Delivering What You Promise
Delivering what you promise and promising only what you can deliver is really the essence of integrity.
What Does Integrity Mean?
Integrity is basically having high principles and keeping those standards consistent throughout all the pieces of yourself.
It requires, doing three things consistently:
discerning what is right from what is wrong,
doing the right thing even at personal cost,
and keeping your commitments.
In a lot of ways, your integrity is woven into your methods of communication. With others this is generally through speech, with ourselves, this is through thoughts.
What you say, what you think, what you do, these ideas become your reality. That’s what magick is. Your words have power whether they are spoken or thoughts or put into action.
As a witch, you will find that your power resides in your integrity
Our ancestral witches were known as the "Wise Ones" for a good reason.
They were respected.
They were fair.
They were healers.
They helped the community.
They changed things.
They made good decisions.
They promised what they could deliver and they delivered what they promised.
This last thing is what I believe integrity is and what we modern witches should focus on: promising what you can deliver and delivering what you promise.
In other words, walking your talk.
Additionally, I believe that your integrity is very much into your self-esteem. You will be happier and more powerful when your words match your intentions and when your actions match your words. As your word becomes more and more powerful, your reality will begin to reflect that.
As you speak from a place of integrity, and use powerful language in the service of your highest choices, you will start to manifest those choices very much as you have described them.
When that happens, you’ll know you are on the right path and headed in the best possible direction – the direction of your dreams.
So, I have three suggestions or guidelines to live by if you want to be authentic and walk your talk.
Stop talking out your ass
Live like your word is your bond
Lead by example
1. Stop talking out your ass
What does that mean? Being flaky is one example.
When you’re flaky it loses you friends. It tells other people that they are not important and their time is not important. It tells yourself that you’re time isn’t important as well. It creates anxiety because you know you are letting people down.
It is about integrity it is about walking your talk. This is about building trust and a depth of connection with yourself and other people.
This first guideline for walking your talk is about the relationships we have with other people but it’s also about the relationship you have with yourself.
Relationship with Yourself
This is about your self-esteem. Your self-esteem and your integrity grow together and evolve together. How you treat yourself is how you ultimately treat others. This works in reverse as well.
Mirror work is part of shadow work. One thing you can do as far as mirror work goes is to notice when you treat other people badly, when you talk out your ass to other people, when you’re not walking your talk with other people. If this disappoints you, use that as a mirror to see how you’re treating yourself. Ask yourself, “How am I treating myself?”
Relationship with Others
Usually we say yes because we want to be liked by everyone everywhere all the time. But when you’re flaky you end up being liked by no one including yourself.
It may seem harmless or it may even seem like the polite thing to do. But you’re really just delaying the discomfort you and others are feeling. And in some cases the discomfort becomes worse.It hurts peoples feelings. It’s aggressive or at the very least passive aggressive.
How to cure this?
Learn to say no to the things you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do. When you say yes up front to something you can’t or don’t want to do, you have to come up with a way to say no later. Sometimes last minute or even after the fact. Why not just say no in the first place?
Things You Actually Want
Now what about the things you flake on that are things you really want to do. When you agree to something that is aligned with your life’s purpose or your dreams.
In the beginning you feel energized and committed to the goal of showing up. How long is this commitment going to last? In other words, how long until you flake?
So this first guideline is about not talking out your ass and being authentic with your integrity and self-esteem and to follow through with your commitments. Walk your talk.
Follow through with your commitments if not for you now, then for the you who originally thought it would be a good idea. Try to get in touch with the spirit of you who starts a project, who makes a promise.
Follow through for the you that you will be when you achieve your goals.
Follow through for your self-esteem and your integrity. For your faith in yourself. You are investing in yourself by following through.
Follow through because you know if you don’t your confidence will suffer and it will be that much harder to follow through the next time.
Sometimes you have to start by talking your talk before you can actually walk your talk.
2. Live like your word is your bond
This comes from the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word. This agreement is said to be the most important and the hardest to honor.
This is because what you say, what you think and what you do will be manifested in your world. But you may be going against this agreement without even realizing it.
If we look into example of the first guideline, being flaky is not being impeccable with your word. Then you feel badly about yourself wondering why things don’t work out. It’s because you created it.
