EPISODE 63: “Self-Integrity: You Have Zero Power Without It”
How many times have you said, I’m going to get in shape, go to the gym, work out, eat right and you barely start or you fall off track quickly? And if not the gym, how often do you say you’re going to do something and you do not?
Well, if you’re like most people, you do what you say you’re going to do around 80% of the time and you slide 20% of the time, right?
Congrats, you’re “normal,” and I’d also bet you’re not getting what you want in life.
Self-Integrity is the backbone of achievement and yet most of us pay little attention to it.
In this episode I talk about:
You don’t get what you want in life, you get your brain-based habits.
Nothing works when you don’t keep your word to yourself.
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You're listening to episode number 63 of the Transform your Life from the Inside Out podcast. And in this episode, I talk about self integrity. And I talked about how you have zero power without it. Keep listening.
Hi, I'm Jim Fortin and you're about to start Transforming Your Life from the Inside Out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation. And I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype. Because this podcast is a combination of Brain Science, Transformational Psychology, and Ancient Wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life. Then this podcast is for you because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness? And when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.
Increase Your Productivity by Holding Yourself Accountable
Okay, this is a very powerful episode and it's something that most people struggle with. And being 100% transparent. It's something that I've struggled with for a large part of my life. So, what I want to talk about in this episode, is the concept of self integrity. And then you might be wondering, okay, I kind of understand Jim but really what is self integrity? Well, according to Dr. Michael Jensen, Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, Harvard University, Dr. Jensen says that integrity is a matter of a person's word, nothing more, and nothing less. So what this episode is about is your level of self integrity. And I'm going to share some stories with you in a bit about myself. I know if you're like most people, you're probably struggling with your self-integrity.
Now back to Dr. Jensen, what he discovered was at the Social Science Research Network, is they did a year long study. And it was concluded by observing and focusing on people about their level of integrity, that when people keep their word, they can increase their output and productivity anywhere from 100 to 500%. Now consider that, that's pretty shocking, basically, in the business world, yeah, keep your word to yourself, no additional input, and you can increase your productivity anywhere from one to 500%. And what they found was is what most people often observed was a 300% increase in output with no additional input. So that means for example, if you're an entrepreneur and you made or you're in sales and you made 100,000, on average, you would increase your input by 300% which actually what takes you to? I don't know. 300,000.
Now, one of my stories you hear us talk a lot about stories here at this podcast, I guess if you increase it by 300% he made 100,000 I guess that would be 300,000 of my stories is Math. Math is not my strong suit. Anyway, thankfully, this is not a math podcast or it, it probably would not have gone very far. What I want to share with you though, is that with self integrity, listen very carefully with self integrity and a high level of self integrity, you can transform your life very quickly. Now somewhere else in here I don't know where it is. Search I guess I don't know the exact number because I didn't look before I started recording this episode is I did record another episode on self integrity. And I want to switch this one up just a bit and perhaps give you some additional food for thought. When it comes to this concept.
Now, what I'd like you to do is I'd like you to look at the past 24 hours. Seriously, just consider the past 24 hours of your life. And what I want you to look at is how many things did you say that you would do that you did not do? And ideally, I would want this during a workday not on Sunday, because many people take it easy on Sunday. And obviously, we all need rest. But however, yeah, let's do that. If you're listening on a weekend or Saturday or Sunday, but I want you to look at this during a week day, the last business day, prior to today. How many things did you say that you were going to do? And you did not do it? And then let's expand that. Let's look at the last week. How many things in the last week did you say that you were going to do and you did not do it?
Did you say you're going to the gym and you didn't do it? Did you say you're going to the gym three times, four times, and you went once, you went none? Did you say that you were going to start a new diet? And you didn't start it? Or maybe you started started in the fell off track? The whole point is this, just look at your last week. And have an observation of how much that you said that you were going to do. And you didn't do.
Now, as I say, in every episode, I don't know where you're joining me, if you know if you've been here since the beginning. Earlier in the year when I started this podcast, this is your first episode or whatever. But you've heard me say before that I grew up in a small Texas town. Quite literally, we literally only had one stoplight and only 2000 people in town. I mean, this was a small town. It's a proverbial town that if you blink, you do miss the stoplight. And my parents raised me with what I call small town Texas values. And we really only had three rules at home and I've shared this before but the three rules were Do not lie, do not cheat, and do not steal. Anything else, you know might be open for negotiation or whatever but these were three pretty ironclad rules. And the easiest way for me to get grounded was to break one of these rules do not lie, do not cheat and do not steal.
