With each point in life, we find ourselves in situations, of which the ethics we may or may not agree with. Our ability in these situations, to do what is in accordance with our ethics, is a matter of confidence in our ability to be ethical. If we are already ethically compromised, we may feel less able to continue without compromise.
For those who have compromised their ethics, the trick is to overcome our past compromises.
Those who have been acting ethically have a distinct advantage when faced with compromise, in that their life is already good because of not-compromising, and so being ethical seems easy to obtain. On the other hand. The compromised individual may see the entire (or some part of the) good of their life as a result of some compromises. Or, they may feel that their life is already bad, so more compromises will not matter. One may even feel that by acting ethical now, they are being a hypocrite when compared to their past self, that if they act ethically now, they are essentially calling their previous compromises as unethical, or bad, and admitting this makes them feel worse about themselves.
But being ethical requires diligence to the current situation. Remember that we always have the power to decide what we feel right to do, NOW. We are only tied to our past in the mind. Our current actions are the only way we in which we should judge ourselves in the present. Letting go of that baggage, can allow us to be who we want to be, rather than perpetuating who we have already been.
And if we are struck by an enlightenment that renders our previous actions in a negative or selfish light, we must be comfortable with the fact that as Humans, we are fallible. learning is about being wrong, willing to risk being wrong, and willing to admit being wrong. Becoming better Human Beings is what we do with the knowledge learned.