Each and every one of us is seeking solutions to life’s greatest problems. We’re looking for a better way to live, along with practical strategies to fill our days with a greater sense of fulfillment, festivity and abundance. I have discovered, in my own life, that I’m closest to living my “best life” when the actions of my days are most closely aligned with my highest ideals. In other words, the smaller the gap between the way I appear on the outside and the way I live on the inside, the happier, more peaceful and more fulfilled I am.
I use the term “The Integrity Gap” to describe this phenomenon. Quite simply, the more closely aligned your outer world is compared with the most important values of your inner world, the better you’ll feel, the more energy you’ll have and the more success you’ll see.
Your character is essentially who you are in your silent, isolated moments. Your character is reflected by how you act when no one is around and by “who you are in the dark.” We are great pretenders and many of us have constructed a social mask to appear “together” in front of those who matter most in our lives. But hiding behind our social mask is cheating us out of who we truly are. The authentic life is the only life. Once you start showing up fully and “act real,” every aspect of your life will change. To live your best life, you must live your truth.
Living your truth will also transform your relationships. All too often, rather than speaking our truth, we communicate in a less than authentic way. Recently, while I was at the gym, there was a woman who stayed on the treadmill longer then her scheduled time. If I would have been completely in my power and spoken my truth, I would have simply walked up to her at the time my session was to have started and, in a friendly way, spoken my truth. I would have politely told her that her time was over and it was now my time and further, that the longer she stayed on the treadmill the shorter time I would have to complete my workout.
I may have also told her, in speaking my truth, that I really needed to work out today and that I was on a very tight schedule. Instead, I loudly grumbled to the person next to her about “people not abiding by the time rules” and engaged in a conversation along these lines. Speaking your truth is not always easy but it’s the courageous and the right thing to do.
Another example of this is when we talk about people behind their backs rather than confronting them directly and authentically about an issue that’s troubling.
Here are five strategies that will help you speak and live your truth and show up fully as a human being in your most authentic way:
1. Keep your promises
One of the best ways to close “The Integrity Gap” is to be a person who’s meticulous with your word and keeps each and every promise. Every broken promise has a subtle drain on your vital and creative energy. Every broken promise makes you a little less congruent with your highest self. Every broken promise diminishes your self worth and our self respect in an ever so subtle way. Once you start keeping your promises, you feel better about yourself and you know, at a very deep level, that you’re walking your talk. This promotes self love, a higher level of confidence and a stronger character.
2. Be fanatically honest
As with promise keeping, being honest in each and every one of your daily interactions promotes congruency and authenticity. It’s not always easy to be completely honest, but it’s the right thing to do and, at a gut level, you’ll feel far better about yourself. This will increase your feelings of self-esteem and allow you then to treat people better.
3. Clean up your “loose ends”
All of us have “loose ends” in our lives. These might involve unfinished projects, relationships where forgiveness needs to be given or “incompletions” that are draining your energy at an unconscious level. Once you clean these up you’ll have more energy, more creativity and more vitality. You’ll also feel better about yourself and more powerful as a human being. The moment you take out a piece of paper, record all your loose ends on a page and create an action plan to complete them, is the moment you transform all that negative energy into positive avenues that will lift your life to the next level of success.
4. Be caring versus controlling
5. Choose being kind over being right