July 21, 2022

Here's Your Two-Step Process for Building a Life of Integrity

Do you have trouble keeping your word when it comes to things you're promising to yourself? What about other people? In this episode, I am talking about an important concept that so many struggle with - integrity, how it is defined, what it really means and why it seems easier to keep our promises to others than it is to ourselves. Stay tuned as I talk about the belief systems and psychology behind it all and offer you a simple process to start observing yourself more kindly and objectively so you can build towards a life of integrity.

• [3:12] “I've always wondered, why does this type of imbalance exist? Why should it be so much easier for me to keep my appointment with my dentist than it is to keep my appointment with cleaning out my closet?”
• [4:42] Dr. Li talks about the belief systems that need to be changed in order to live a life of integrity to ourselves.
• [5:48] Christine defines coherence… “our minds are always seeking something called coherence. And that means if we have a belief system, our mind and our body are basically primed then, to search for confirmation of that belief system.” 
• [8:13] “When we feel that we're in integrity, we have a wellness that comes over our mind and body when we act in integrity with our word.”

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Christine Li  0:01  
Hi there, welcome back to the Make Time for Success podcast. This is episode number 84. I just finished recording the body of this solo episode. And the topic I chose for today was the topic of integrity. And after I made the recording, I decided to look up the definition of integrity. And I found two definitions. The first one is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, moral uprightness. And I've decided not to go with that definition, because I find the whole topic of morality just makes everyone nervous and feel guilty. And that's not what I like to teach. So the second definition is the state of being whole, and undivided. And I think I'd like to side with that definition. Because my point in this episode is that we can't really be fully ourselves and be fully in our power and fully in our happiness, if we are saying one thing, and then doing another when we're not staying true to our word. So let's go listen to this episode. And inside this episode, I give you two very doable techniques for building a life of integrity. Let's listen to the show now.

Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li, and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn a powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together. So that you can focus on what's really important, and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the make time for success podcast. 

Hi, there. It's Dr. Li. And today, I thought I'd do a very important solo episode with just me talking to you about the very important topic of integrity. And for me, this is such an important concept because I see so many people struggling with this concept, personally. And so I'm going to start us off by asking, Do you have trouble keeping your word? When it comes to things you're promising to yourself? When it comes to things you're promising to other people? Those questions all have to do with the concept of integrity, which for this episode will mean can you keep your word. And I have seen time and time again, that people tend to be able to keep their word to other people far more easily and far more often, then they can keep their word to themselves. And I've always wondered, why does this type of imbalance exist? Why should it be so much easier for me to keep my appointment with my dentist than it is to keep my appointment with cleaning out my closet? Why does that imbalance exist? And I have thought that there is a very core reason why that is the case. I think it's because deep down inside, we are looking at ourselves very negatively, very critically and harshly when we break our word to ourselves. But we are also used to seeing ourselves as people who can break our word. And we'd rather not have other people see us as failures as out of integrity. And so therefore it's easier for us to keep our word when we promise something to other people and privately, then we live with the shame and the embarrassment and the guilt and the frustration of feeling like we've let ourselves down because we can tolerate our private pain. But we wouldn't want to show that to anyone else. Now, that I think is a pretty deep thought. And I think there are ways that we can help ourselves to keep in a state of good integrity with ourselves. But it involves some deep work. We have to look at why we are primed and ready and so eager to see ourselves as failures. If we're stuck in that belief that we're always going to fail. We're never going to keep our word to ourselves, then it's just going to be that much harder for us to shift our behaviors into a newer behavior where we're actually keeping our word to ourselves. That's why it can seem almost impossible sometimes, to change our habits for the better. It's because our belief systems are already set, they're set at the level where we are not good enough, we are not strong enough, we are not consistent enough, we are not in integrity enough, whatever it is for you fill in the blank. But that belief system is keeping you locked in a situation where you can't keep your word to yourself. But I do think there are lots of things that we can do to unlock ourselves from that belief system.

