Definitions: a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life; to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness or importance; to regard or esteem highly
Synonyms: principle, code of behavior, standards, life-compass, qualities of ongoing action, desired and chosen behaviors
Life today is full of rules and judgments about the ways in which we should or have to be. We are bombarded with messages emphasizing the importance of success, getting ahead of the crowd and having the “right” stuff. We often use these messages to decide how to behave in order to fit in. Meanwhile the voice singing out our hearts deepest yearnings grows quiet and distant. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) describes our heart’s deepest desires as our values. More formally, our values are global, desired qualities of ongoing action – the ways in which we want to consistently show up in the major arenas of life. Think back to a time when you felt that you were very much in your life…. Perhaps you were doing something that was meaningful to you or made you feel that your life had purpose… perhaps it was a time that you had to struggle to overcome difficulty or challenge yourself. This experience could be big or small. It is likely the case that you were living fully by your values in this moment. Check out this list of common values then check in with which you are most drawn to and which you may be neglecting:
… self-accepting, vulnerable, assertive, mindful, compassionate, humble, connected, willing, generous, open minded, flexible, patient, forgiving, balanced, honest, appreciative, consistent, knowledgeable, committed, trustworthy, authentic, courageous, kind, loving, grateful, active, adventurous, respectful …
Rule: I Should Value...
I should value the things my society, family, peers or religion values in order to be “normal” or accepted.
Challenge: My Heart’s Deepest Desires
If I could be bold in this moment and imagine that anything were possible for me, how would I want to choose to show up in this area of life?