Nov 14, 2018 | Your Relationships

Catherine A. Wood

Integrity, Debt and Dirty Little Secrets

Have you ever thought about the places where you’re out of integrity with yourself? For example, you might have a dirty little secret to share with your partner, your best friend, or perhaps even with yourself?

Recently, I’ve been noticing a pattern: While on paper someone you know who is a high-income earner (meaning they literally make multiple 6-figure dual incomes), somehow they carry heavy credit card debt.

Wait…what? How does that even make sense?

The larger idea I’m pointing to here is that we all have places in our life where we’re out of integrity, where we sabotage having a great life and create needless places in our life where we add stress.

Maybe it’s one room in your home where you hoard things and never discard objects that don’t serve you. Or maybe it’s an old relationship that you need closure around, so you can’t bring yourself to throw out those old shoe boxes of leftover items. Another place I see a lot of this is with emotional eating.

The thing that really strikes me about this topic (being out of integrity) is that it often carries so much shame for the people in our lives—our friends, our siblings, our colleagues—it’s something that no one wants to put on loudspeaker because they’re full of shame around it.

And by harboring those secrets, it actually just makes them worse.

It disempowers us more and makes them bigger and harder to uncover and to overcome.

As a coach, one of the most profound experiences I have with clients is the shift that takes place when they actually put those dirty secrets on loudspeaker so they’re not a secret anymore.

By doing this, they actually create the possibility to have it go differently.

So, I invite you to take a look around all the areas of your life and notice where you are out of integrity with yourself.

It might be something small, such as not taking time for yourself in the morning before you wake up to your cell phone and social media. Or it might be something as large, like not getting clear on the total of your credit card debt and putting a plan in place to pay it off.

I know that personally, an area where I used to be out of integrity was with my well being. It was something that I always spoke about with all of my clients—both the importance of well being and self-care—and it was also the thing I never made time for.

The gym was literally the first thing to get cut from my very long list of to-dos…

…until one day, the impact really hit me of NOT modeling well being for my clients, for my family, for my partner, and for all the people in my life who rely upon me to show up present, fully generated, and empowered.

So, I hired a personal trainer, and it was exactly the accountability structure that I needed in order to invest in myself and in my health.

Consider what that practice might look like for you this week. How could you actually create an accountability structure sufficient to your level of resistance, in service of truly being in integrity with yourself?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

To integrity and life,

Executive leadership coach Catherine Wood's signature

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