In this blog post, we invited our Inner Hero to help us get to know ourselves better by reflecting on the past year. Let’s use these self-discoveries to define our core values and challenge ourselves to live bigger in 2017!
Struggle #4: Living Small
How many of us have gotten so accustomed to our recurring, habitual behaviors that we commonly claim to ourselves or others: “That’s just the way I am?”
While self-acceptance is a very worthwhile endeavor for each of us, and true inner peace cannot occur until we accept all of the unique parts of ourselves, there is a fine line between whether our self-acceptance is advancing us toward goal achievement, or whether we allow it to shift into an attitude of complacency.
The danger with complacency is that it convinces us to be the absolute smallest possible version of ourselves. If we allow complacency any level of control in our lives, pretty soon its sidekick–fear–will show up assuring us that every risk we consider is just too dangerous. Before too long, our fear can end up resembling the mouse in the popular children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie with its circular, never ending demands.
One surefire method to kick complacency and fear to the curb is to do the work of recognizing our core values and the significant insight they contribute to designing a life of meaning lived out purposefully.
Challenge: Define your personal value system. Try this:
- Read through the following core values list and circle any that resonate strongly with you.
- Write out the list of circled values in order of significance, with #1 being the most important.
- Focusing on your top five core values, write down three actions that you currently take in your life that are in direct alignment with these values (these actions move you toward your goals). This is your “keep” list.
- Focusing on your top five core values, write down three actions that you currently take in your life that are not in direct alignment with these values (these actions move you away from your goals, or cause you to remain frozen in place). How can you become more aware of these actions and take steps to diminish them?
- Choose three more creative actions to add to your “keep” list that you will commit to in order to move closer to your goals.
How can the concept of living in alignment with your core values help you to achieve goals that feel unreachable? How does defining your values help you to live bigger?
Posted by Michelle Wells, military spouse and NMFA Volunteer