4th, September , 2019
“Your perceived emptiness drives your fulfilment.” – Aristotle
Four years into retirement I was diagnosed with pneumonia. At the time I was building a clothing brand, running a charity, staging the richest surfing event in the world, serving on 3 executive boards, surfing daily, training to compete in the Masters World Surfing Championships and working as a motivational speaker, not to mention family and social responsibilities. Neglecting to schedule in frequent rest periods, failing to manage my diet and supplement intake, inadequate prioritisation of sleep, were all driven by my inability to say NO! How did I lose sight of my values??
Identifying your values assists you in achieving your goals and awakens the leader within.
Values govern our behaviours- What do I need to be doing to show up effectively?
Values guide us– what kind of person do I want to be at work, at home and on the weekend?
Values ground us– are my actions congruent with who I am and what I want to achieve?
In his Book the Values Factor, Dr John Demartini suggests that our hierarchy of voids determines our hierarchy of values. Whatever you perceive to be the most missing becomes the most important thing in your life.
People who have accomplished greatness in their lives have also experienced times of feeling great emptiness. Our lives are filled with an unending series of perceived challenges. I subscribe to this wholeheartedly.
Today, my values are a result of the voids I have perceived and or experienced.
My core values are Real (authenticity), Health and Wellbeing, Giving Back and Growth. My value of being Real emanated from an interaction with a world champion athlete when I was 13 years old. Excited to be up close and personal at a surf event, I found the courage to request an autograph, only to be refused. In this moment I felt shame and disappointment, internally pledging to always make the time for people, especially if I ever become famous or influential enough for people to want my autograph. It requires a small amount of effort to make a lasting impact and in my mind, real people make the time for themselves and others. There is no second chance at a first impression.
Regularly I have compromised my health and wellbeing in a variety of ways; An unhealthy diet, excessive training, partying and drinking, constant travel, lack of quality sleep, overworked, irregular periods of rest and little time dedicated to cultivating joy outside of “work”, resulting in a damaged body, depressed mind and a depleted life force.
The first step to living an inspired life is freeing yourself from your delusions and being honest about what you’re choosing and doing. It can be uncomfortable to be brutally honest with yourself but we can make some startling revelations which can enhance and improve the quality of our lives and our relationships. Having the courage to lean into discomfort with authenticity and vulnerability provides us with the clarity to make the changes we need to experience long-term health and vitality.
When I reflect on the ways I compromised my health and wellbeing I can clearly see the delusions I was subscribing to and the fundamental truths behind them.
Choice – Unhealthy Diet – Delusion- Diet isn’t important. Truth- Lack of knowledge
Choice – Excessive training – Delusion – I need to work harder than my competition.
Truth – Fear of failure
Choice- Partying and drinking – Delusion – Being drunk often is fun. Truth – Fear of rejection
Choice- Overworked – Delusion- I have to pay my bills. Truth – Success has to be hard
Choice- No time for rest or Joy – Delusion- I love being busy. Truth – I don’t deserve Joy
Values can’t be ticked off. They keep informing our behaviours and they help us manage our emotions.
We often compromise our values due to feeling fear, either stemming from a childhood trauma or more recent experiences, in time these become a strange form of self-protection.
When I reflect on the period of pneumonia, obviously my fear of rejection was running the show. My delusions had become more valuable than my highest values. The body whispers before it screams, unfortunately I chose to ignore the symptoms.
To avoid compromising yourself, you need to get to know yourself. If you have given too much of yourself away to too many, there is a good chance you have lost sight of your values. Similarly, if you no longer make the time for things you enjoy, or you are unable to say no, there is a good chance you are coming from a place of fear, guilt or shame, often resulting in resentment and exhaustion. If you don’t value yourself, don’t expect anyone else to.
Does this sound all too familiar?
Our values are how we express ourselves through connection so compromising them negatively impacts our ability to connect, build trust and create meaningful relationships.
Saying yes to everyone results in saying No to yourself, and those you love the most. Clearly understanding your values empowers you to say no, opening you up to saying yes to something bigger, more aligned with who you are what you truly want. The world is currently crying out for more authentic, empathetic, value driven leadership.
Each time we compromise our values we step further away from our authentic selves, repeatedly leading to feelings of unhappiness, self-doubt, insecurity and depression.
Our core values make up who we are, and help us define our boundaries and limitations so if you don’t know what they are you may often find yourself feeling compromised, lacking confidence and lost. Or you may find yourself enduring a bout of pneumonia in summer!
To sustain success, maintain intrinsic motivation and live more purposeful lives we must clearly define and live according to our values.
In the wise words of Dr John Demartini, “Until the voice and the vision that you hold on the inside is louder than all opinions and injections that you bring in from the outside, you are not going to master your life.”
If you are ready to say Yes to YOU, clearly define your values and enhance your quality of life, join me on September 25 at my EVOLVE workshop for a day filled with inspiration, expansion and transformation.
Visit the Evolve Event page to learn more.