Feeling “off”? This could be why…

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I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about values recently.

Last week I wrote about why it’s important for all of us to get crystal clear on our values and I described a few ways to go about doing that. You can find that post HERE.

Today I want to write about the next step: actually living our values.

You see…when we get clear on our values, we bring awareness to the qualities and aspects of life that are the most meaningful to us.

👉 Our values define who we are.

While most of us could look at a list of values and agree that they’re all important, it’s the degree to which we believe they’re important that makes us unique.

For example, on a scale of 1-10, you may value beauty at a 10, while your neighbor only puts it at a 2. Imagine how this difference in values will be reflected in how you each keep your homes and yards.

🏠 More than likely, your home is well-maintained and your yard nicely manicured, while your neighbor’s home might look run-down with weeds growing in their yard.

If you value beauty at a 10, having a neighbor like this would probably drive you crazy!

🤔 But imagine if you value beauty at a 10, but for whatever reason, you don’t maintain your home or your yard.

Instead, you let the paint peel and chip…you let weeds grow in the flower beds…and you allow your garbage cans, along with the dandelions growing out of the cracks in your driveway, to be the only decor in front of your home.

😫 This mismatch between your value and the way you live it will not only annoy you; it will make you feel like crap every time you look at your home.

Recognizing this dichotomy is fairly easy when our value holds properties that we can interpret with one of our 5 senses, like beauty.

❓ But what about the values we can’t see, hear, touch, taste, or smell?

Things like respect…integrity…compassion…courage…harmony…or autonomy?

Those things are harder to define…harder to pinpoint…and harder to recognize when we’re not living them in our own actions…

…or when we’re not protecting them from being stepped on by the people around us.

😩 What we’ll definitely notice, though, any time we have a mismatch between the importance we place on a value and the way we actually live it, is we’ll feel miserable, depleted, off-track, and aimless.

That’s because, as I said above, our values define who we are. So when we don’t live them and/or protect them, we lose our sense of self.

⭐️ We become unmoored from the essence of who we are.

On the other hand, when we live in alignment with our most important values, we feel confidentwhole…and centered.

There’s a physical lift in our bodies that comes with walking our talk. We feel good!

💜 Even if we have to face an uncomfortable situation where someone might be disappointed by us or upset with us, when we stand by our values, we feel that sense of stability that only comes when we show fidelity to ourselves.

So how do we become more aware of living our values in our everyday actions?

Try this exercise:

1️⃣ Identify Your Top 5 Values

If you read my blog post last week, you may have already done this, but if not, click on the values list below and write down the 5 that are MOST important to you.

You may need to first start by writing down the top 10 or 15, and then narrow it down to the top 5. Feel free to write in some of your own if they don’t appear on this list.


2️⃣ Score Yourself On a Scale of 1-10

I’m assuming the 5 values you chose out of that entire list all rate at a level 10 in terms of their importance to you. Now, give yourself a score for each one for how well you’re living and protecting that value in your life. Don’t overthink it. The number that first comes to you is probably the right one.

3️⃣ Identify Your Behaviors

Start by working with the value where there’s the greatest difference between the level of importance it holds for you and the score you gave yourself for how well you’re living it.

Take an inventory of your behaviors associated with this value by writing down the answers to these 2 questions:

❓ What are the behaviors or actions I exhibit when I’m living this value?

❓ What are the behaviors or actions I exhibit when I’m not living this value?

4️⃣ Identify Your Feelings

Now, identify the feelings associated with those actions and behaviors. Jot down the words that finish these sentences:

👉 When I’m engaged in the actions that are associated with living this value, I feel _____________.

👉 When I’m engaged in the actions that are associated with not living this value, I feel _____________.

Identifying the behaviors you express and the feelings you feel when you’re living your values and not living your values will help create an awareness you may not have had before.

🔥 That awareness will then allow you to move your everyday actions towards greater alignment with the values that mean the most to you.

5️⃣ Close the Gap

As a final step in this exercise, determine one step you can take to reduce the gap between the importance of your value and the extent to which you’re living it.

For example, if you value harmony at a 10, but you only scored yourself a 5 for actually living it, what’s one step you could take this week to get yourself to a 5.25 or maybe a 5.5? Small steps are best because you’re more likely to do them.

⭐️ Here’s an example from my own life of how this exercise can play out.

If you’ve been following me, you know I run a free MeetUp group, called Bolder Women, so it will come as no surprise to you to learn that one of my top values is boldness.

To me, boldness is synonymous with courage. However, when I scored myself on how well I was living this value, I only gave myself a 5.

Here’s what came up with when I asked myself the other questions:

1️⃣ What are the behaviors or actions I exhibit when I’m living this value?

✅ I take action
✅ I make decisions faster
✅ I speak my truth, even when it’s scary
✅ I do things that scare me, but that I can feel my heart pulling me to do, like public speaking.

2️⃣ What are the behaviors or actions I exhibit when I’m *not* living this value?

❌ I stay stuck
❌ I overthink
❌ I spin on analysis paralysis
❌ I focus on what other people will think, say, or do in response to something I do, rather than just focusing on my own actions and living in alignment with what I want in this life.

3️⃣ When I’m engaged in the actions that are associated with living this value, I feel powerfulon purpose…motivated…and actualized.

4️⃣ When I’m engaged in the actions that are associated with not living this value, I feel insecure…anxious…lost…and out of control.

5️⃣ What’s one action I can take to close the gap this week?

I’ve been wanting to rebrand my business to Bolder Women, so one step I can take this week is research how to legally change my business name from SoulfireShift, LLC to Bolder Women, LLC.

⭐️ By doing this exercise I can now see that, when I’m stuck and overthinking, and feeling insecure and anxious, it’s because I’m not living my value of boldness.

🔥 That’s my cue to right the ship and take a bold action step.

I hope this exercise helps you move closer to full alignment with the values you hold near and dear.

As you do, I can almost guarantee your life will flow with more ease, less stress, and quicker manifestation of the things you want!

Cheering you on!

👩‍❤️‍👩 P.S. Want to surround yourself with other women who aren’t living life perfectly…who have doubts, fears, and insecurities…but who are choosing the courageous path anyway? Come join my free MeetUp group, Bolder Women! We’re creating a tide that lifts all of our boats together! https://www.meetup.com/bolder-women

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