Some people think reputation is the same thing as integrity, but they are different. Your reputation is the public perception of your integrity. Because it’s other people’s opinions of you, it may or may not be accurate. Others determine your reputation, but only you determine your integrity.
Dungy, Tony; Nathan Whitaker (2011-02-21). Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance (Kindle Locations 301-304). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Your reputation with individuals or groups can be forged or shattered in an instant. A Navy SEAL I know online told me that it takes 1,000 right actions to correct 1 mistake or poor moment. People form their opinions of others quickly and without considering the whole of their life choices – simply because they weren’t around to witness the entirety of someone’s life when forming their opinions.
What stays the same is your integrity, that thing you fashioned story-by-story and action-by-action within the depths of your soul. Integrity recognizes a mistake was made, owns it, admits to it, and isn’t daunted by the idea that you are going to have to do 1,000 amazing things to regain your teammates’ trust. Why? Because you would have walked that road anyway.
Mistakes happen. Reputations are made and broken in an instant. Focus on the being the kind of person that would take the 1,000 steps necessary to rebuild your reputation anyway, regardless of anything others might believe. Then you will have integrity.
photo by Erich Ferdinand