What Does Integrity Mean, Really?

Most people think of integrity as being a virtue. That it’s all about being honest and morally righteous, but that's not completely accurate.

Photo: Nancy Da Costa, Wealth Mindset and Success Coach; Source: Courtesy Photo

Most people think of integrity as being a virtue. That it’s about being honest and morally righteous, but that’s not completely accurate.

In fact, there’s an entirely different meaning that most people have never considered.

The word Integrity is derived from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. So, integrity is the state of being whole and complete; having nothing missing.

Since gaining more perspective on it, I’ve become more empowered by adding the concept of integrity to my arsenal of emotional intelligence tools.


Why integrity is vital

Integrity is vital for workability. For example, if a bridge is missing a pillar, that bridge would lack structural integrity. And you wouldn’t want to drive on it.

So, integrity means everything is there. If anything is missing, it doesn’t work right.

In regards to personal integrity, the vast majority of us do not have 100% integrity. Most of us make promises and break them.

Integrity doesn’t mean you’re never going to break your promise. Things happen. However, it means you still honor your word, even when a promise is broken.

For example, if we agree to meet Sunday at 9:00 AM for coffee, but something comes up, I need to say: “I can’t meet you at 9:00 AM Sunday”. Then I have to deal with the consequences.

It’s important to recognize the impact this situation has on you and everyone else. I have to clean it up and make it right. I need to take steps to make sure the promise isn’t broken again.


Benefits of integrity

Maintaining integrity means keeping yourself whole and complete, even when things fall apart. In other words, you can still honor your promise, even when you’re about to break it.

If I break our appointment and don’t even bother to call you and disregard the impact it has, that’s a lack of integrity. But if I let you know far enough in advance, I’m at least honoring the promise I made and everything it means to you.

Integrity is a good way to build your self-esteem and confidence, as well as your reputation, because people hold you to a higher regard.

As you fulfill your promises, you’ll not only feel better about yourself, you’ll feel like you can make and keep bigger, more important promises. And most importantly, people will recognize and appreciate your integrity too.


I’m a financial educator and wealth trainer. I help you to clear your money vision and truly understand how money works and how wealth is constantly being transferred within society. You can take what you learn and decide which side of each wealth transfer you truly want to be on. For more information and access to free training, visit my website at BelieveDoThrive.com.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Nancy Da Costa is the ‘Believe, Do, and Thrive’ Mindset Coach and speaker who helps women stretch their money goals and create an amount of wealth and income that is over and beyond their wildest dreams.

 Nancy worked at a mid-sized accounting firm, boutique Wall Street hedge fund, and Goldman Sachs before leaving her old rat-race life behind to follow her heart to Sydney, Australia.

 As the CEO of Believe, Do, and Thrive, Nancy coaches clients to permanently transform their money mindsets and create real, true wealth; as she travels the world sharing her message at live events.

 Nancy currently lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband Harold Bear. Connect with @nancydacosta on Twitter.


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