Honesty and Integrity for Personal Growth

Honesty and Integrity - The Basis of Personal Growth

Integrity and honesty are some of the values that are very important for personal growth. The concept of integrity has always intrigued me, compared to which, the concept of honesty I think is relatively simper. Honesty is to speak and act as truthfully as you can. The dictionary defines integrity as “wholeness, soundness, uprightness and honesty”, which is what I always assumed integrity was, but the concept of integrity takes on a different and deeper dynamics as you delve into it. The word "integrity" is from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). Integrity would then mean a sense wholeness, from being honest, truthful and true to oneself, pointing to greater consistency of character.

Honesty and integrity - Meaning

It is easier to be honest than to be a person of integrity. Integrity, to me, means that I need to be whole and united in my thinking, action and speech and even within myself. These last few years, as I have been delving deep into this concept of integrity, I realize that somehow, even though we try to be honest, at a deeper unconscious level, there are other agendas and a different levels of thinking, which we are only faintly aware of. As an individual, I need to be integrated and wholesome, so that my words do not contradict my thoughts and my thoughts don’t contradict my beliefs and what is deeply seated in my mind. This brings to mind William Shakespeare’s words, "To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." Integrity is that characterof a person that does not allow for him/her to be dishonest to himself or herself and to others.

Integrity - The Power of Words

How often do we say something while we actually mean something else? For example, we tell a person that we care about them, but how much of this shows up in our actions? Do we really put the interests of the other person first, or do we care more about ourselves and what we do? Sometimes, we say that we believe, but we allow doubts to come and assail us about that same point of belief. We say we speak the truth, but we speak relative truths. We may or may not be fully aware of these things, but they do happen within every individual. Are you a person of your word? If you are trying to answer this question and dig below the surface you may find that it disturbs you. Integrity is how we act whether we are in public purview or alone, what thoughts we entertain in our innermost being.

Integrity of Spirit, Soul and Body- Self-awareness for Self- Growth

As for me, I desire that not only my thoughts, words and actions spell integrity but every level of my thought process be saturated in integrity. This is difficult, considering the fact that our sub-conscious mind is working on different experiences from the past and have their own logic and agenda. Honesty is more concerned with the conscious mind, where you know exactly what you are doing. To be integrated as a person, integrity of thoughts is necessary. I really need to know why I am saying the things that I say. I need to know that every word that I say means exactly what it is supposed to mean, and every action of mine reflects this integrity of thought. For this, I have to be truly aware of myself, my thoughts, my thought-processes and their deep-seated source. The spirit, soul and body need to be integrated, united and every thought, word and deed needs to be an expression of this internal unity. If my physical/ material needs dominate me and make demands on my thought processes, my soul and my spirit slowly start towing the line even though my belief systems are different. However, if my spirit is strong, it can and actually should rein in my mind and my body into obeying what I believe in. This is what integrity is all about. Even though this sounds so easy, the mind is so devious that it often finds escape routes to circumvent issues and do what it wants to do. This calls for our awareness of a higher kind and the ability to control your body and your mind to function in tandem with your spirit or your higher beliefs.

This concept may not be acceptable to everyone, but it has been something that has me captivated and I am striving hard to put into practice in every sphere of life. Personal Integrity is what makes a person dependable or reliable and honest /truthful. Integrity also brings with certain gifts, even if you do not seek them, the respect that you get from people around you, the trust that you earn, the peace of mind that seems to fill you are a part of the same package. I seek integrity, for it is the birth place of self-growth, a place from where you can start your journey of self improvement. I would love to progress further in this journey of self-growth and self improvement and I am sure that you may want to be there too.

I do definitely hope that someday my spirit, soul and body work in tandem and in perfect unison with each other. that would be the day when I would consider myself as being true to myself in every way possible - that would be what integrity is all about to me.

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You are welcome to share your thoughts here.... 30 comments

Website Examiner 5 years ago

Excellent hub. I agree with the definitions, that integrity is broader compared with honesty. An honest person could be corrupted or weak, but a person of integrity would both be incorruptible and honest. Talking of which, this hub could benefit from a bit of a polish. Fine job, overall! W.E.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Looking into the meaning of integrity...it is a bit deeper than at first thought. Good luck on your personal journey and on all of our journeys. Integrity is certainly a worthwhile goal. Up and useful!

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

WE, thanks for honest comment, I appreciate that. This has been in my head for too long and I just had to get it out. I will get in touch with you regarding the specific points where this hub needs a bit of polish. I never shy away from learning and there is so much to learn :) Thanks once again and God bless!

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Peggy, it is a road worth travelling and a journey worth the effort. Integrity is certainly a worthwhile goal.. I wish you the very best too in your personal journey :) Thank you and God Bless!

Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

This is an AWESOME hub - LOVE IT! So true too-Love this "to be truly aware of myself, my thoughts, my thought-processes and their deep-seated source."

you are correct -- it takes lots of work!

thanks for a great hub

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Neil Sperling, that is a very encouraging comment. I honestly appreciate the enthusiasm and energy behind the comment. Yes, self-awareness, self-growth and being a person of integrity calls for some hard work. :) Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

timorous profile image

timorous 5 years ago from Me to You

Very good article sofs. We would certainly all benefit from being honest and truthful with ourselves and others, every waking moment, if possible. Our absolute integrity helps us get along with others, and allows for a good night's sleep, knowing we've done the right thing.

