Living Your Values
Do you struggle to figure out your values and live by them? You're not alone. It can be hard to figure out what really matters to us. But this activity can help you better live your values.
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We sometimes go through life without paying much attention. We just move from one thing to the next with out reflecting on whether our actions represent our true selves.
Now, it's okay that our actions do not always reflect our ideal self - the self that we wish we were. No one is perfect, and it is not healthy to create a long list of things we "should" be doing. But when we go through life acting in ways that are not authentic, we may lose track of who we really are.
Do you know if you are you living a life that reflects your true values?
Activity: Living your values
This activity can help you check in with yourself to see if you are living according to what you truly believe and care about. It's not always easy to live our truth; but it's worth it.
For example, let's say Malik values kindness. To live this value, he is kind, even to people that may be unkind. But what if one these people was really cruel to Malik? Should he still be kind? Or does it become more important, in this situation, that Malik live his value of kindness by not letting this person treat him unkindly. A more authentic response for Malik may be to stand up for himself, even if this means he is no longer kind to the person. There are no right or wrong choices. The right choice is the one that feels right to you.
Below you will be asked to reflect on some of your behaviors. Think hard about whether your actions reflect your true values. Are you trying to please people around you? Are you trying to live one value while neglecting another?
Aim to really push yourself to define the actions that make you feel like you are truly living the way you want to live.
What did people say?
Thank you to everyone who submitted your responses to this activity!
Here are some examples of how people have gone against their true selves and how they will act in closer alignment with their true selves in the future:
Hopefully these examples can help you live in better alignment with your values too.
About Dr. Tchiki Davis
Dr. Davis is founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. After getting her PhD in psychology at Berkeley, she started creating online content & programs to boost well-being—some of these have reached more than a million people. As author of Outsmart Your Smartphone, and contributor to Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and Shine Text, Dr. Davis aims to share her insights on happiness & health with people all across the world. Learn more about Dr. Davis.