Charissa Bloomberg

SELF INTEGRITY: Do you keep your word to yourself?

So you integral when you tell others you going to do something, but what about keeping your word to yourself? How often do we overlook this?

When we say we going to do something for ourselves and we don’t, we teaching ourselves that our word is of no value. This has been known to impact on our self-esteem, our productivity and our work ethic.

Not having self-integrity is not going to get us where we want to be. It also doesn’t allow us to set goals and keep them. It doesn’t assist with self-care, setting boundaries and loyalty to oneself.

Michael Jenkins explains that, ‘Self integrity is the most overlooked concept in business and life and if you do not keep your word to yourself, nothing works.”

I was recently asked to give a talk on self-integrity and was horrified to have to come to terms with a huge learning lesson! Integrity is my passion and if I say I’m going to do something, I make sure I do it. I even take delight in doing so. I didn’t realize I had a lot to discover about my own self integrity!

For example if I say I will call a certain person at 5pm, I already plan. If I won’t be home, I will make sure I have a quiet space, plenty airtime and everything I need to plan my day around 5pm.

Here comes my awakening moment. I tell myself I’m going to gym on Monday, which was just down the road in my old house. And do you think I went? NO!

I tell myself “ya right” or I’m too busy making a living, all the excuses.

Now this month I moved and there is a gym and indoor warm swimming pool right in my complex. I mean literally the building next to me. I have walk out my door, a few meters into the gym and pool area.

Well did I go, NO, too busy unpacking. Until a strange thing happened. My domestic said after a hard day’s physical labor at work and walking far to catch her taxi, she gets home, feeds the kids and hubby and then goes online and works out at 8pm, from a program she follows on her cell phone.

Well how embarrassed am I? I can’t even walk out my door to the next building!

I felt so ashamed and my self-esteem took a dive. So I committed to myself to make training part of my daily routine and ritual.

Guess what, I not only felt fantastic that I kept my word, but I felt good and then I came home and ate a healthy meal. The knock on effect of this impacted my productivity and my “feel good factor” about myself.

We cannot practice integrity if we can’t keep our very own word to ourselves.

Recently I walked out a shop with something that got hidden in the trolley under my parcels. I had a choice to keep walking and thank the universe for my “freebee” or walk back pay! I chose to walk back and ask ‘how this got through security and can I pay?’  You should have seen their faces.

I felt so good. What would have happened if choose to walk on by and keep the free product? Other than feeling disappointed in myself? Well the reality is that when I can get away with small untruths, lying, not paying for a product, stealing work time and other little lies and mishaps; it gets easier. We get away with it and in the long run it can impact on my ethical behaviour to others and my work. It’s a spiral downward and lying, dishonesty and cheating gets easier. Not to talk about being role models for your partners, family and children

Integrity means doing the right thing at work, in our home, in our relationships, in parenting and especially with ourselves.

Socrates said “to thine own self be true” Well that not only means being honest with oneself, but being integral as well.

Understanding oneself, helps us realize that integrity is the basis of ethical behavior and it takes daily hard work and dedication to practice it. It’s no good if someone has integrity at work but not much self-integrity. Integrity needs to be consistent in every area of one’s life.

We need to build integrity conscious skills for ourselves as well as others.

One can claim to have a set of values, however if they are not reflected in one’s behavior and actions, then we lack self-integrity.

My favorite saying is “integrity costs noting, but when we lose it, we lose everything!” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to let myself down!

Charissa Bloomberg is a Celebrity Psychologist regularly appearing on South African Radio and Television. She has 22 years of experience facilitating within organizations and is an integrity leadership specialist. For comments and queries regarding integrity in the workplace, email: website

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