And all of my life I've always in my interpretation, I've always considered myself to be a very honest person. And integrity and honesty to me are very high values. When I look at all of my friends what I value most and a lot of my friends are of course a couple of things, self integrity, humor and etc. But an in personal integrity. But I remember one morning I was in bed and I rolled over and for some reason this story popped in my mind that you know what, that's how I was raised. Is that I must be honest, and it's very important for me to be honest. In this day and age, I think a lot of people are honest, because that if they're in business and they're not, people are going to give them bad reviews on Yelp or social media they're going called out or whatever. And that's not the way I operate. I simply operate because that's the way that I was raised. And that's what I choose to hold on to, instead of values or with my values.
So I remember rolling over in bed one morning, and this all this was going through my mind. And I thought to myself, whoa, wait, wait, because I was thinking about self integrity. And I thought, you know what, Jim, you tell yourself that being integral is really important. But when it comes to self integrity, you're not always self integral. And what I've looked at over the years by working with a lot of people, as most people fall in what I call the 80-20 rule, you might have heard of that before, the Pareto Principle. And I was also the same way, meaning that 80% of the time, I would say, you know what, I'm going to do it, and I kept my word to myself, and then 20 to 30% of the time, and most people fall in that range 20 to 30, 20 to 30% of my time, I'd say you know what, I'm going to do XYZ, and I'm going to go to the gym and I'm going to clean up the closet and clean out the garage. I'm going to call my friend Susan and my friend Chris, and I'm going to call my mom and all that stuff.
But you know what? 20 to 30% of the time, I was speaking the words, and I wasn't doing it. So that being said, can you resonate with this? I'm very grateful we have a lot of listeners and, and this podcast has become very successful very quickly this year. And I'm very grateful for that. We might have one or two of you out of every 10,000 that you literally, you literally do keep your word, and you do everything that you say that you're going to do. But for the most part, most of us fall in that Pareto Principle 80/20 rule. And here's something that just popped in my mind. Because I look at for example, myself back in my 20s and 30s and early 40s. I used to work out like a fiend. I mean, five days a week, Monday through Friday, I was in the gym. In my mid 40s, I started p90x, you might have heard that program of that program before at home. And as I've gotten older, I really just, I don't have any interest in lifting free weights anymore and things of that nature. I'm more along, yoga and stuff like that. Maybe some, light resistance weight. But anyway, I recognized that when I was telling myself back in my early 40s, when I really wasn't so much into it anymore, I'm going to go to the gym five days a week.
Well, when I look back, I recognize that I was going one or two days a week. My whole point here is this. What pops to my mind is that I'm going to say this in two ways. One is that I didn't get the results that I wanted in the gym, obviously. And secondly, when I would say that I'd go to the gym and I wouldn't do it. That was a lack of self integrity. And what popped in my mind is that when I'm not in integrity with myself, nothing works relative to my goals, objectives or agenda, things that I want to do. Nothing works when I'm out of self integrity.
So look at that in your own life. Because see, we think it's not a big deal many of us and I want to ask you some questions in a moment. We think it's no big deal that I don't do what I say I'm going to do, that's okay. But you know what, it's not okay. Which, hopefully you'll come to realize that even more as we keep on going here, but I've got a couple of questions for you. And one of the questions would be this. When you break your word to yourself, what are you really saying to yourself? That's the first question. I'll repeat it. When you break your word to yourself. What are you really saying? So consider that.
Next, have you realized that and this is a big deal, a really big deal. Have you realized that most of the times when you break your word, you're actually working from feelings and convenience and not commitment? So consider that. And this is the big thing for a lot of people and I've been there as well. And I have coached literally, I've coached Olympic athletes, I've coached professional athletes, I've coached movie stars, etc, etc, etc.
The reason I tell you that is I've coached people that have done some significant things in life. And I'm going to share with you when you work with people like that, or you're around people like that. They do not, especially like Olympic athletes, they do not work from how they feel today. It was, I don't know, several years ago, I watched 60 minutes and Michael Phelps was on it. And as coach said that in seven years, Michael Phelps never missed a single, not even one, a single day of practice. Now, I'm just kidding. Well, first off, I admire the heck out of Michael Phelps. And secondly, I'm just joking, but you know, he's been, he's had a DUI and it's been busted, busted smoking pot. That being said, I can promise you and there were some mornings that Michael Phelps probably woke up and said, There is no way. I do not feel like training today. But you know what? He did it anyway because he worked from commitment and not from his feelings.
