I worked with a client last week who was very troubled with feeling as though he was unconnected to anything important: his job left him feeling unproductive and sometimes “worthless”, his family connections did not feel warm and comfortable but rather were strained and worrisome. As I shared with him the basic premise of something I had written several years ago he brightened slowly as he said that he could utilize points in our conversation to initiate action that he felt certain would improve how he felt and approached his daily activities. I was thrilled to notice that as he departed my office he carried himself with more confidence and determination and with a small smile on his face!
And so, I am once again sharing that information with the hope it will provide someone else s spark of hope to “keep on keepin’ on” as the saying goes …
Do you know who you are, what you expect in life, what your values are? If you feel rudderless a good portion of the time perhaps creating clarity around your beliefs would provide more harmony in your daily life. Less stress and confusion would result in more enthusiasm, energy, harmony and joy as you move through life.
Think about it. If you aren’t clear on who you are, on what really matters to you, you run the risk of almost constantly feeling violated and misunderstood. It is like playing a game with a group of people and being the only one who doesn’t know the rules – you’re expected to perform within the guidelines but no one has shared them with you. If you are vague in your expectations no one in your world knows how to support you, how to interact with you and as a result everyone experiences feelings of conflict.
Sometimes people or things or situations simply make us feel uncomfortable. Frequently we just “feel” something isn’t right but if we have not taken the time to define what matters to us, what our values are, we have no idea why we feel out of sorts at the time. We go into a defensive mode from which very little can be accomplished because we are wary of every word and action. We expend a lot of energy trying to determine why we feel uncomfortable.
Instead we could invest time in ourselves and think about what brings us feelings of calmness, satisfaction, fulfillment and joy. Once we determine what we do want in our life, what values we wish to embody, what is important to us, we are on strong ground from which to show the world that our words and actions are congruent and that we strive to always come from a place of integrity.
We find it much easier to create and achieve goals that are based on the values we’ve identified and because those goals are now in harmony with the values we’ve defined there is a natural energy that supplies momentum enabling us to take action with less effort. When we are secure in who we are, we are able to reach out to people and situations that support those things that are important to us. It is almost like our radar is always watching for and helping us create situations to bring together the right elements to support our value system, putting us in charge of our circumstances.
Sometimes as we start this process we find that we have goals that have been renting space in our mind for a very long time. This is the time to inspect those goals: are they things we think we “should” want, are they things someone else thinks we “should” do? If these goals are not in alignment with the values we’ve just identified, with the things we’ve just said really matter to us, we need to release them. Let them go now! We are wasting time and energy that would be better spent in achieving what we really want.
Now that our values are identified we simply know when we are not being true to ourselves. We know when we experience those feelings of violation or mistrust, that sense of uneasiness, the reflex of defensive behavior, that the success atmosphere we’ve identified has been broached.
When we review the value system we have defined we also see behavior guidelines emerge. We realize to experience true freedom to be who we are we must guard our time and energies by establishing and enforcing boundaries ~ things that other people, family, friends, colleagues can or cannot do in our space. Then, gently but firmly we broadcast our “house rules” knowing that we are now living in true integrity to ourselves and our beliefs! As a result our world simply works better.
TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE