How do I know if I am living my true values or not?
Most people see authentic living as a difficult attainment. It’s not. It is neither difficult nor an attainment. Wherever it is that you are, you are in fact already walking your talk, you just may not know it. Nothing new is to be added and nothing is to be discarded; you are as perfectly on purpose, in harmony with your values. Nothing more is possible,
The fight is only between your expectations and your actions. Which one is authentic? Your actions reveal you, not your expectations.
Your expectations block your love, block your soul, block your energy. You expect yourself to be an Olympic athlete but if you do not make the sacrifice to be an Olympic athlete, which one is true, your action or your expectations?
You say “I want a family” but you fight off relationships because you are too busy at work and have so many friends and you just don’t want to be hurt. Which is the truth? Your single status or your expectations that you want a family?
This fight cannot be won. It impacts your being at all levels. If you act according to your expectations but your actions are exhausting and draining you will become ill. If you act but your expectations depreciate all that you do, you will be perpetually ungrateful for life and be miserable no matter what you do. This fight between your expectations and your actions is the game of motivation, religion, therapy and self help. It is a messy ground – a never ending story of self persecution and doubt. Let me put that to rest right now.
You must begin from ground zero. This moment in time. It is not that you are going to be perfect sometime in the future; it is not that you have to do something arduous to be yourself. It is not the journey to some other point somewhere else; you are not going somewhere else. You are already there. That which is to be obtained is already attained. This idea must go deep, only then will you be able to understand why such simple techniques can help.
You just have to become more of what you were meant to become. Born as a seed, your true nature is revealed when you respect your actions. This is maturity. You might say “are my actions authentic and can I change them? Of course you can change your actions today, but can you sustain and maintain them on the long haul? That’s the question.
In the Gym industry, around 50% of memberships are paid but not actioned for more than a month. In other words “we think we can change but don’t” – this is a wonderful thing. This is authenticity. You do what you do. Actions are real, words are cheap. You say to your children “I love you and you come home from work perfectly on time and in doing so you are saying that my action of love is best measured in my presence with you, rather than my financial strength to put you through the best school in the world. Your actions reveal you.
You go on business trips and nobody you know is where you are and there’s alcohol and fattening food and chances to go out singing in karaoke bars and even kiss a stranger. What is true, your words of religious compliance or your actions?
Sometimes we live the values of someone else. We beg for our parents to like us. We hope our children like us. We hope our partner likes us. We do this because we don’t like us and need others to like us. We only ask for what we haven’t already got. IF we love our being, why would we seek that love and approval through a false god, a partner, parent or stranger?
When you have come to complete growth, an inner growth, to the inner end it will contradict the idea that we must aspire to be the best we can or that we must continually evolve in order to find ourselves. In this concept of finding your “True Nature” you aspire to be totally content, comfortable with who you are. It is a contradiction. It becomes apparent that until you accept and love who you are, nobody else can.
You might think being a total bitch is a good way. That is not a question of right or wrong. It’s a question of whether you love that in you. It is easy to determine this question of self acceptance “if you do, others do.” So, there is no greater bullying than self bullying. Trying to live up or down to others expectations, parents, church, community – that’s the real bullying and it comes wrapped in silver lining.
The sweet kiss of a mum wanting the child to behave in a way that gives her pride. The super time committed father who attaches himself to a child’s achievements, these shackles are hard to break because they are subtle, masked under the banner of love and care, but they are inspired by the need to shift your values to meet their expectations.
Disapproval is complex. I have not yet met a person who is immune from the discomfort it brings. And yet, it is an essential element of life. If we seek the approval of a parent and we are now married, the marriage will fail at so many levels. The partner did not marry the parents.
In business and work, approval means profit. More approval is better. HR departments measure your approval scores and report these as a measure of your compatibility to team cohesion. Compliance is essential in corporate life in order to create brand equity. Your individuality, no matter how couched in rhetoric about creative cultural values, cannot be tolerated. You must act in compliance and gain approval or you will be ostracised, re trained, brain washed or eliminated from the inner realm.
At home your partner might lay down the law and be very clear about their expectation and if you don’t meet such law, you’re sex life, dinner conversation and household bliss turns dark. Expectations and living up or down to them make being authentic an arm wrestle. To gain approval or to be real? Which is it going to be?
The best answer is both. Can you seek approval in order to get what you want? Say you want a pay cheque at the end of the week, are you prepared to lay down your ego and bend in order to get it. If your approval rating is high, you’ll bring home the money, and if that’s your real ambition, well, just like the Olympic athlete, you’d best be prepared to pay the price.
At either end of the football pitch there are goal posts. At one end the posts represent your real values. At the other end, the posts represent your real ambitions. At one end your ambition might be to have a long happy marriage, at the other end might be the values of business success, or sporting prowess. At one end their might be the goal of looking super healthy and sexy and at the other end the value of feeling emotionally nurtured, which, for most, means eating comfort food.
Managing this, often requires a strong depth of patience. It is truly one of the most important elements of my Life Coaching 30 Day Challenge. Firstly, to recognise both goal posts and secondly, to understand the process of achieving both without compromise. Essential stuff given that any goal achieved at the cost of personal values, will be sabotaged and any values lived at the cost of goals will be filled with regret and doubt. There is no need for any compromise at all. This is Back on Track.