By Follow Your Own Rhythm
It’s one thing to theoretically know what is right for you, for humanity, and for the planet, but it’s another to actually live by it.
I think this is the struggle for many of us. It’s really easy to believe in certain theories, concepts, and ideals and to call yourself moral, ethical, spiritual or what not, but it takes real courage to actually follow through on what you truly believe… to walk your talk… to take action… to live aligned to your truth.
And what I have to say about that is that I totally get it.
I know why it’s so hard to follow through.
It’s because we are creatures of habit. And habits are really hard to break and just as equally hard to form.
We are conditioned since childhood. Our behaviors, patterns of thinking, and how we view ourselves and the world has been shaped since birth. Our parents, society and our environment have a lot to do with how we see the world today.
Some of these conditionings are accurate and aligned with the truth, but some stem from a highly unconscious and spiritually disconnected perspective. Nonetheless, we have absorbed it all.
It is now our job to undo the damage.
So the aim is to align your actions with your truth so you can live an authentic life. When what you think, say, and do aligns with your deepest values, life starts to make sense. Life starts to flow. And life starts to feel SO good.
So I will try to help you align your truth with your actions by giving you an exercise, which comes with a worksheet that you can download for free below.
How to Align Your Truth With Your Actions
First and foremost, you have to determine what your truth is by asking a similar but more familiar question: What are your values?
Values as defined by the dictionary is “a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life.”
And why are values so important?
Because they help us stay true to ourselves. They keep us in check. They give us a moral code to live by. They keep us focused on what matters most which helps us live more meaningful lives. Having values also makes it easier to make life decisions and to choose and act according to our truth.
So with that in mind, you need to first identify your values.
Then, you have to actually take action that is aligned with those values. You have to practice living in accordance of your values in every moment.
So in this exercise, you will identify your truest, deepest values, and write down HOW you will live by them.
WHAT VALUES ARE NOT...
Just to clarify, values are not things you want to achieve or do. They are principles that you live by. They exist at the core of your being. They are beliefs that you live by. They are at the forefront of your priorities in each moment. Values can shift, change, and develop over time so they are not necessarily set in stone. They are true to who YOU are and not based on what society expects of you, what you have been conditioned to think is important, or what your parents told you to value.
They are YOUR authentic values.
So what do YOU believe in? What principles do you or want to live by? What matters to you most? What is meaningful to you? What do you want to prioritize? What ideal makes you feel extremely content and at peace?
Come up with about 7-10 values. I created a really straightforward worksheet to help you do this exercise! You can download it below.
Side-note: This worksheet can serve as a perfect go-to or mission statement because it will have your most important values on there and reminders of how you can live by them.
Some examples of my personal values are honesty, truth, freedom, personal and spiritual growth, inner peace, happiness, meaning and fulfillment, service, being open, learning, change, love and connection.
These values mean everything to me. Obviously I have more than 10, so now I would combine the ones I can or make a top 10 list.
So now, what are your values?
Once you have come up with your values, think about the actions that you can take or the behaviors you can adopt that will align with these values. Be specific.
For example, if my value is honesty, the action I can take to align with this value is to always be honest with myself, self-reflect often, admit when I am wrong, take responsibility for my actions and decisions, don’t cheat, steal, or lie, and be as authentic as I can be.
And then, come up with as many practical life situations as you can of how you would implement this value aligned action.
For example, if I have a disagreement with someone and I recognize that they are making a valid point, even though I will look “stupid,” I will point out that they are right or I will own up to being wrong.
Or if I make a decision to change jobs let’s say, and it turns out to be unfavorable, instead of blaming the job, my boss, my family or life itself, I will take responsibility for my decision, acknowledge that it was a bad one, and come up with a plan of how to move forward.
Try to come up with as many scenarios as you can with how you can take action while staying true to your values.
Making it applicable to every day life will make it a lot easier to follow through on your values in that moment, because you will have already thought about certain life situations that you might have to deal with, and have already come up with a plan of how to follow through or respond.
Once you are done with this exercise, read over your thoughts and try to remember your values and the aligned actions. And then, practice these behaviors in everyday life. That is the most important.
Remember how I said that we are creatures of habit? Well the more you practice this, the more habitual and natural it will become.
In the beginning, as with any habit, it will be hard, awkward and uncomfortable, and you will feel pulled to repeat your old patterns.
But you have to be strong and override your old conditionings and stay focused on living true to your values.
How do you do that?
Through mindfulness. Awareness. Paying attention to yourself. Staying focused and alert. Being conscious of your thoughts and decisions and not operating on autopilot.
And when you feel off or life starts to become chaotic, you need to take a pause and self-reflect by asking yourself:
“Is what I am doing or how I plan to move forward with this the truest reflection of my values? Is it authentic to me? Does it feel right? And what can I do to make it feel right?”
And then move forward in the direction that FEELS right, FEELS good, and FEELS like YOU.
Another thing you can do when feeling confused and off is to refer to your worksheet and go over your values and aligned actions as a reminder. It will help center you, refocus your attention on what matters, and give you clarity on how to move forward.
I really hope this exercise will help you get aligned so you can start living your truth!