Why is Living Within Your Values So Important? by Jo Robertson
This weeks topic and article is from Jo Robertson, and is all about why it’s so important to identify our values and then actually LIVE them. You can read the entire article at your leisure, but here are a few key takeaways that we’d like you to invest a couple of minutes considering and/or choose one to discuss:
- Values really boil down to who we are BEING as we go through life.
- Our values help us navigate change. How have YOUR values helped you navigate through the last year?
- Our values can have a significant impact on our performance and achievement. Have you experienced a time when your performance was affected by being out of touch with your values?
- Share ONE of your personal values.
- Be sure to download the Values Resource at the end of the article and work through it if this type of reflection is new to you.
Recap on this education topic from last fortnight:
Values help us to navigate change more easily, to connect more fully with what’s around us, and to grow more surely into who, or what we want to become. Values are a reflection of our beliefs and what we hold as important. Having clarity about our values empowers us to make the right choices and decisions, to take action, to focus and move toward our specific purpose and the life that we intend for ourselves.
Values are not goals, they are choices that we feel right with. They are not rules, they are qualities we choose freely. Values describe what you want to do and how you want to do it.
Being in touch with our values really helps to give our life meaning. They are like our guiding stars. If we can align our life with our values we feel more like ourselves, we feel more excited, energized, at peace and effortless. They can make a significant impact on our performance and achievement.
Personal values come under headings like adventure, creativity, spiritual leadership, wellbeing and contribution. They are qualities such as fun, beauty, inspiration, ingenuity, being energized. They don’t drive us to achieve, rather we are attracted to these qualities and they give our daily lives more meaning when we integrate them into our lifestyle.
Values elicitation is a valuable part of my coaching work with clients. I like to align with the work of Russ Harris – ACT mindfully. Russ provides a framework to establish your values in the key areas of life, and this is a helpful guide for when we are making mindful choices and decisions. You will find this in his book The Happiness Trap or tap into a simple values resource (link provided at the end of this article) to help you get started.
“Values are your heart’s deepest desires for how you want to behave as a human being. Values are not about what you want to get or achieve; they are about how you want to behave or act on an ongoing basis; how you want to treat yourself, others, the world around you.” – Russ Harris
How do you know if it’s a value? It attracts you, it resonates and draws you forward, it comes from within, for what you truly want to be doing. There’s no right or wrong with a value, most importantly it feels right for you. If you find yourself saying ‘I should’ or ‘I have to’, or ‘I must’ – check in with yourself, as you may be trying to inject someone else’s, or society’s expectations and values upon yourself. There is no ‘should’ ‘must’, or ‘have to’ with values.
In the past you may have set goals and found it hard work striving to make them happen. If you’re not achieving your goals, you probably think you’ve failed. You may even beat yourself up, and this can lower your feelings of self-worth, when you think that you’re not able to complete your goals or do what you say.
Rather than purely striving to achieve goals, when we live a values-focused life we are working toward an end result, while staying in touch with values and bringing them to play in our life. This means appreciating the journey as well as working toward the goal. Aligning with values fulfills you right now. When you set goals aligned with your values you are much more likely to achieve them. They give you focus and priority and can help inform your decisions and actions. They are the key to your empowerment and fulfilment.
By aligning each area of your life with your values, you can find more fulfilment and satisfaction right where you are, as well as working toward wonderful new intensions for your future.
“Success in life means living by your values” – Russ Harris
You can find out more about Jo Robertson – Transformation Coach & Certified Martha Beck Life Coach at http://jorobertson.co.nz/
She has provided a free resource you can access to help you implement the guidance in this article. You can download it here: Values Resource https://www.dropbox.com/s/zqlfnf5ohjduw45/values.pdf?dl=0
Full blog here
Did you know you’re giving your mind a job it cannot do? By Inna Neal
The article that forms the basis of this meeting topic is meant to help us become aware of the times when our mind is too ‘full’ to focus on our next best step. Inna Neal of Innerlightened shares one of her favourite techniques with us for how to de-clutter our minds so that we can once again hear our intuition, which is vital to helping us solve problems and make decisions. You can read the entire article below. For now, why not invest a few moments to consider a time in your life or business when you found yourself in need of a good mind ‘de-clutter’ and how it impacted your decision-making.
