Live your best life …
Have you noticed how people tend to look after and value the things that are important to them and how they ignore or minimise the importance of things considered to be of little value?
Have you noticed that people who value their financial investments have regular meetings with advisors in order to check on and ensure the growth of their assets?
Well, the same rules seems to apply to the care of our inner wealth. We need to pay attention, regularly, to the state of our inner assets. For those of you new to this concept, our inner wealth comprises all the values and abilities you posses; the values and abilities by which you live your life. These values and abilities we recognise within ourselves provide a ‘picture’ of who we are. The following list may include some of your values and abilities: trust, acceptance, decisiveness, sincerity, generosity, honesty, spontaneity, dedication, attentiveness, enjoyment, patience, playfulness and empathy, just to name a few.
Along with our values and abilities, we have a personal comparison system that lets us know exactly how our values/abilities are performing; like a stock report. The report grades values/abilities as ‘good enough’ or ‘not good enough’ and then we act on that information. For example, when we judge ourselves as decisive enough, we tend to make decisions more easily and get on with things. On the other hand, when we judge ourselves to be indecisive, we tend to procrastinate and then criticise our lack of decisiveness…. sometimes very harshly indeed. We may be ashamed of how much decisiveness we lack.
There is a problem with this focus on lack. When we focus on lack, we constantly underestimate the value of a particular value/ability. In other words, we devalue it. In this frame of mind, we cannot see any value at all in the ‘inadequate’ amount of decisiveness we have…..and we must have some because we can point to it and judge it to be not enough! What we have to realise is that decisiveness IS part of our inner wealth (even if it is in short supply) and is still working for us (even if we do not appreciate its contribution) and needs to be valued. How is this to be achieved?
The first step is to suspend judgement as to the worth of decisiveness. This may be hard to do especially if our internal critic has provided us with scathing reports about this value/ability and its level of performance. We cannot criticise an ability and then expect to feel good about ourselves. This critical attitude is dis-empowering. So, judgement needs to be suspended in order for an honest appraisal.
The second step involves appreciating the amount of decisiveness we have right NOW and what we have been able to achieve with the ‘inadequate’ amount of decisiveness we have judged ourselves to posses. We get to ‘see’ our unreasonable expectations of that ‘little bit’ of decisiveness and how unfair we have been to that ability. Appreciation develops respect and when we respect something we treat it with kindness and with care. In other words, we get to see the value. The more we appreciate the value of the decisiveness we have now, the more inclined we are to use it respectfully, and the need to keep checking its ‘enoughness’ begins to lessen.
Here is an example:
A young man consulted a life coach because he was concerned that he had trouble relating to others and feared that that was the reason he had not been able to hold down full time work. He judged his ability to relate to others as hopeless…an observation that his social experience seemed to reinforce. When asked to estimate in percentage terms his ability to relate to others, he replied that maybe he had 20% of that ability. he knew that he related to some people very well because he had several close friends, but he still insisted that what he had of that ability was nowhere near enough and therefore he was hopeless. He was given the task of appreciating the amount of ‘relatability’ he knew he had (20%) He was also asked to appreciate the fact that while he only had a few close friends, the quality of the friendship was considerable.
The young man took the coach’s advice and subsequently, found full time employment in a job where he felt of service but which did not tax his developing ability to relate to others.
The phrase,” Use it or lose it”, is as applicable to our values/abilities as it is to our musculature and our mental faculties. The exercise which is perfect for the growth of our Inner Wealth is Appreciation. It is a form of encouragement which produces great results. When our internal house is in order, we exude a natural confidence which is attractive to others.
The more we access ALL parts of our Inner Wealth, the more we become aware of the role of compassion towards ourselves; the more at home we feel in our own skin…..and that has to be a truly satisfying achievement.
Are you willing to see the truth about yourself? Are you willing to give yourself a fair go? Are you willing to give appreciation a try?
Be kind to yourself
Related blogs: 1. Love, what is it all about: 2. Truth: 3.Standards to live by : 4. Q and A Inventory of Qualities: 5. Lack- positive and negative aspects
The example comes from a self published booklet, Commonsense Personal Growth, by Greg Broomhall