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I was thinking the other day about what would happen if everyone took a moment to really look at their values. I mean, really explore what it is they believe is most important to them. I’m guessing that things like honesty, integrity, authenticity, reliability, respect for yourself and others, and family would top the list.
But what if you then asked yourself “What am I actually modeling to myself and to others as the most important things in my world?” “What do I focus on most?” “What goals/pursuits take most of my time and energy?”
I’m guessing the list of actual values would be quite different; at least somewhat different. That’s okay, we’re only human. We can’t know what we don’t know. And some of us have never stopped to ask ourselves these questions before.
Take a moment today to be very real with yourself and to check in about what your desired or ideal values are vs. the values that you demonstrate to yourself and perhaps to others in your real, day to day life. Make a list of the values you’d like to see yourself holding/embodying daily and then make a separate list of the things that currently absorb most of your emotional, psychological and physical energy.
When I first did this exercise I had a list of ideal values like the one above but when I really looked at what my day to day existence revealed to me it showed that rather than those core values, I was actually being driven by a different set entirely. I was being driven by old core beliefs of not being good enough and old training that told me that “good enough” was when I looked a certain way (thin) and had lots of money. So, while I believed I valued honesty and integrity and reliability and family etc. I would override those values if the value of thinness or “success” (by my very limited definition at the time) was going to be compromised by them in any way.
It was quite a shocker to realize that I had unconsciously been living from a set of values that can only be described as superficial and selfish. I had compassion for myself back then as I came to this realization because I knew that that’s what had been modeled to me; that’s what I had been taught to value above all else and so I couldn’t have done any differently until that moment. Until the moment I realized that I was not anywhere near to walking my talk I couldn’t begin to change my priorities and really begin to live my life in accordance with those core values that I really admired in others and wanted to embody myself.
My life is completely different now and one of the key reasons is that I kept my eye on my ideal values. I didn’t berate or shame myself for not having them earlier or in that moment or even when I sometimes defaulted to the old ones. I just reminded myself of the values I truly wanted to hold and shifted my focus back to things that are more meaningful and truly rewarding like family, authenticity and honesty, and health.
Take a moment today and write out your ideal list of values and then be real with yourself about what your day to day thoughts and behaviours reveal about what you truly value most right now in your life.
Send me your lists of ideal vs. real and let me know one thing you see that you could begin to do differently to really embody your ideal values. Remember, no one is perfect. We all falter from time to time. Old stories take hold and before we know it we’re hooked into old behaviours but we can change these patterns.
That’s what the CEDRIC Centre is all about: helping you to be free from old patterns of thinking and feeling and behaving that are robbing you of peace and joy and leading you to need food to cope. If you’d like to know more about CEDRIC and if you’d like to be free of that old bogus value system send us an email or call and we’ll get started creating a life that truly represents who you are, inside and out.
Have a great day!