The world has changed, there is no doubt about that. Coronavirus had altered the landscape of our lives personally, locally, nationally and globally. It has affected how we shop, work, educate our kids, travel, socialise and created so much uncertainty that is affecting the mental health of many people around the world. Not to mention the physical health of millions who have caught the virus and survived and the pain of those who have lost loved ones. Covid-19 is one of many situations that happen in our lives that can leave us anxious, uncertain, stressed and worried. These events can throw us into disarray, eroding our confidence, especially if we lose sight of what is most important to us. There are many ways to reconnect to your confidence in an embodied way. One such way is embodying confidence through your values.
Connecting to Confidence
There are some things that are universal, that do not change as situations in life change. Or at least remain more consistent through the changing tides of daily living. One such constant are the things that light you up inside and get you up in the morning with a spring in your step. It’s all too easy to lose connection with these core qualities that bring you alive, when you are worrying about things. And when you lose connection with what is most important to you, a void inside you opens, as a gap appears between what you are living and what makes your heart sing. That gap is the feeling of emptiness, fear, worry, anxiety and an unfulfilled life. It feels hopeless, even helpless, because there is nothing lighting you up from within. It can affect your mental health as well as your physical, mental and emotional well-being.
When you do connect to what is most important to you, and then live aligned to those values, it inspires you at the deepest levels of your being. It’s like connecting up all the bulbs on the string of Christmas lights- it gives a consistent and warm glow that lights up the room with a feeling of good will, generosity, kindness, love and appreciation. It feels powerful inside because it touches all the qualities that light you up, turn you on and have you being confident from an authentic place.
Connecting to what is most important to you can be achieved in three steps:
- Recognising your values
- Prioritising your values
- Aligning to your values through action
Recognising your values
There are a number of ways to recognise and tap into your values. Exercises like Peak Experience explorations, life purpose visualisations and reflecting on situations that brought up anger for you are all excellent ways to mine for personal values.
Peak Experience has you connect to a time (it could be a single moment, a few seconds or something that lasted for hours) when you felt magic and super confident. You felt like you could take on the world and that anything you tried your hand at, you’d be able to do it well. You felt broad across the shoulders and chest, there was a vitality to your body, you felt electric and alive. One such moment for me was when I signed myself up to lead The Embodying Archetypes for Personal Growth sessions for The Embodiment Circles Online. Values around leadership, collaboration, creativity, service, personal growth, embodiment and sharing were alive in me in that moment and so I felt supremely confident to step forward and do something I had never done before.
Life Purpose Visualisations
As part of connecting clients to their life purpose, there are a number of visualisations available to explore what path or paths would bring fulfilment, meaning and purpose. When you mine into what comes up in the visualisation, the details are intimately connected to values. And as you mine into that, you’ll take up space and feel the power inside you grow as you gain more clarity. Personally, I am very committed to using active listening to support people in managing their mental health. Speaking about the challenges, troubles, frustrations and worries of life to someone who deeply listens, has a way of clearing the mind and allowing it to focus and remain creative, agile and adaptable. Without that sharing, the mind can remain distracted, withdrawn and limitation-focused, which make it hard to concentrate and remain effective. Therefore, I feel the power of my values when I advocate for active listening in the work environment, with family and friends and as a Samaritans volunteer.
What makes you Angry?
Anger is a sign that your values are being stepped on. Just as when you honour your values it feels fantastic and energising, so not honouring your values energises you in a different way. You feel the anger of what is important to you being ignored, disregarded, dismissed or rejected.
I have a value around listening and being heard. So, when I get recorded messages that do not really help me in my problem when I call the bank or The Inland Revenue or a service provider, I get angry. I’m not being heard…….. of course I’m not, it’s a recorded message. But it still triggers my anger!!!!! Crazy isn’t it? Once I realised that was what was going on, it stopped triggering me, but for a long while, that frustration and anger worried me. As if there was something wrong. In actual fact, my values were not being honoured, which explained my anger and frustration.
What all three of these exercises share is the power you feel when you align to your values. Sometimes its anger and other times it is the joy and pleasure of feeling your heart sing when you honour your values. There is an energised feeling that inspires right action. Your heart feels open and alive. Your shoulders are set back, the body relaxed and your posture upright. You take up space and you are grounded and centred. You feel expansive and yet you hold your space. Neither leaning in nor drawing back (both postures of imbalance of grasping or detachment), you are strong, confident and powerful. This is the embodiment of confidence.
So, another way to access your values is to stand that way. By centring, you align and relax the body and begin embodying confidence by standing in your power and strength. From this place, you can ask yourself what your values are around a particular topic, challenge or goal. From this grounded place, you can speak your truth from a place of authenticity and confidence.
When I stand in my power, and bring up one of the archetypes, I become aware of my values associated with that archetype. By specifically emphasising the embodiment of that archetype, particular values will surface. For example, to open my heart and chest for Lover, I feel the values of connection, listening and sharing. When I centre aligned to Magician, I bring my awareness to my abdominal area. Or I’ll focus on expanding my spine towards the sky. Either way, I become aware of my passion for creativity, imagination and intuition. You can find out more here:
Prioritising your Values
You might find that you have many values. Most of us do. And the order of importance of these values may well change depending on the situation or time of life. With your list of values, take some time to think about which ones are the most important to you right now. The top three or four you might want to think about as your core values. For me, that would be listening, well-being, service to others and acting in a heart-centred way.
Aligning to Values through action
You don’t need to hold yourself to that list. But you may well notice that life feels better when you act aligned to those values. And with that feel-good feeling, comes the confidence to act more in that way because it feels right, true and at the core of who you are.
Responsive not reactive
So, when you find that the world has changed a lot in a short space of time, as it has with Covid-19, take some time to consider your values BEFORE you act. Do not be reactive. Be responsive. Chose to act from a place of power and confidence. Because you are making decisions based upon the core of who you are.
This type of reflection stops you going into a tail-spin about changing circumstances. Notice, over time, that your values are essentially unchanging, regardless of conditions around you. This empowers you to connect to your core values and THEN act. It will leave you feeling calmer, more confident and assured. You will feel more resourced from within and therefore the decisions you make will be more effective.
Values and the stuff of dreams
When you live aligned to your values long term, you will also see how your life has moved in directions that are the makings of your dreams. Sustained values-based living takes you to a place that has meaning and fulfilment for you and feels on-purpose. No matter the circumstances, there is ALWAYS an opportunity to live aligned to your values and create from where you are in a way that is meaningful and heart-felt for you.
Over to You
How did you get on with gaining awareness of your values from that centring exercise? What’s it like to connect to your values? How will you choose to act differently? What have you been doing that is already aligned? What could you do more of? Are there values you have not been honouring? How would life look different if you honoured those values more?
Has the topic of this blog has been valuable to you? If so, perhaps you’d like to attend The Inner Game of Confidence Webinar on September 14th, 2020. You can find further information at the link and if it still resonates you can book a ticket.
Pass it on
Did you find this blog useful? What did you get out of it? Do you know a friend, relative or colleague who would benefit from gaining that same understanding or learning? If so, perhaps they would appreciate it if you sent this blog to them? I would love it if you did. And I imagine they would too. Thank you.