So there's one more thing that I want to say before I go to the ways that we can change this belief system. And that is to explain how our minds work, our minds are always seeking something called coherence. And that means if we have a belief system, our mind and our body are basically primed then, to search for confirmation of that belief system. So therefore, if you're telling yourself, I stink, I'm just so bad at this, you're going to do things that in some way, shape or form, end up reflecting that lower view of yourself. That is why you'll hear me teaching time and time again, podcast episode, after episode, that we have to elevate our mindset, not just about ourselves, but about our opportunities the world at large, the things that we do crafts today. Because when we elevate our view of ourselves, then we can do more than what we do becomes easier, then we can see ourselves as a success instead of a failure. Because when we start any process, seeing ourselves as a failure, we're much more inclined to find that we are failures and the activities that we try, they don't succeed. And we wonder why it's a question, why does this imbalance in ourselves exist? My hope is that by listening to this episode, and to other episodes, on this podcast, that you find the strength to change things up to change your belief system about yourself, because if anything is changeable in the world, it's our beliefs, you can start believing that you are steady, that you are faithful, that you are consistent, that you are honest, that you have integrity with your word that you can change things that used to feel unchangeable. And by the way, when you start digging in and really enjoying these new belief systems, you'll end up feeling better too, because who wants to feel like they stink? Who wants to feel like they let their good friends down every single time? No one does. I really believe that I really believe that deep deep down inside all of us are achievers or strivers. We love making ourselves and other people happy. We love it. When we feel that we're in integrity, we have a wellness that comes over our mind and body when we act in integrity with our word. So let's go do this. Let's go find out how to get this state for ourselves. So now here are the two tips that I have for you to get yourself into a state of integrity. The first tip is that I want you to start seeing things as either or situations that they're binary that is a yes. Or it's a no, it either happened or it didn't. You wrote for 30 minutes, or you didn't. So when you start looking at things as either or, or yes or no, you did or you didn't. Then we get to get rid of all the But and if and what if and the excuses and the rationalizations and the guilt, and the shame and all that other stuff that can be so distracting, and so demoralizing. It just is like a checkmark. Can you check it off? Or can you not? That's it, we're just going to simplify things. So that you can see for yourself, did I do it? Or did I not do it, we're

going to strip all of that nasty, judgmental language and those judgmental thoughts and criticisms out of the situation and you're gonna feel, Oh, it's a lot less heavy. When I do it this way. It either got done or it didn't. So that's the first tip. The second tip is when you aren't able to make that checkmark when you aren't able to keep your word. I want you to examine and look at how you're talking to yourself. When you let yourself or someone else down. How fiercely do you come down on yourself? Is it appropriate to the level of the failure? Perhaps you're really yelling at yourself inside or you're really feeling like you stand no chance in the world at succeeding, your whole perspective on your future becomes diminished. Because you're so saddened by the fact that you aren't able to do something. How harsh is the feedback you're giving yourself? I really want you to take a look at that. Not for the purpose of beating yourself more No, no, no, I would love for you to actually do the opposite. I want you to take an observers, neutral view, an objective view and say to yourself, Wow, that yelling match that I just did with myself, was completely unnecessary. What happened is I just didn't show up for that 30 minute period that I said, I was going to, instead of criticizing myself, I'm going to figure out how I can stay in integrity with myself, the next time, I have an opportunity to do something for half an hour. That's all that we need. So notice that we take step number one, seeing things as either done or not done. And blending it with number two, giving ourselves a fighting chance at getting it done. We really want to sharpen our focus and say, Okay, the next time I scheduled that half hour period, I'm going to make sure there are no distractions, because the distractions got in my way, this time, notice there's no harsh tone in my voice, when I'm saying this is just pragmatic. It just matter of fact, and it's reality based. And when you learn to use these two techniques, to keep yourself in integrity, you are going to become less emotional, things are going to be far less dramatic, you're going to have things checked off, you're going to feel better. And you're going to have much less opportunity to yell at yourself. And I want to say by the way, I think there's almost no reason for you to yell at yourself, I can't really think of a good reason why it would ever be helpful for you to yell at yourself, you can consider what just happened, you can reflect you can revise things, but there is no need to yell at yourself. So this is just basically one big love letter from me to you. You can straighten up your schedule, straighten out your to do list, but also straighten out your heart by saying if I treat myself kindly, and I see myself as deserving of love, just like everyone else, everything else will go just as I plan it, you will no longer be getting in your own way, you will be teaching your mind and body to operate at the level that you believe it will at a very high consistent level where there's always a celebration. At the end, you are not someone who lets other people or yourself down anymore. And you're going to find that your brain and your body and your actions. And your feelings all match in a very high level mix of goodness and joy. I promise you this is how this whole thing works. This is why the concept of integrity is so important when we talk about how to get things done. living a good life being happy. We do need to learn how to stay true to our word because it prevents a whole bunch of messes from happening when we stay good to our word. So now you know that your habits are changeable, your belief systems are changeable and that it is really important that we replace the really critical brutal, sadistic, mean nasty voices that might be in our hearts and minds for voices of acceptance, kindness, peace, fairness, openness and love. Because that helps everybody that's involved.

I hope you enjoyed this little lesson. It was from my heart and I hope it reaches yours. And know that there's always room to grow. If you try these techniques, and they don't work the first time try them again. Again, the whole idea is just having greater lightness in your life so that you have greater joy and greater opportunity. Thank you so much for being here with me today. If you liked this episode, please do me the favor and leave a five star review for the show make time for success. I love reading all of the reviews. They're so kind they're so fun. And they really reflect to me how you all are receiving the podcast. I will see you next Thursday when the next episode drops. Bye bye.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Make Time for Success podcast. If you enjoyed what you've heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. I'll talk to you soon

Transcribed by https://otter.ai