Keeping a check on ourselves when we communicate with others is pretty important I feel, what we put out there contributes to how we view and value ourselves. The more our actions match our words, the more we are valuing ourselves and projecting an energy of self-respect. When we don’t speak the truth or our ego gets in the way of admitting we exaggerated what was within our control, the less credible we become to ourselves and others. Stop for a minute and think of the last time you said or did something that left you feeling uncomfortable, defensive or angry? Chances are these feelings stem from being out of integrity, not aligned with our own values or how we want to be in the world.
I can recall being much younger and often saying ‘yes’ to something without having the means to follow through e.g. double booking – being in 2 places at the same time apparently seemed to make more sense then ‘letting someone down’ by saying no. I recall how that felt, the discomfort in my body, the slightly anxious feeling of ‘something’s not quite right’ which therefore rendered whatever I was doing less pleasurable. In effect a lose-lose situation.
How much better, I thought, to start thinking and responding with a conscious awareness. So I practiced saying “can I get back to you on that?” or “no” or “I’m really sorry, I made a mistake, I can’t deliver on that.” I began to commit to only events, social or work or family, that I could fulfill, I felt better. I began to recognise things like my continual lateness to work or meetings was what had a negative effect on how I felt about myself, I was out of integrity, being dishonest with myself and others. It is a sad place for me to be, I don’t like going there, so I made changes to how I plan my time too. I have a rule that as long as I leave my home or wherever I start from with plenty of time to get to wherever I am meant to be and something happens beyond my control e.g. traffic, accident, transport problems, then I won’t allow my self to be stressed. As a result I am rarely late, and if I am I don’t freak out about it or feel bad. I also do my best to be honest about situations, about what I can or can’t do, how I feel and whom I choose to share my life with, friends, family, colleagues.
I now own that if I feel something is not right in my body this is a sure sign that I am, in some way, out of integrity, it could be I am not valuing my worth or feel hurt or disappointed in how other people chose an option that impacts negatively on me or others. The thing is working with people 1-2-1 I always aim for individuals to value who they are and what they bring to the table, practice what you preach… I do my best to. I am changing again, reviewing and reflecting on how to best create the life that brings the most joy.
In sum it’s probably best to be clear in the first place about what is possible, what you can bring to the table, how much is within your control and influence, and finally where your boundaries are. Stop digging, hold your hands up and just say “I’m sorry, I’m human, it gets messy sometimes!”. Most importantly be kind to yourself, be open about your fallibility and walk your talk.