Mohammad Mohsin profile image

Mohammad Mohsin 5 years ago from Lahore, Pakistan

great hub... I have learned much :)

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 5 years ago from Canada

Integrity, for me, is the weave of the fabric. It structures what and how the fabric behaves. Honesty is the color of the fabric -- it can be what it wants to define itself to be. Integrity is the foundation. Honesty splashes the color on integrity but integrity never colors honesty. It is what it is. Honesty can be molded, sculpted into what one believes to be true, and this truth may not be what others see. Yet integrity shares commonalities throughout cultures.

Wonderful and thought provoking article Sofs! I really enjoyed reading this one. :)

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Thank you Tim, for that insightful comment. Being aware is the first step to being a person of integrity. Yes, the social response to integrity and honesty is an additional benefit that accrues as we grow. Thanks once again and God Bless!

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Thank you Mohammad Moshin, I appreciate the read and the comment.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Beautifully said Beth, yes integrity is indeed the weave and the basic structure of the fabric. The very foundation or character of a person. Thank you for sharing your insightful thoughts on this hub, it is much appreciated. God Bless!

mtsi1098 5 years ago

You absolutely nailed this hub...Words mean nothing without the actions to support them and integrity is one of the things that you can truly call your own...great job...thanks - bill

Temirah profile image

Temirah 5 years ago

This is a really thought provoke hub. I see a lot of companies with 'honesty' and 'integrity' as part of their mission statements, but the behaviour of their employees and makes it clear that they don't know the meaning of the words! They need to read your hub and do some serious thinking. As I shall - there's always room for improvement.

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Sofs, wow - spot on! this hub has really made me think about integrity, it's definitely a word that's used too lightly! well written thank you.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is a goal that i strive for. To be whole. We can be honest, yet not be completely whole. A person who is known to have integrity is complete and trustworthy. Thank you for sharing your wisdom


Thank you for the comment you sent today. It made my day.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Great study--thanks for sharing. Love that you finished with the gifts that come from being a person of integrity. Voted up.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Mtsi, thanks for the uplifting comment. Self awareness calls for making changes and helps a person to grow as a person of integrity. It is a road worth taking. I appreciate the read and the comment.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Temirah, thank you for making that observation, we take the word integrity so lightly and I guess it is so important to understand and be aware of the various levels at which we think and act. Well the measure of self-awareness is not the same for all. Though all of us need to strive to be persons of integrity. I appreciate the comment and the sharing :)

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Movie Master, thank you, yes the word integrity is indeed used lightly by most people and it is worth delving deep into it.. the more your delve the more you find the need for change ..I appreciate the insightful comment :)

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Ruby, it is always good to hear from you. You have put the whole concept of integrity in a nut shell, glad that we are striving towards the same goal.. I hope some day we shall be a picture of wholeness and integrity. Thank you for the sharing and well, that comment I left you was heart felt.

:) God Bless :)

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

RTalloni, good to see you here.. and yes being a person of integrity has its own merits whether we seek them or not. Thank you for your kind words :) God Bless:)

Sylvia's Thoughts profile image

Sylvia's Thoughts 5 years ago from Southern California

Honesty and integrity are missing in every aspect of life these days. Integrity is an often misunderstood quality.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states "When used as a virtue term, ‘integrity’ refers to a quality of a person's character; however, there are other uses of the term. One may speak of the integrity of a wilderness region or an ecosystem, a computerized database, a defense system, a work of art, and so on. When it is applied to objects, integrity refers to the wholeness, intactness or purity of a thing—meanings that are sometimes carried over when it is applied to people. A wilderness region has integrity when it has not been corrupted by development or by the side-effects of development, when it remains intact as wilderness. A database maintains its integrity as long as it remains uncorrupted by error; a defense system as long as it is not breached. A musical work might be said to have integrity when its musical structure has a certain completeness that is not intruded upon by uncoordinated, unrelated musical ideas; that is, when it possesses a kind of musical wholeness, intactness and purity."

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Thank you Sylvia for the definition.. Here I am more concerned with personal integrity, well yes, it is wholeness not just a facet of ourselves that we would like to exhibit to the outside world. Thank you for your comment, much appreciated.

Website Examiner 5 years ago

Hello Sofs: Here is a challenging question for you. If a person is consistently fragmented, can that be considered wholesome? So if someone consistently contradict themselves, but acknowledges that, at least in brighter moments, does such a person have integrity within your definition?

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Hi WE, glad to see you here again. Interesting question. 'Consistently fragmented' meaning dived all the time does not = whole. A bundle of contradictions is what we could call such a person... If the person acknowledges that they have a problem, I would say they are aware. Integrity is next to perfection in my understanding and we are all less than perfect but striving and working hard to be individuals of integrity.

Thank you for getting me thinking.. Now I have more cud to chew on .. :)

Website Examiner 5 years ago

Sofs, thanks for your insightful reply, which appears well-founded in logic, and it is something I must agree with.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Awww...WE that is very thoughtful of you to comeback and say so.. Thanks and (((hugs)) to you. God Bless!!

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Beautiful hub, Sofs. Excellent points, and of course well written. Integrity is one of my core values. I respect anyone who is a person of integrity. It is an issue of trust. When I operate from a place of integrity I know that I can trust that my behavior is coming from a place that is not ulteriorly motivated, but from an inner core value. I also know that it is something that I can rely on as 'right decision' and not just a thoughtless impulse.

Thanks for sharing your views on this important topic. Voted up.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Mmm... I keep thinking so much about this and feel I have to move a notch up higher. Glad that you can speak so confidently on this subject.. for me it seems like asking for perfection.. but I guess I am getting there. :)

Thanks Denise for your comment. Adds substance to what I have written. Thank you :)

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