When values say one thing and actions do another, it leads to some pretty lousy feelings. Those lousy feelings are bad enough, but that’s only the surface. The incongruence of valuing one thing and doing another causes chronic pain and health problems, relationship problems, roadblocks, and failure.
Ouch. Let’s fix that.
Have you ever assessed your values?
I’m with you on this one. For a long time I had a vague awareness of what felt important to me, but I never actually made a list of my specific values.
Let’s take a minute to do that.
What are your actual values? Are they authentically yours, or did you adopt them because family or society expects them? I want to know what you value, not what you think you should value.
Sometimes it helps to know what you don’t value. What are some of the things you know you don’t want in your life? Your values are the opposite of what you don’t want.
Can you be specific about your values? Nearly all of us value grand concepts like family, education, security, and happiness, but what does that look like specifically for you?
Make a list of everything you value. Excellent. Now if you could only have three of these things, what would they be? Pick the three that give you the biggest sense of peace, happiness, and wholeness.
Now assess how you spend your time and money.
Nothing reveals the truth about your values than where you spend your time and money.
Behavior doesn’t lie.
Does it look like your calendar and bank account line up with your three most important values? Where are you on target? Where are you missing the mark?
We’re only assessing, we’re not judging.
It’s easy at this step to beat yourself up or feel despair.
You’re experiencing the condition called being human, so chances are, some of your values and behaviors are conflicting.
Now that you see the conflicts you can do something about them, you can take steps to change things. Be excited you have this new awareness. Knowledge really is power, and you’re armed with valuable information.
Resolving the conflicts.
Did any of your top three values conflict with each other? Maybe you value staying at home with your kids and also building a stellar career? Or creating financial stability and taking exotic vacations?
See if you can drill down to find a common denominator to the conflicting values. For example, you may value staying home with your kids and building your career because they both give you a sense of security. If that’s the case, security is the core value.
Values that seem to conflict can be reassessed or reconciled in this way.
Do your actions conflict with your top values? There’s no reconciling mismatched actions to values. That’s called making excuses.
You can try, but you’ll never fool your unconscious mind if you’re out of step with your values.
Whether you admit it or not, your unconscious mind knows when you’re acting out of alignment with your values. In other words, it knows when you’re trying to bullshit yourself or others.
At first the unconscious mind will nudge you with a little feeling in your gut. Ignore it long enough and it’ll hit you over the head. Health problems, break ups, break downs, and “bad luck” will continue to frustrate you. It’ll feel like the world’s against you, but you’ve been sabotaging yourself.
There’s only one remedy, and that’s to get in alignment with your values.
If it feels like an insurmountable task to get your actions matched to your values, take the first step of being open to the possibility that the change can happen, and that it doesn’t have to be hard.
You don’t have to have all the answers, you just have to be open to the change. Your unconscious mind is connected to a higher wisdom, and it will guide you. Opportunities will show up. Solutions will be revealed.
Don’t be afraid to say no to things that don’t support your values.
You don’t have to give lengthy explanations. You don’t have to feel guilty.
What you need to be afraid of is saying yes to things that go against your values. Those things are dragging you down and stopping you from living your most fulfilling life.
Even if saying no is hard for you, trust that saying yes to your values makes your life flow with more ease.
When life and values are on the same page, you feel at peace. You’re in the zone. If you encounter hard times, you continue to be grounded.
Here’s what it looks like to live a values based life.
Decisions are no longer hard. It’s much easier to make decisions when you’re grounded in your values. Use them as a litmus test.
If something lines up with your values, you can feel good about saying yes to it. If something doesn’t support your values, and especially if it goes directly against your values, it’s easy to say no to it.
You’ll experience more certainly and confidence. You’ll feel self worth.
Your values help you feel supported during hard times. When it feels like things aren’t going well, or when unexpected challenges show up, letting your values guide you gives you some sense of security. You can at the very least feel certain about your values.
The mental and emotional turmoil that can go with a setback wreak havoc on your thought processes. Let your values guide you toward your next steps. You’ll be less likely to make a move you’ll regret down the road.
You’ll feel right within yourself if you’re true to your values. As much as you’d like to believe otherwise, you’re tearing yourself apart by living out of sync with your values.
You’re blocking yourself from your true potential.
You’re inviting physical, mental, and emotional health problems.
You’re repelling good people and opportunities that would support you and attracting cheap people and poor options that will hold you back.
You suffer, and the people you care about suffer.
That’s too high a price to pay.
Only two things are stopping you from valuing your values.
Being unaware and fear.
Now that you’ve read this article and made your lists, you’re aware.
If you’re still resisting living your life based on your values, it’s only because of fear.
This is where faith steps in. Trust and know the Universe will support you when you’re living true to your values.
You are supported. You are loved.
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