Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. —Dr. Seuss
Who doesn’t remember this wonderful quote from childhood? We explored the topic of values in a recent blog: What Do You Really Want? – Step 4 in Creating Sustainable Change.1 If you’re experiencing times in your life right now where you feel overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, or anxious, connecting with your values can help you be more grounded, calm, and focused.
When there is disconnect from our values and our actions, we create additional stress for ourselves. This is because, in our heart, we know what we’re doing or how we’re showing up is out of alignment with what matters most to us. We reduce stress by decreasing dissonance and increasing harmony in our day. You are not being you when your thoughts, words, and actions fail to reflect your values. The business and doing of life can contribute significantly to creating dissonance and stress.
It’s quite common for people to think that when they reach a certain goal in life that will be the thing that will make them feel happy, fulfilled, or successful. It is the “have, do, be” formula. When I have a certain job, level of financial success, or life partner, then I can do the things I want to and then I will be happy.
This approach to life typically involves a lot of doing. It takes us deep into our head and away from our heart, and our true selves. We get caught up in the business of doing and trying to figure our way to achieving success and happiness. It’s often an exhausting, ongoing struggle as we do, do, do, leaving us feeling like we’re hamsters on the wheel. We expend a lot of energy, but never seem to get anywhere—never mind giving us still moments for reflection, relaxation, and re-energizing ourselves.
Being you is about living this formula backwards. It starts with your values. When you live from your values each day, you are being you. If you value, for example, connection and clear communication, focus on looking for ways to practice them. This is part of being you. When your thoughts, actions, and words come from this space of being you, you will experience more peace in your day. Your doing, or what I like to call Inspired Actions (because they are inspired by your values), will align with your values. Consistently be and do from this place and you will begin to have more of what you truly want in life.
We can’t create happiness or feeling successful from a place of stress or a never-ending list of tasks. Living your authentic self by being you is much more sustainable than “doing” your way through life, which is exhausting and unsatisfying. Yes, there are tasks we must take care of, such as paying bills, but when we slow down and connect with ourselves, we can take a few moments to check in and look at the perspective of how does this task align with my values versus it being a “have to.”
How could you incorporate this skill into your everyday work life as a healthcare provider?
- Leighn, T. What Do You Really Want? – Step 4 in Creating Sustainable Change. TheONC.org. 2017 Jan 27.