Wholehearted living is our birthright...
Brené Brown defines Wholehearted Living as engaging the world with courage and from a place of “I am enough”.
Living wholeheartedly is the foundation of living life on your own terms and feeling GOOD about doing so; the foundation to feeling alive and engaged in everything you do.
Wholehearted living is a birthright for all.
The reality for too many of us…
The truth is, far too many of us struggle to live wholeheartedly.
In fact, many of the women I talk to in my work as a Mindset Coach tell me that they have spent most of their life living up to the expectations of others, they are fed up, they want more out of life, but they have no idea what their next step might be.
It starts with clear values...
In her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection”, Brown states that the first pillar of living wholeheartedly is “cultivating authenticity and letting go of what people think”.
I believe that therein lies the problem because what women also tell me is that they have no sense of who they really are or what they really want, and they feel stuck.
So, this begs the question: how can we start living wholeheartedly if we have no idea who our authentic self is?
In my coaching practice, the first thing I do with clients is help them get really clear on their personal values.
Our personal values are those things that are most important to us, those things that must be true for us if we are to lead a happy and fulfilled life.
When we honor our values, life is worth living. We are excited to get up in the morning and we feel complete at the end of the day.
Our personal values guide the decisions we make and, therefore, are deeply connected to our quality of life.
If we don’t get our values right, then we live a life that is out of alignment with what is most important to us, who we are at our core, and wholehearted living remains out of reach.
Our values are shaped by forces outside our control...
Although honoring our values is fundamental to living wholeheartedly, what most of us fail to consider is that our values are shaped by forces that are out of our control.
We start developing our values as children. We get them from our primary caregivers, most often our parents, and/or other significant adults. Later on, our values are shaped by our peers, our social environment, and other influences.
Our core values are shaped by the time we are 6 or 7 years old. Some schools of thought say even earlier.
Regardless, what is clear is that our values are shaped through repeated exposure, before we are capable of critical thinking, before we can ask “while that may be important to you, is it important to me?”.
Those who shape our values are not wrong. They are not purposefully doing us harm. They are simply living their life according to their own values, and, not knowing any better, we adopt those values as our own.
The consequences of poorly defined values...
As a result, for too many of us, the choices we make in life often reflect:
the values of those who influenced us
what others think is best for us
an obligation to live up to the expectations of others
and we go through life
feeling like something is missing
being easily influenced by others
fluttering from one fad to the next
unable to experience fulfillment
Are you ready to start living wholeheartedly?
If you long to live wholeheartedly, the first step is to clarify your values.
You can do this by looking back on your life and answering the following questions:
When did I experience moment of true happiness, of feeling really alive?
What was I doing?
Who was with me?
Why was this moment so memorable?
Look at the answer to #4 and ask yourself "Why is that important?"
Look at the answer to #5 and as yourself "Why is that important?"
Repeat the process by repeatedly asking "Why is that important?". You will know you have hit on a core value when you have an emotional reaction to your answer.
Think of other events in which you felt true happiness, of feeling alive, and go through questions 1-7 for each event.
Make a list of your final answers and see if there is a pattern. Anything that shows up more than once is likely a core value.
Make a list of your core values. Do you honor them in your daily life? If you do, great. If not, you are living out of alignment and wholehearted living will be a challenge.
If you would like some help with this exercise, I invite you to join me for a complimentary Life Mapping Session. At the end of our time together, you will know where to focus your time and energy to make the changes you need to make to have the life you want.
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