What serves us powerfully: living our values or expecting others to abide by our values?
The joy of uncovering our blind spots is so fulfilling because it leaves you shifting your being which is the key towards massive growth & transformation within you. When your being shifts, your actions will accordingly shift and so your results. Today I uncovered yet another blind spot in me where I realized that more than living my own values, I was actually expecting others to live those values. This realization gets triggered at the most vulnerable situations, when you are in the grip of your limiting mind, when you are under stress. It is rightly said that if you have to know the true personality of a person, you have to see him/her at his/her lowest points. How one behaves during these periods will actually reflect what insecurities they have, what fears they are holding on to & what their inner world without masks & armours truly look like?! In moments of despair, we usually give in and we project our inner self. Not that our inner self is not good or so, but we then get aware of which space we are operating from: fear based or love based.
We all have values that we uphold, our actions are shaped by our values. But many a times, we don't realize that living our values is different from expecting others to live by our values. Even I didn't have that awareness until I uncovered that blind spot in me today. And I am so glad to have got in touch with that side of me. Values are what we uphold to be important to us & that which influences our behaviours and attitudes. My top values are: freedom, fulfillment, joy, authenticity, empathy & abundance. Great values to have! But, at moments when we are not at the centre of our being, at moments when we are out of balance, is the moment when we need to uphold our values most because it will serve us since it defines our identity, our actions that makes who we are. Noticeably during these moments we don't live by our values & instead expect others to live by our values. How? Let me share an instance. I arrived late for a meeting by 2 mins or so. The person with whom I had the meeting scheduled was upset and the body language reflected that. This was my perception though! Before the person said something to me, I clarified why I was late & expected the person to empathize with me. But that really didn't happen and the person started to question me & I felt judged. Here I was sitting feeling judged and not being empathized. I was completely zoned out because I had a very high benchmark for the person & that it wasn't matching up to that really irritated me. I sat in that anxiety and was flooding my mind with all sorts of judgement around the person. Later, after centering myself again, I realized that I was the one judging the person and not empathizing with. Empathy & authenticity are my values and I wasn't living those at that moment but expecting the person to empathize with me and be authentic too. Because I wasn't living my values & I was expecting the other person to live my values, I withdrew myself from being totally present in the moment, from giving my committed listening and hence my actions weren't serving me & the intent of the entire meeting got lost till I got back to my senses and reminded myself of the fact that I need to empathize and be authentic. That small shift just changed the entire dynamics of the meeting and eventually it turned out to be a fruitful one but with a massive breakthrough for me.
Many a times, in organizations also, we carve out these values yet we forget to uphold them. We expect employees to abide by them. The leaders who create these organizational values don't live by them and expect every other person to adhere to these. Leadership is beyond forcing but inspiring. And you inspire others not by saying but by being what you want them to be. Likewise, pick up any relationship in your life. May be with your spouse, child, sibling, colleagues, friends etc. Notice that many a times we don't do what we want them to do for us. If we want love, we must first give them love; if we want them to be truthful, we have to be truthful first. Do think over? What serves us powerfully: living our values or expecting others to abide by our values? Our values are unique to us. And more importantly, values have to be just lived without any inner benchmark. Benchmark will derail you. But simply living the values will empower you. Nothing external can trigger you if you live by your values in every situation and not just put the power on external locus of control like expectations from others.
Love & light,
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Life & Organizational Development Coach