Monday, 16 January 2012
Values - Week 2 SYL
I did an exercise like this years ago when my second boy was just a baby. At the time I was doing group therapy in Mindfulness because I had been diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and was participating in a study at Macquarie university to test the effectiveness of Mindfulness compared with Cognitive behaviour therapy.
I can't remember what I listed as my values back then, and don't know how much they have changed since then, but I do know that at the time it helped me immensely, because pretty much every decision you make, every goal you set, will be (or should be) in some way based on your values. If you aren't clear on what your values are, then it is virtually impossible to align your goals and decision making with your values.
When I read through Debra Dane's list the ones that stood out as being most important to me were, learning, intuition, dependable, open-mindedness, authenticity, nurturing, family, resilience, self-development, success, integrity, happiness, courage, and originality.
My top five are:
Family is absolutely without a doubt the thing that is most important to me on the list. I am pretty sure it was my number one 7 years ago when I did the Mindfulness course. However, although it is number 1 for me, it is something that I have worked on so much in the last 7 -10 years, that it comes naturally, and my goals and decisions usually reflect that.
Choosing my second value was more difficult, but at this point in time I am going to choose *authenticity*. Sometimes I feel like I make decisions based on what I think that other people think, and let's face it, that is not the way I want to live my life. I want to make sure that the decisions I make are mine. Not that I think I am 'inauthentic', but I think sometimes I give too much weight to what others think, or what they may think. I also think that sometimes I go along with things or avoid things, because I don't want people's disapproval, or I want to make them happy. I am too diplomatic sometimes, because I want people to like me. I want to have the confidence to say what I really think and be open with my thoughts and accept that some people may not agree with me, and that's ok.
My third is learning. I am a great believer of the importance of education, both for myself, my husband, and my children. I don't always believe that mainstream education does a very good job of igniting the love of learning. I am embarking on some more study again this year which I feel is important for my value, but I also want to make sure that my children grow up with a love of learning.
My fourth value, courage, I talked about a bit with authenticity, but it is broader than that. It is courage to stand up for my values, to make choices based on my values, to be a little 'fearless', to not be scared of the answer being no. It is courage to put my family first - ALL.THE.TIME. Because that is important to me. I guess I want to be more courageous with the big things and the little things. I have lost quite a lot of confidence since becoming a mother, and I think one of the ways to get that back is by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and 'feeling the fear and doing it anyway'.
And happiness is my 5th. If I think about it for longer I will probably move it higher up my list, as I think that it is really important. I had a breakthrough moment last year when someone asked me my definition of success. I didn't find it easy to come up with a definition, and thought about it over the following few weeks. After lots of thought, he shared his definition with me which was 'happiness', and although it may be a bit simplistic, I think there is a lot of truth in it. I would like my definition of success to be happiness. If I am happy then I am successful. If I am happy, and my family is happy, then surely we are on the right track? Conversely, if any of us are not happy, then surely we need to re-assess things. I guess that happiness is my canary in the mine - if we are not happy then something is wrong.
So there you have it, what may be my longest blog post ever. If you have managed to get this far then - wow! I'm impressed!
What are your values?
I'm linking up with here with week 2 of SYL, head on over to read more about values.