Living your life “in integrity” means that your words match your actions which match your beliefs. When you are living your life in harmony with your values, you naturally have more energy. Clarifying what really matters to you, knowing what you stand for, will set you free to live life to its fullest potential.
1. If you don’t know who you are, you can’t be true to yourself.
Sounds obvious, but many of us go through life without taking the time to identify what truly matters to us.
2. It makes decision-making easier.
When faced with a decision, look at your choices in light of your values. How does each choice support you in living your values? If both support your values, which value does it support? And which of those values is more important to you? Makes it easy, doesn’t it?
3. It helps you identify people, situations and things that don’t support those values.
Sometimes people, situations or things don’t make us comfortable. Very often, the negative emotions they evoke are caused by a value being threatened. Without understanding that, and without knowing which value they threaten, we use valuable energy defending or protecting ourselves. If you have a strong need to be true to yourself, look around. What situations evoke those feelings? In my experience, we only have a strong need to be true to ourselves when we’re not being true to ourselves. The rest of the time, we just are.
4. It helps you identify people, situations and things you do want in your life.
Being clear about what your values are allows you to proactively seek the people, situations and things that support those values. That gives you the freedom to replace the items you identified in #3. It puts you in charge of your life.
5. It gives you an incredible sense of peace.
Clarifying your values and then living your life in harmony with those values provides you with an inner peace and tranquility that allows you to move confidently through life.
6. It allows you to stop reacting, and start responding.
Whether we’ve identified our values or not, we always know when we’re not being true to ourselves. This often creates a vague sense of uneasiness and we react defensively. When we are clear about what our values are, we respond to such events with clarity and we do it quickly!
7. It’s a great yardstick for creating goals [and it’s easier to achieve goals that are based on values].
When a goal is in harmony with your values, the natural energy around it provides a momentum that allows you to take the necessary action “without effort”.
8. It allows you to get rid of goals that aren’t really yours.
Take a close look at the goals that have been around for a long time. You may find that they’re really things you feel you “should” want. Let them go. The guilt associated with not working on these goals is wasting energy you could be using to achieve what you really want.
9. It allows you to be very clear about the standards you set for yourself.
Standards are behaviour that we establish for ourselves. They are the expression of our values in every day life.
10. It allows you to be very clear about the boundaries you need to establish for others’ behaviour.
Boundaries are what other people cannot do to or around you. The behaviour that is least acceptable to you is that which violates your values. Clarity around your values allows establishing and enforcing boundaries to be painless. You’re not trying to change people, you’re just clear about the behavior that’s acceptable around you.