IntegrityDLM Stories

My IntegrityDLM Story - Felicia Popov

‘… integrity is as much of an individualistic state of mind as it is a collective belief in a better future.’

Michel de Montaigne used to say that “the greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” Self-awareness and self-discovery should be a priority for everyone because you can only know the world around you if you know yourself first.

At the beginning you only know objective facts about yourself. I am a young woman, law student, born in a small developing country named Republic of Moldova. In 2018 I left my home country and came to the Netherlands to become a student. I have a part-time job, one more year until graduation and a challenging internship. These are facts.

What people don’t talk about is the self-discovery and self-awareness beyond mere facts. The kind of life-changing experiences, the unexpected coincidences, the small steps you take every day to change yourself, to change the world around you.

Beyond mere facts my story will sound a little different. I was raised in a family and environment that allowed me to think critically. I was always encouraged to have opinions on everything. Strong opinions but informed. I was taught that changing your opinion is okay because we change as well.

I took the Integrity DLM course. This is a fact. However, the experience, the lessons, the challenges and discoveries go beyond facts. The Integrity Awareness Module has been a great tool for self-discovery. The process of creating my pyramid of values was a true revelation. The most challenging part of the exercise was to be honest with myself. Indeed, following the pressure of the society and the universally recognized ideas of what is right to do, you could feel pressured to select certain values. However, I tried to be honest and realized that for me, the perfect life would be a combination of family life and career life that would go hand in hand. ‘Balance’ is the solution after all.

It can be a coincidence or a sign from the Universe that I chose the correct course. During the time I was completing the IntegrityDLM course, I was required to deal with an ethical dilemma in my personal life. A conflict at my part-time job which started with a request to disregard certain behaviour resulted in a complaint to the senior management. Truthfully, I was scared of the risks and potential consequences, I was afraid to speak up. But I am so happy I did. My voice, among many others was an impulse, a push for the company to change its policy and take care of their employees.

True change happens when you, me and everyone else believes in the power of doing what is right. Now, as I am writing this post, I get to see a historical event happening in my country. Over 52% of Moldovan citizens have expressed their vote, have raised our voices and chose a pro EU government. After all, integrity is as much of an individualistic state of mind as it is a collective belief in a better future.

It may sound like a cheesy line in a movie, but I will take the risk and say it: the IntegrityDLM has changed my life. It encouraged me to speak up, to discover myself, to stay true to my values and have the power to change them if they no longer represent me … and, if you think about it for a second, your voice can become the anthem of a revolution!