Another one of my clients was a four time Olympian. He's a medalist four time Olympian doesn't matter what sport he was in, etc, though, he was the only person in the United States and went to the Olympics for four times in his category. And every one of you. It's a very popular category. But you know what, man, this guy I admire. I admire his commitment and his discipline, because he trains no matter what. I remember he told me back in 2012, I believe when he was going to the Olympics in Beijing.
He said that because of the International date, time and dateline and all that kind of stuff, he said, you know, by the time I got there, I didn't get the train for a day. So when I got there, I was a day behind my competition. And I had to make that up. Now, I don't know if he had jet lag or whatever. But I was just I mean, I was in awe when he told me the story. So, here the question was, is Have you realized that most times, when you break your word to yourself, you're working from your feelings, and from your convenience, meaning it's not convenient for you to do something, therefore, I'm not gonna do it. I have had a couple of significant coaches in my life over the years. I mean, you've heard me talk about my brother in law the Shaman that is my mentor. He's not a coach to me, but I've had coaches for a lot of years. And one of my coaches said to me one time and she was like, I mean, both of my coaches have been females and they have been just very, very significant influences in my life.
And my last coach said to me, she said, She goes, if you work by your feelings, then guess what? You're going to find yourself in the ditch. Now, I don't know where you are in terms of listening to me. But if you've been with me for a while you've you've heard me talk about my brother in law, the Shaman. I have, I have marveled and I mean marveled at his level of self integrity in 25 years with him and any action with me. I've never seen him out of self integrity, anything and everything that he's told me he would do, he has done it in the frame in the scope, whatever it is, he's done it no matter what, without exception. You may have heard me say before, I really don't use notes or anything. I do want to mention a book here. If not, I may forget. It's called the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz R-U-I-Z. It's in New York Times bestseller at something like 20 years old.
And one of the Four Agreements is keeping your word to yourself. I can't tell you I said that and I just observed my own life is that when I don't keep my word to myself, things just don't work like they really could. Okay, another question. I'd mentioned a couple of Olympic athletes. I do not know Michael Phelps, and I sure would like to interview him. But one of my other clients, as I said, was a four time Olympian and the medalist so I know the mindset and I've work with other Olympians as well and professional athletes. Do you think that people who achieve significant things in life, do you think that they are more prone to actually give their word to themselves and keep it or more prone to actually give their word and not keep it? And that being said, I want you to look at for example, I want you to look at things that you want in your life, whether it's, you want to be a top selling professional or marketer online or entrepreneur or whatever it is for you. And just sit with that for a bit and look at the at the degree to which you have a string of broken promises to yourself.
Now these questions. So I said the first question was is when you break your word to yourself, what are you really saying? What you're really saying is that your word is not important to you, consider that. What you're really saying is that your word is not important to you. Now, the last coach that I had, she has a PhD. And the reason I tell you that is I mean, I don't have a PhD in psychology. She has a PhD. And she told me one time we were talking and actually was one of my coaching calls. And we're talking about this concept of self integrity. And she said, Jim, when people break their word to themselves, what they're really saying is that you know what, they don't value their word. And if they don't value their word, they don't value themselves. And if they don't value themselves, then guess what, that is a matter of low self worth and low self esteem. So when you do not keep your word to yourself, quite literally, you're saying that your words are not important.
Now, I don't know about you, but when I really think about that, and I fully consider that I'm like, wow, wow. And because also, I want to say is that we become what I say the biggest liars to ourselves. I mean, we literally we lie to ourselves so much as beings. But when you look at my comment that if you give your word to yourself and you continuously break your word, that means that your words not valuable to you.
Okay, so then when I said most of us work from convenience, I've already really covered that. But anytime that you say you know what I want, I'm going to go to the gym three days this week, and then Wednesday rolls around and you're like, I don't feel like going to the gym today. Well, you're going to find yourself off track which I talked about earlier, which I also found myself off track and not achieving the goals that I wanted to achieve. So what I want to share with you there is that when you're working from your feelings, and you let your feelings, how you feel about something drive you, you're going to sabotage the heck out of whatever it is that you want to create.
