Do you sometimes feel at the whim of your emotions, or bombarded, distracted, or defeated by your random and negative thoughts? Read on, warrior!
Here’s the thing –
Motivation will not always be there.
You can’t guarantee a certain emotion that you may want to feel.
You can’t even choose the thoughts that may randomly pop into your head.
But, you can always count on your values.
Your values are what can guide you through when shit gets tough. They can be an anchor in chaos, and ground you in when your mind wants to have its way with you. They can move you forward when parts of you would rather stay comfortable or stuck.
Since learning this several years ago, I began to navigate life in a new way. Rather than being at the whim of my emotions, or at the mercy of some sometimes scary or all together mean thoughts… I had my values.
And they came from a place of my true self, and my intuition – something I began learning that I could always lean on and tune into in moments of need, and well, just in general these days 😀
In fact, there’s a whole therapy dedicated to living this way, by taking action according to your values no matter what’s coming up for you – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT. Not only can this therapy help you recover from anxiety disorders, addictions, depression… It can also be preventative care, as well as going one step further towards helping you create the future you’re dreaming of.
And you don’t even need a system or a therapy for this – It’s is something you can begin incorporating into your life immediately.
It starts by first tuning in to get clear on what’s important to you. This may vary based on the area of your life, and it may change over time. You may have certain values professionally and personally.
And then know that YOU HAVE THE POWER to make a choice. You can accept what you feel and the thoughts that pop up in your head, and make an intentional choice as to how you move forward, based on what’s important to you.
This is living from your higher self.
(And to note, this is not in replacement of feeling all those feelings, transforming limiting beliefs, working with your mindset, and other very important things for creating freedom and bliss in your life. This is in addition 🙂 and is geared towards choice, attention, and action.)
What I found powerful, when I was in the midst of potentially debilitating anxiety, was to choose the simplest and closest value to my reach, and latch on to that – and by that I mean, let my attention and energy lean towards this value rather than the anxiety or fear-based thought. For me, that closest to reach value was often PRESENCE, KINDNESS, or LOVE.
In the midst of all that was going on in my head, and all the emotions in my body, I still had this anchor of calm and clarity, even if at first it was very faint, or not the easiest to focus on.
I still practice action accordingly to my values, in each moment. It’s a powerful way to live, and has become natural through practice – allowing you to live from your truest, highest self while still having all the human thoughts and emotions that come along with being alive.
And trust me, this doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, by nature it’s very simple. Though simple is not always easy at first.
Using the power of values in action looks something like this:
You’re talking with a friend, and a distressing thought pops into your head – maybe a judgement about yourself, a fearful thought about the future, or another worry. Instead of giving energy to that thought, you allow space for it to be there, and tune into your value of PRESENCE. Then take action based on presence, rather than based on the emotion that the negative thought stirred within you. So, that action could be listening more deeply to your friend, or dropping into your body. It’s about allowing whatever is there to be there, while paying attention to what’s important to you in that moment, and what’s more true to you on a deeper soul level.
Another example is when you feel the fear, and do the thing anyways. Maybe the thing is asking for a raise, having a vulnerable conversation, giving a presentation, or just going to your edge in your exercise class. The emotion coming up may be fear, anxiety, frustration, or some other resistance. So, you allow space for those thoughts and emotions to be there, and then remember your value – maybe here it’s GROWTH, STRENGTH, or FREEDOM.
Knowing your value(s) can be as simple as asking, “What’s important to me?”
You can use this when you wake up in the morning, if you notice you’re immediately flooded with anxious thoughts. Instead of following them all down the rabbit hole, or doing something unhealthy to cope with the thoughts and feelings, you can give space for them to be there. Then, even though uncomfortable, even though maybe in this moment you don’t have motivation, you still take action according to your values. The action will be different in each moment. In this one, maybe the action is based on your value of love, so you choose to offer yourself love. Or maybe the action is to do your morning meditation, because you value mental health.
What are some of your top values?
What’s one way you’re willing to use them as an anchor to still have forward movement in your life, no matter what’s coming up for you?
Give this a try for the next 24-48 hours, and notice how you feel more empowered, connected to your true self, and more free… even if you might be feeling anxiety, overwhelm, fear, shame, guilt, or some other not as fun emotion 🙂
I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share in the comments below, questions you might have, and what you’re taking away after reading.
Sending you all my love!
To your freedom,