Our personal values (i.e. honesty, fitness, intimacy) and for some of us our faith, spirituality or religion are important sources of strength and meaning. They are powerful motivators which can help us to tolerate uncomfortable experiences and act in a valued way. When acting in a valued way, our lives become meaningful.
When acting in a valued way, we tend to work toward our goals even when we don’t feel so motivated in the moment. We are proud of our actions, and feel as though we are making progress. There is also congruence between who we want to be, and the actions that we are taking to actually be that person.
When we loose sight of our values, we can spend a lot of time thinking about the past or the future, feel like we are on auto-pilot, different thoughts and feelings seem to get in the way, and we tend to give in easily, pack up, and quit.
It can be helpful to clarify our values and learn to keep them in mind throughout our day to day, and also when making big life decisions. I learned about the importance of values from leaders in the field of acceptance, humanistic, and positive psychology:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Steven C. Hayes, Russ Harris.
- Client-Centered Approach, Carl Rogers.
- Positive Psychology, Martin E. P. Seligman.
If you would like to learn more about your own values, you can make an appointment at one of the two locations listed on the welcome page of my website: http://www.sqpsych.com.