Have you ever disagreed with the majority but publicly conformed to the popular opinion regardless? Have you ever given into peer pressure, had sex with someone you shouldn’t have, felt ashamed to own your personal taste, given into emotional vampirism, or wrongly allowed someone to make you feel ashamed or guilty?
If you’ve experienced those things, it’s a consequence of abandoning your integrity. Of course, it happens. We’re fallible beings and those mistakes often teach us the most about ourselves but that’s precisely the point. We’re supposed to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. That’s where integrity makes the difference.
Giving into these temptations of inner weakness are a detriment to the world. People will literally abandon all that is good and true for a sense of self-righteousness or belonging. That’s what the Asch Conformity experiment and the Milgram experiment show us, that people are completely willing to betray their own conscience.
When you have a strong sense of integrity you value yourself enough to remove those unhealthy situations from your life by resisting them. Instead of succumbing to emotional vampirism, you cut it off. Instead of abandoning your beliefs, you stand by them. That’s the power of integrity, which carves the path to personal liberty.
It only takes practice in order to become more comfortable with resisting. Remember the saying, “neurons that fire together wire together” and learn to train your brain to resist inner weakness.
The next time you feel strongly about something, stand by that belief instead of conforming to the majority if they so happen to disagree. If someone tries to guilt trip you, confront them about it and let them know that you’re willing to cut that type of unhealthy negativity out of your life. If you’ve convinced yourself that you’re a sex addict or a drug addict, challenge that belief. Instead of giving into everyone and everything, try to resist it for once. That’s the key. Resist anything that compromises the depths of your character.
The more you practice resisting that weakness and urge to fold under pressure, the better you become at resisting it and establishing a true sense of integrity.
It’s our ability to rise above our own fallibility that makes us special and powerful. That’s the idea. That’s the goal.