A headline caught my eye today – the creators of the massively popular animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender have gone their separate ways from Netflix and are no longer the showrunners/executive producers. Apparently, they had concerns over their creative integrity being affected. That got me thinking, what is the meaning of integrity, and is there a difference between that and authenticity?
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Integrity and authenticity are similar but with a subtle difference. Having integrity means you are honest with others and being authentic means you are honest with yourself.
Having both (or not) is a reflection of what you think of yourself. People with high self-esteem and self-worth are honest with others because they know who they are and are not afraid to express what they think. They are prepared to communicate honestly and take responsibility for their actions and choices. Having accepted themselves they are able to show the world who they really are, rather than a fake version of who they think they should be.
Of course, the opposite of that is someone who goes through life appeasing others by behaving and making choices based on what they think others want to see and hear. People pleasing and having no personal boundaries they usually end up feeling resentful, anxious, and angry in life. It is tiring at best and depressing at worst.
Obviously, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko (the creators of the animation series) walked away from a lucrative deal with Netflix and no doubt lost a lot of money in the process. I doubt that it was an easy decision but they made it anyway because they have high self-worth and put a high value on their creative endeavors and how they are handled. They didn’t want to continue with a project that wasn’t in line with their creative integrity and therefore not an authentic move for them personally.
That personal integrity and being true to yourself points to a person or in this case people that embrace who they truly are, not caring what others think because they know who they are and they have confidence in their decision making.
Peace Or Appease?
In my experience, there is a fine line between keeping the peace and appeasing others. What’s that expression?
“Choose your battles wisely.”
Actually, in my opinion, there should be no need for any battles or fighting. I mean really, what or who are you fighting? You must be in a very low state of being if you find yourself battling and fighting. Now, if you are, that’s okay, just be aware that you are and start to move away and into a higher state.
When I had low self-worth I found myself trying to keep the peace with family members and in personal relationships. But I went too far. By constantly making sure everyone else was okay, I wasn’t. I put their needs before mine.
To stop any confrontations I would appease them and I found myself agreeing to things I didn’t want to do or that were not true to me. After a while, this erodes you, mentally to the point where you wake up one day and you don’t know who you really are. You suddenly realize that you don’t know what you want, what you like, and what you really think. The line between you and others has been blurred.
And that brings me onto to labeling.
Labeling And Boxes
We live in cultures and societies that want to stick a label on us and put us in a box. Because of this people will also try to do this to other people. (Please do not blame others for this, the programming around us is SO strong, and most are not even aware of what they do). When you have low self-esteem it is too easy to allow others to decide who you are. But remember, if you do then you are giving them permission to label you and put you in a box. There is no point in playing the victim here, take responsibility for ALL your choices. NOW!
It still makes me smile when I visit family as they still have a blueprint of how they see me. That’s okay, it is their programming and they usually do not even realize it. I know who I am and I remain neutral about them and their views. However, I will not agree with any labeling and I do not explain and justify myself.
That blurry line between who I am and who others are is now very clearly defined. I have healthy boundaries and a strong sense of who I am. It is so obvious now that my self-esteem is high as my responses and how I deal with people and situations in life are remarkably different.
I’ll give you an example.
The Power Of Neutrality
There was a conversation I had to deal with the first Christmas I had with my family, after stopping eating meat. My sister noticed no turkey on my plate and confronted me at the dinner table, asking why I do not eat meat anymore and was I a vegetarian now. I smiled and said no I was not a vegetarian and the reason for not eating meat was not something I wished to explain. I was calm and smiled and she just stared for a couple of seconds and then just looked away and carried on doing what she was doing.
No one said anything then or ever again. In the past, I may have been very defensive, got irritated, and sometimes upset. Plus it would have affected me long after the event.
I stayed neutral, not caring what she (or anyone) thought of my decision. I didn’t give my power away by agreeing to be labeled a vegetarian or by explaining my decision. It has absolutely nothing to do with anyone but me. I did not play the scenario over in my mind either, wondering if I did or said the “right” thing. I dropped it like a hot potato. LOL.
And by the way, I don’t care what other people decide to eat or not eat – it is none of my business.
I know that food and food choices are a big part of life. Some people get offended by the food choices that other people make. Not me. I choose to not get offended by that or by anything. Also, I choose to not have the mindset that I have offended either.
What other people think or don’t think about anything or anyone IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS. That is why. I have enough to do and think about in my own life.
Day to day I remain present, mindful and I endeavor to respond, not react. I stay in neutrality as much as possible and I am kind to myself and others.
That’s it. Enough said.
3 TIPS If You Are Living In A Box
Let’s say after reading this you come to the conclusion that you have low self-esteem and low self-worth. That you don’t know who you are or what you want. You’re covered in labels and you have no idea where they came from and you’re stuck in a box.
Keep calm, I’ve got you covered. Follow my 3 tips to start you moving in a more beneficial direction in life:
After you start to increase your self-esteem you understand that these labels are not your own and you can rip them off and jump out of the box, metaphorically speaking.
Take a leaf out the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender’s book and make decisions based on what is important to YOU.
In other words, living true to your core values and who you are.
- The power of neutrality – when YOU stay neutral the situation, conversation or circumstance you are in neutralizes also.
- It does not matter what others think of you. It matters what YOU think of you.
Embrace your weirdness and your individuality and accept ALL of YOU.
Stay weird my friends!
The name of The Game is Experience so let us experience Connecting and Sharing.
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