February Key of the Month: Integrity
Demonstrate your positive personal values in all you do and say. Be sincere and real.
Have you ever made a promise and not followed through? What would you do if you caught someone glancing at your test answers? Ever heard of the “boy who cried wolf”? Breaking promises, cheating and lying are all examples of living without integrity. Many people act the way they feel like acting and find some justification for what they did (“But it wasn’t me that was cheating!”). Highly successful people, in contrast, reflect and then act, because they choose to have their actions harmonize with their values.
Integrity activity: trace your hands on two pieces of paper. Draw a big “V” for values on the left hand and a big “A” for actions on the right hand. Write a value on each finger of the left hand and the corresponding action steps required to demonstrate each value on the right hand. Flip them face-to-face to see how they match up. Do your values match your actions?
Ensure that your behavior reflects your values and you’ll move through life with authenticity, sincerity, and wholeness. When you live with integrity, it’ll show! People will trust you almost instinctively, and they’ll think of you as a person of your word. You’ll be known for your strong character. When you live with integrity, you’ll enjoy a clear conscience and feel good about yourself. Those positive feelings from others and within ourselves reinforce our values and build our reputation and self-esteem, which leads us to greater success in all areas of our lives. And who doesn’t want that?!
Align your actions with your values:
- Live what you value.
- If you value honesty, be truthful.
- If you value keeping your word, follow through.
- If you value being fair, do what you expect others to do.
- Your identity is who you are. Your integrity is an expression of who you are.
- Importantly, always do the right thing.
For your consideration:
- What do you value?
- How do these values show up in your life?
- Do your current actions support your values?
- First define your values. Then, align your actions with your values.
- I have stated beliefs and values.
- I know and understand them.
- My behavior reflects them.
“SuperCamp taught me that integrity isn’t just an SAT word for honesty, but a way of living so that your personal values match up with your behaviors. For this reason, integrity is a little bit different for everyone. In my life, I value friends, family, and my education above all else. SuperCamp helped me to realize that to live in integrity, I had to make my values a priority. For example, I now make a conscious effort to set aside time to spend with friends and family and to continue my education, no matter how busy I may be. I have found that focusing on living my life with integrity helps me to avoid regrets and be the best version of myself!”
Hannah Heppner attended SuperCamp in the summers of 2009, 2010, and 2011. She was a team leader in the summers of 2012 and 2013 and is currently a student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.