“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” – Roy Disney
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of doing something and then wondered “Why am I even doing this?” Like a job, or a relationship that you’re not enjoying or feeling supported by? Have you felt out of alignment and then wondered what exactly it is that determines what’s IN alignment for you?
I have. I’ve thought about it lots.
This week I ended a relationship that had an immense amount of potential. We had jaw-dropping amounts in common: from the place we both grew up, to the cities we’d lived in, the sport we both excel in, the industry we both work in, the type of work we both do, the business and personal connections we had in common, the personal development workshops we’d attended internationally (and even facilitators we’d both had on the same workshops). Seriously, if I showed you the list of synchronicities I’m confident you’d be staggered.
It was a classic perfect on paper AND the sexual connection was great too. So you’d be forgiven for wondering why I ended it?
Because, like the quote says….“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” So let’s talk a little more about values.
Put simply, values are what make you tick; they’re what you believe in; they’re sewn into the very fabric of who you are (at least for the period that you hold those values dear). Unobstructed, your values are like the optimum compass to drive and guide you in your life to what you truly want for yourself. When your values are honoured it motivates you, it creates a buy-in, you care about what you’re involved in more – you WANT to do it.
When your values are challenged or disrespected, it simply won’t work for you, at least not for any extended period of time. You become drained or depleted and it is not unusual for values clashes to (ultimately) trigger seemingly disproportionate reactions in people.
In short, to live and be true to ourselves, to be able to fully step into who we are, we must live true to our values.
So you see, this past few years I’ve come to realise that my highest values are freedom, integrity and love. They are my guiding principles in everything I do and how I live my life. To me:
- Freedom is about choosing to be your authentic and limitless self and having the space to express that being into the world.
- Integrity is about alignment and consistency of thoughts, words and actions.
- Love is about unconditional acceptance and gratitude of things exactly as they are.
I choose those values and they are qualities that I want and intend to continually cultivate, nurture and grow. But for whatever reason, he wanted me to be different. He wanted me to be more of one thing or less of another. He wanted me to prioritise things differently for the sake of the relationship, or to change or give up certain things that I value and enjoy.
I enjoyed being with him at the beginning, so I made the effort to listen to him, take his concerns on board and was open to seeing what I could look at in myself and work on to help support the relationship. But after a while I started to notice that I was continually minimising myself and withdrawing from our conversations.
The message I was consistently getting was that something wasn’t good enough or that there’s something wrong with me. If I could sum it up in one statement it would be: “Everything would be ideal if only you would change [x]”.
So here’s what I learnt……
Given that my highest values are freedom, integrity and love, it simply doesn’t work for me to be in a relationship where I am not free to be who I am, aligned in how I express myself and loved and accepted for who I am at least 80% of the time (in case you thought I might be expected 100%). That’s not to make him wrong or bad in any way – he’s wonderful, and he’s absolutely entitled to want what he wants and not to have to compromise. It just means we’re not a match.
I learnt a valuable lesson from that relationship about the value of values. I learnt that we’re all whole, perfect and complete and, as human beings, we all have values. If they don’t match, it’s nothing personal. At the end of the day, it’s up to us how true we stay to our own guiding principles.
This week take some time think about what your values are and in what order? Hold onto your list for an exercise we’ll complete next time.
In the meantime, if you’re interested to learn more about how you can learn more conscious education, or develop a career in self-mastery and personal development, join our free A-Z Roadmap to Becoming a Coach webinar at http://www.ipeccoaching.com//events-and-seminars.aspx or check out our Facebook page and Twitter (@Anna_Margolis).
Until next time 🙂