If you say you’re going to do something, do it! If you haven’t broken your need to please pattern, you may find yourself still agreeing to things you don’t want to do.
But if you can follow through with these things anyway…
If you can do something you said yes to when you wanted to say no anyway….
You are going to break this habit really fast!
You’ll come to love the word no. It gives you so much power and freedom. You will learn the power of a well placed no really quickly.
But until you do, follow through on your word. You’ll build trust, and integrity with other people. You’ll be building it up with yourself as well.
If you live like your word is your bond, and every time you agree to something you do it whether you want to or not, eventually you’ll learn to say no to those things. Because, it’s not fun to do the things you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do.
Obviously things come up, and you end up not being able to keep your word, for legitimate reasons. Communicate this ASAP and as honestly as you can. It’s okay to tell people when you’ve overextended yourself, or if you are sick, or your kids are sick, or your car breaks down, or whatever.
But be sure that this is an exception and not the rule. If you are consistent with the first guideline, and you aren’t talking out your ass, then people should be understanding if the occasional cancellation happens.
You don’t want to be the boy who cried wolf.
Check in with yourself that you are not making excuses and that this is a legitimate reason. Especially when you are dealing with yourself, when you are trying to keep your word to yourself. It is surprisingly easy to deceive yourself and to let yourself off the hook. So, make sure you BS detector is working because you know deep down when you are lying to yourself.
When you lie to yourself you take a hit to your self-esteem.
Another way to treat your word as your bond is to stop blaming others and take responsibility. Angry words are a reflection of your inner self and they come from a place of entitlement, as if you are owed something.
When your word is your bond you can only speak from a loving place.
So make sure you are walking your talk or at the very least talking your talk in order to share your authentic self with the world.
Speak your truth, stop hiding your feelings, express yourself.
Stop fearing judgement and rejection.
The only way to create true intimacy with other people is to respect your word
A famous quote from Gandhi draws from the same idea:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”
Choose your words carefully. They are more powerful than you think.
3. Lead by example
When you are living authentically with integrity, your walk will speak for itself. At this point you don’t need to talk your talk anymore, you can just walk your talk and others can understand who you are and what you’re about.
Whatever your beliefs are, whatever message you hope to share with the world, it becomes obvious to those around you.
When you talk your talk this is when you appear preacher, no one wants to hear from you, no one wants to learn from you.
This is something I learned when it came to talking about veganism. I have friends and family members who eats lots of meat and other animal products.
One of the hardest things about learning new information is knowing when other people are ready to learn from you. When I was learning about veganism, nobody wanted to hear it, except for other vegans. Vegans love talking about veganism to each other.
People would pick on me, make fun of my food, try to convince me that they had a better understanding of what my body needed than I did.
I understand now that when it comes to diet, it is incredibly personal and individual.
And I understand that if you aren’t ready to learn something, the brain actually shuts down in order to protect you from new information. New information makes us feel challenged and we react by evading or defending. In other words, new information feels like a personal attack.
This is why you can’t give someone a self help book, even if you went through the same thing and the book helped you. The other person has to specifically ask you for it. They have to see how happy and healthy you are walking your talk and realize that maybe what you’re doing can benefit them too.
So, I understand now, that the information I was learning and sharing about animal agriculture and health issues, made people feel as if I was judging them on a personal level.
Our opinions become tied to our identities and when someone presents an alternative we feel as if who we are as a person is being called into question.
So I still share with my family and friends the things I have learned, and sometimes I probably still get a little preachy, but I recognize that there is more power in walking the talk than in talking the talk.
Walking Your Talk
Talking the talk is for you, it helps you gain confidence in yourself and your beliefs.
Walking the talk is how you convince others that you might have a bit of knowledge they can benefit from. Walking the talk is how you can spread love and joy in the world.
When you walk your talk, people can see the results of your thoughts, words and actions. If you walk your talk enough you won’t even have to talk your talk anymore.
Your walk will do the talking for you.
People don’t want to be told what to do. People want to think it was their own idea to change.
Lead by example. To lead you have to be a become a beacon of light.
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Now it’s your turn!
Where (work, relationships, health, spirituality, money) are you in or out of integrity?
How can you improve your integrity, and how would it feel to reestablish integrity in all areas of your life?
What can you do to become a beacon of light and lead by example in one area of your life? What is your message?