“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”
― Frederick Douglass
When we say something, we shouldn’t have to feed an impulse to waver or retract our words. Why? Ideally, we should think before we speak, choose our words wisely and then say what we want to say…. and own it.
In reality, we sometimes “insert foot in mouth”, speak hastily and instantly regret the words. They’re still our words, so we need to own them… and, if need be, apologize when we speak in error or haste.
The same applies to our actions. We should always think before we act but, regardless, we must own our actions.
There are always consequences to anything that we say or do. There is no such thing as “off the record.”
When we own what we say and what we do, we are being authentic and with authenticity, comes clarity.
When we own what we say and what we do, it diffuses conflict and encourages civility.
Also, it feels so damn good to be our authentic selves, doesn’t it?
“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
We must always strive to speak and act with integrity.
When we speak and act with honesty, our words and actions are met with respect (even the people who may not agree with us, will nevertheless respect the honesty behind the words and actions).
When we speak reasonably and act fairly, our words and actions hold more weight.
When we make a promise or commitment and honor our word, we have integrity.
Integrity should be the foundation beneath everything we say and do.
“I meant what I said and I said what I meant.”
― Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg
When we speak and act on the strength of our own beliefs/convictions, we are saying and doing exactly what we mean to say and do.
What we say and do are a reflection of our own beliefs and truths.
Whether these beliefs and truths are popular or not, conform to other people’s beliefs/truths or not… is entirely irrelevant.
What is relevant is that we are saying exactly what we mean to say and doing exactly what we mean to do… and are fully prepared to accept the consequences.
Let the chips fall where they may.
At least we can stand tall, confident in the knowledge that we are being true to ourselves.
Authenticity. Integrity. Belief.
Photo by GS+ via Flickr