January feels like an ideal month to focus on the “Be True” of Wise Introvert’s call for more authentic living. When you understand yourself better, that truth becomes the foundation of all your choices as you move through the rest of the year.
Values are a critical part of that roadmap.
If we think of values in terms of what’s most important to us, or what guides our priorities in life, there’s an understanding that they must exist through action.
And what if your values are not reflected in your action?
You’ll know. Because it will show up for you in one way or another: that’s the feeling of dis-ease. Living your life in a way that prioritizes someone else’s values can ‘eat away’ at your body, mind, and soul. Most of us do it to some extent – until it catches up with us and we get a wake-up call.
One of my wake-up calls came about six years ago when I finally burnt out. At that point, if I had the energy to walk my daughter to and home from school, I was having a good day.
I wanted more. Perhaps you can relate.
So let’s declare January as the perfect month to huddle in and focus on clarifying what is more true for us at this point in our lives.
You already know yourself. The answers are always within you. But if you’re still reading, my guess is that you’re wanting to get more clear. You’re still feeling stuck or frustrated in some way. Or perhaps you’re making your way through a transition and feel uncertain about what comes next.
Values are critical to your “Be True” roadmap. There are a number of ways to uncover your values and different methods work for different people. This is one approach that has helped me to get concrete because the analysis is based in what I have actually done (not what I think or wish).
The exercises will highlight contrast for you – and that contrast can lead you to getting more clear about your truth.
Here are some questions for you to ponder as you dig deeper:
How do you spend your TIME?
Just take a look at how you spent your time yesterday (assuming it was a ‘normal’ day for you – extend to whatever time frame makes the most sense for you). What exactly did you do? How did each activity feel? How much of it really mattered to you? How much of it was for some external obligation or commitment that felt like ‘going through the motions’?
How do you spend your ENERGY?
Reviewing the breakdown of your day, take a look at it in terms of your energy. At what point did you feel energized? At what point did you feel drained? Look for commonalities in the factors that led you to feel that way.
How do you spend your MONEY?
Taking time to review your last credit card and bank statements can be very revealing. What did you spend your money on? Compare that to your income for the month. If you categorize your spending, what proportion of your income was spent on each category?
How does that feel to you? You’re either spending money on what you value, or, you’re spending money on what you think you should value/what others value. Sit quietly with the numbers. Which is it?
All of these questions can help you to clarify your values. Because your values are more than what sounds nice to prioritize. They’re experiential. You’re living them (spending your time, energy & money on them) or you’re not.
Clarity can come through contrast. If you identify something that’s not feeling quite right to you, reflect on what would feel more true. Create space and trust the answers that arise from within you.
To practice living more true does not mean that you’ll no longer get off track.
It does mean that you can feel more like you actually belong in the life you’re creating for yourself. That opens the door to more peacefulness, confidence, joy, and feelings of authentic success.
I’m curious, what surfaced for you as you read this? Did your truth already start speaking to you? I call it my intuition, or gut reaction. Trust yours.