And then finally, I talked about, other people, and do you think that, they give themselves an out? And do you think that, Michael Phelps works by his feelings and etc. I'm going to, obviously, I'm going to share with you that we're not perfect. I mean, none of us are perfect. But as I alluded to, and as I just said, I mean, when I look at the high achievers and people that I've worked with, and people in business, I mean, I've coached people that are CEOs of billion dollar companies. These people keep their word to themselves.
Again, I'm going to repeat, no one's perfect, but when you look at these people, they're doing extraordinary things because they are extraordinary at self integrity. Now that being said, you might not want to set the world on fire. I don't know we're all different. I mean, you might want to just increase your income by 50 grand, or 100 grand or two or three or 400 grand or from 1 million to 3 million. But look at the statistics I gave you earlier from Dr. Jensen. And that people can increase your productivity anywhere from one to 500% on average 300% with no additional input.
I know I've told this story before, but I want to tell it again, my brother in law being a Shaman. I remember him telling me a story many years ago when he was he grew up in Mexico, and he started apprenticing with shamans when he was six years old. And when he was in his late teens, he had some other boys. He said they were out drinking late one night and shooting tequila and all that kind of stuff. And they all said that they were going to get up early in the morning and go swimming. And my brother in law left his friends and then he went to see his mentor that was a Shaman. And he was telling the shaman, his Shaman, that they were going to go swimming tomorrow morning but he wasn't gonna ago and his Shaman said to him, Well, how come you are not going to go? And he says, oh, they're going to be hungover. They're not going to show up anyway.
And his mentor said to him, it doesn't matter whether or not they show up. What matters is that you show up, because you said that you were going to show up. Keep your word. Keep your word to others, and keep your word to yourself. Okay, I want to segue here for a little bit and add maybe a bit of a twist on the last episode that I did. And there are two things here I have not read any research by Dr. Jensen or any of that, but there are two things also that affect our ability to keep our word and that is our which I have episodes here there in the top, I think the first five or six episodes. One is what are your brain based habits and secondly, what is your subconscious identity?
So you look back here. Let's look at that first when I talk about identity. Remember earlier just a couple of minutes ago when I said that my coach said the one that has a PhD she said that breaking your word yourself is a reflection of low self esteem. And then I look back. Okay, well, how is that related to identity? So what I'm asking you to look at is, what is your identity? Now again, there's other episodes here, but what is your and I think it's episode I don't know. 3,4,5,6,7, something like that, where I talk about identity. But what is your identity relative to self esteem?
I'm sorry, identity. Guys, I don't edit even though I have an editor I just send this to her. I did not sleep last night. I've been traveling, it's late in the day on the day that I'm recording this so my brains a little muddled right now. So anyway, so when you hear me mistepping like that. It's just because my brain is firing on and half cylinders. And by the way, let me go off topic there for a second. We'll come right back. Having taught persuasion and influence for many years is that so many of you try to be perfect. And everything's got to be perfect.
This has got to be perfect and my dress has got to be perfect and my makeup and my, marketing material, all that stuff has got to be perfect. I remember many years ago, a bunch of friends, there was one of the guys that hung out with us who was always perfect. I mean, his clothes were always ironed. I mean, his hair was never like a strand of hair out of place. And my friends called him Plastico, which is just a I don't actually I don't know how to say Spanish in plastic, but basically they're just saying, dude, your plastic.
And interestingly enough, and research is that people don't like perfect people. That was one of JFK's biggest limitations is that he looked too perfect. Now Richard Nixon, obviously look the opposite in the Nixon-Kennedy debates in 1960. But I just tell you that just off topic here I'm sharing with you because I am no wake perfect in these in these episodes. And as I said, I'm probably running on two and a half, three hours of sleep. And I'm traveling, I went from one of my homes to the other. So I've been traveling all day and I'm still going.
So anyway, that's why I'm tripping over my words. And if you're trying to be perfect in the world, stop it! Because just like you don't like perfect people, other people don't like perfect people as well or people who try to be perfect. Just be you. So, here, let me show you also how easy it is to keep our word when something's a matter of our identity. So let's say for example, which I talked about this in the habit program, I don't anymore, but I used to drink Diet Coke.