Creating a positive mindset is important, but what if our mind is cluttered with beliefs and habits that don’t serve us? The mind cannot focus on our next best step. So how do we help ourselves when this happens?
The mind is perpetually focused on something – it is always thinking and creating stories. These stories impact how we feel and respond to challenges and new experiences in our lives. If a story or habit is based on judgement, doubt or fear of the unknown, the mind gets cluttered with more of the same stories and leaves little space for what is our next best step.
It is a beautifully designed machine. It plays many roles. One role of the mind is to create habits and build neural pathways so that we don’t need to put much effort into tasks that we do every day, like brushing our teeth or driving a familiar route.
Another role it plays is to receive instructions to complete actions on what we need to do to achieve certain goals. The dilemma is that we have been taught to give the mind a job it cannot do. We give the mind a task to find solutions to challenges and new experiences that we don’t yet have a neural pathway for.
So where do these instructions come from? They come from our intuition, our heart brain. It’s a thing! Check out www.heartmath.org. The HeartMath Institute have been conducting studies and experiments since the 1960’s on the power of our heart and intuition.
Here is an example:
As women in business, each day brings new experiences. One day we are celebrating and another we are tackling challenges. Let’s say you lost an important client, you had a challenging month financially, a client needs something specific that you’re not sure how to complete yet, or you just feel overwhelmed with a huge to-do list. If we allow the mind to take over, it begins to add similar thoughts and escalates the same thought repeatedly. This snowball effect spirals into an old pattern of “I’m not good enough”, “This is too hard” or any long-held beliefs and habitual thoughts.
If we want to make decisions from our true authentic selves, we must become aware that our intuition is actually where the solutions are. Each time you connect to your intuition, the solution is one that serves you and gives you information on how to get to what you want to achieve.
Our intuition is the guide, it tells the mind what to focus on and the mind completes the actions. So how do we clear our minds and connect to our intuition so that we can give the mind proper instructions?
One technique I find extremely helpful is a term you’ve probably heard before called ‘Brain Dumping.’ Brain dumping is acknowledging all the thoughts that are cluttering your mind and clearing them so that we make the space for our intuition to be heard. Let me show you how I use Brain Dumping:
- Become aware when your mind is streaming thoughts that aren’t serving you. You will know this by how it feels. Our emotions are our guidance system. If you are feeling any heavy emotions like overwhelm, anxiety, self-doubt, blame, your mind is cluttered.
- Grab a journal and set your timer for 10 minutes and start brain dumping everything that you are thinking. Just let it flow – with no judgment. If you feel stuck, you can ask yourself ‘what else am I thinking?’ Keep asking yourself this question until you feel satisfied you have ‘offloaded’ everything. If you keep going, you may discover thoughts that you didn’t even know were there!
- Pause, put down your journal and take as many conscious deep breaths as you can. At least 5 or 6. Don’t rush through these.
- Pick up your journal and look at what you wrote. Reflect on your thoughts by answering these two questions… ‘Is this all true?’ ‘Do I know for sure that everything I wrote here is true?’ (These two important questions are part of Byron Katie’s technique).
- Place both hands on your heart. Take 5 more deep, conscious breaths and feel into your heart space while asking yourself this question, ‘What else is possible here?’ Be open and curious to receive what comes up. Becoming still and curious will awaken your intuition. You will be able to hear it. At first it may be quiet, so listen and journal on what comes up. It may just be the next best step. Allow that to be enough.
What I have learned through my own experience and with the clients I work with is this: it’s one thing to know this information, but it’s another to experience it. I invite you to take the time to make space for this practice because it is a practice. Reflect on the shift that it creates. Be kind to yourself. Try it a few times, the awareness and clarity will come for you with practice.
On a ‘full disclosure’ side note…I needed to use this practice to write this article! We got this, ladies!
Sending love, light and curiosity.
‘If one advances confidently in the direction of [her] dreams, and endeavours to live the life which [s]he has imagined, [s]he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.’ ~ Henry David Thoreau
Dream from your heart!
Original blog here
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