Updated: Oct 27, 2020
When was the last time you stopped to think about what was important to you? To think about the kind of person you want to be and the way you want to live your life? Most of us are so busy getting through the day that we don’t take the time to explore these bigger questions. And yet, when we don’t have a clear idea of where we want to go, how can we get there?
One of the therapeutic approaches I take with people is called ACT, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I discussed acceptance in my last blog. The commitment part of ACT is about values committed action, or committing to taking action based on what you believe. We take the time to explore your values in areas such as family and relationships, work and education, spirituality, and personal growth. The first time I did this exercise for myself, I felt a sigh of relief! At last I was bringing to front and centre what I had been keeping in the background for a long time. It felt empowering.
Having a clear sense of our values can give us a sense of purpose. It can also act as an anchor during uncertain or stressful times, so we don’t drift off course. We can remind ourselves of what’s important to us and let that guide our decisions, rather than letting fear, reactivity or non-action make those decisions for us. When we act according to our values, we feel happier and more content with our lives.