Now, notice when I had the habit of drinking Diet Coke, I didn't have to keep my word to myself about the one Diet Coke that I was going to have every day. It just happened automatically. So what I'm sharing with you is what's in your habits and what's in your identity happen automatically. I had a student recently in one of my transformational programs, she said to me, she goes, Jim, I just, that habit of, I keep saying, I'm going to go to the gym and I don't do it. And I say, I'm going to do it, and I don't I say, I'm going to do it. And I don't. Is that really just a matter of habits? And I'm like, yeah, so it is matter of habits, because everything is about habits. So what people do is, many times, they're not in the habit of, going to the gym. So what they do is they say, Well, I'm going to go to the gym, but they're not in the habit of going to the gym, but they say they're going to go to the gym and because they're not in the habit of going to the gym, they don't go to the gym and then what they've done is they've broken their word to themselves, about going to the gym.
Now, that being said, I haven't read any research and I've never heard Michael Jensen talk about this, and he's pretty much an expert on this topic. As a matter of fact, he said in business, one of the most overlooked concepts is the concept of self integrity. And if any of you work corporate america You know exactly what I'm talking about. Nothing for the most part ever happens when people say that it's going to happen. And that's a whole different ball of wax. I mean, how do you air quote, you know, manage that? Or, you've heard me say before, we can't control anything, but I'm going to use that word colloquially. How do we manage that? Anyway, whole different topic.
So, what I suggest you do is go back and listen to the episode on habits. I think it's episode number five or six. I don't know. Anyway, I said go back and listen there. Because you've heard me say if you've listened to that episode already is that you don't get in life what you want. None of us get in life what we want, we get our habits and our habits our brain based. So what I want to share with you is instead of giving your word and breaking, giving your word and breaking it and then personalizing it and saying, I'm a bad person and I can't do this and I have, I have no willpower, etc, etc. Blah, blah, head garbage head garbage, head garbage. Work on habituating, work on habituating things that you say you're going to do.
Let me recapitulate that and add something else. So what you want to do is you want to work on habituated things that you say you're going to do like going to the gym, go listen to the habit episode, and you want to subconsciously reprogram yourself. So that guess what you're automatically at identity level, a person that goes to the gym. So when you say, I go to the gym three days a week, notice how easy it is. If you're a person who has the identity and the habit when you speak it, it's much easier to do. This is, as I said, and as we wrap up here, as I said, this was a big one for me in my life. I'm being transparent here. I used to also I used to be the helper, I wanted to help everyone and let me help as much as I can. And by doing that, in years past what I would do is that I overcommit. I'd say yeah, I can do this. I can do that, not a problem, I'll have that by Thursday, I'll have that, etc, etc, etc. And I would always overcommit. And then when I, when I would overcommit, I was out of self integrity because I couldn't keep my word about what I committed on the timeframe that I said I would do it.
So I tossed that in for you to look at that as well. What I do now, to stay in self integrity, and there are times I'm out of self integrity, and I clean it up with my team, or with people, meaning I acknowledge it and I clean it up. However, what I do this day and age is I do not overcommit any more, quite the opposite. And I also, I'm not a pleaser, and I'm not trying to impress people or any of that about when I can do something or how or how quickly or how powerful or whatever. I will simply, what I'll simply say is this a lot of times is okay, you're asking me to do X, Y, Z. I cannot get to it today, and probably not tomorrow. So what I'm saying is, I can't commit to next couple of days, but by XYZ date, I can commit to that date.
And I know because see, I talked about self commitments. So I know that if I say it's got to be done by Monday, guess what? It better be done by Monday. Otherwise, I'm not walking my talk. Okay. So your transformational takeaway this week, is that nothing works when you don't keep your word to yourself. So what you want to do the two avenues and I'm pointing you down right now. One is to habituate things that you've been saying you want to do, or subconsciously reprogram, to become the kind of person who does those things automatically.
Okay, so as you know, the Monday episodes are Q&A episodes. And the question that I picked because this applies to a lot of you, and I can speak to it from my personal past as well is that many of you think that you're not good enough, which I've addressed in so many episodes, or that you're not doing something right or you're doing something wrong. And the question is, I constantly have the thought that throughout my day, the thought is that I'm doing something wrong, or I'm not good enough. And what do I do about this? So that's the episode on Monday is the constant thought of you're not doing something right, or which we've touched on before, you're not good enough. So make sure you tune in, if that resonates with you. Okay, thanks for listening. I'll catch you on one of the other episodes. Take care. Bye bye.
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