Have you ever felt pulled in so many different directions when making a decision? Or perhaps your mind is moving in one direction and your body seems to be dragging their feet in another? It’s tough when you’re making big life decisions and clarity isn’t coming into the picture.
Feelings of being overwhelmed or just stuck are pretty exhausting to experience and let’s face it, no one wants to feel this way. Trying to avoid this confusion in life is not what I encourage with my clients to do. It is part of being human to experience this. Many of us will move mountains to side step this occurrence. Again, this way of tackling the issue can feel like treading water.
The trick isn’t about side stepping the experience, it’s about knowing how to manage it. What tools and strategies to have in place to assist and guide us through this phase in life.
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With a client, we discuss what is a value and by having values, how it changes what we experience daily. A value is ascertained from whether our needs are met or not. We create values around what we want more of in life experientially. So you can say that there’s a need not being met, resulting in a value being identified (consciously). Once we understand what drives our values, then we create supporting beliefs around them. Thus guiding our actions and behaviour in our everyday dealings with our self and others.
Just imagine feeling centred and clear with what’s important to you in life. I’m not referring to possessions or status (that’s stepping into ego). It’s about feeling fulfilled and content with who you are. Understanding our values creates symmetry internally as we express thoughts, feelings and actions. We discover our identity and we all want our own identity. Values help create and navigate how we identify within our self.
Our core values can assist us in how we manage our choices, only if we know how to utilize them. Many of us will assume our values in a generic sense. Meaning we take on values randomly from our social circle, advertising and especially now, Social Media. Generic values are an external projection of our self. Demonstrating behaviour, resulting from patterns formed by our needs not being met (unconsciously).
Having the guidance of values simply means we’re able to steer more easily in unfamiliar territory. The question I’m asked frequently is ‘Is it really as simple as that?’ Feeling stuck or lost is not a simple understanding of just doing step A and step B, then it’s over. Going through challenging times allows us find our strength, our humility and what I like to call our genuiness (yes I did just make up a word).
We get to experience the core of who we are and; that tough time can leave an imprint on whom we become. We’re not here to experience moments of lows as a form of punishment, from my perspective. It’s more understanding an appreciation and perhaps a reassessment of where we’re at in life.
In hindsight, we can always see what we would have done differently and hopefully take those insights into the now and our future. But having values already established and practicing them with awareness, can make those tough times so much easier.
So let’s work out what values are important to you in 5 steps:
1. Write out a list of values that are essential to you (approximately ten-fifteen). For example:
love, creativity, communication, family, connection, honesty, loyalty, passion, career, integrity, respect, motivation
2. Choose your top six values and place them in order (one – six)
3. For each value, give a brief definition of what they mean to you For example:
Creativity – being able to express
Family – feeling supported
Love – an open hearted connection
Honesty – being truthful to myself
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4. Write out your values and their definitions. Keep them as a screensaver on your phone or easily accessible
5. Read them everyday in a mindful state
Reading your values everyday, allows for a new foundation to be created within our self. By adding your own definitions to each value, marks an ownership instead of a token word that can a generic meaning. Working out what it means to you, changes your relationship with this word as you begin to own your value.
Knowing your values and their definitions during goods times is easy. Having and owning your values during challenging times is the difference between night and day. In daylight you can see where you’re going (still having to make decisions) and whilst at night, your values are like high beam headlights, allowing you to see which best options align within you.
You may still feel pulled in different directions but having your values, gives you that centred line in the middle of the road. You’re still choosing which road to drive but now you know which side to drive on. In a challenging time, values can make all the difference between clarity and confusion moving forward.
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