VALUES and GOALS
Make sure everything is in alignment and is going in the same direction. This means that your thoughts, words, actions, values, and goals all line up. There are no conflicts between your thoughts, your values, and your goals.
5. TAKE CARE OF IT!
Can you hire, delegate, or do trades to increase being integrated? Often times the secret of success is surrounding yourself with the right people. That’s right! Other people and their talents can make you more integrated! For example, my web designer and social media expert, Dawn Kern, makes my business so much better and even more integrated. Because of her talents, my business has become more whole, unified, and complete. Maybe for you it means hiring a financial planner to make your finances whole, which in turn will make you whole as a person. Perhaps it means hiring a nutritionist to educate you and make yourself healthy and whole.
6. BEING, AND STAYING IN INTEGRITY IS A LIFE-LONG WORK IN PROGRESS!
Being whole is to act with integrity by realizing how all facets of your life co-exist and affect each other. Learn to listen and check in with yourself on a regular basis. Start to bring all of WHO you are, to wherever you are, and whatever you are doing.
Are you the person you think you are, and are you the person that you want to be? Focus this week on becoming integrated and whole ☺