Determine Your Core Values
Note: I wrote this blog prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the information is even more necessary now for ALL people, not just those who are living with a chronic illness. Even though I speak in terms of Fibromyalgia, you can relate it to the pain points you are experiencing now. Your pain points may be the loss of a job, worry about finances, feelings of being overwhelmed with added duties such as teaching your children, loss of personal connections, loss of faith, or loss of a marriage to name a few.
The aftermath of your pain points is different for everyone.
The aftermath of Fibromyalgia is as different for everyone as what works for them and their pain levels. However, YOU are now ready to tackle this new life with a feeling of purpose, and you are ready to get back to activities and hobbies that are important to you.
Not everything prior to your life changing event is going to be as important as it once was.
Remember, though, not everything that was important prior to Fibro or COVID-19 will be as important now, and that is ok! Here’s a perfect example: I used to deep clean my house every week. I say deep clean because I tried hiring a cleaning person to do it, and I became frustrated because I’d always find stuff not done. Why was I paying for something that wasn’t to my standards? Well, after talking with the woman she stated, ”Oh, you want a DEEP clean every week.” What?? Isn’t that the BASIC cleaning? Anyway, my point is I deep cleaned (eye roll) my house every week. Now, after Fibro, I’m lucky to get it done every 6-8 weeks (no eye roll, not even a little pink in the cheeks!). Meaning, I only DEEP clean once in that amount of time; I do a basic cleaning in the interim. Before, I would have been appalled by this. Now, not so much! In fact, I am perfectly ok with it. Instead of spending the time and energy to deep clean, I spend my time and energy on activities that are more important to me.
You might be asking how is cleaning your house a Core Value? Well, when I thought about the ACT of cleaning house and looked at it in Core Value terms, this is what I found out. The cleaning of the house was the action I did for the following Core Values:
- Accountability (to family)
- Achievement (for myself)
- Attractiveness (house)
- Contribution (to family)
- Health (keeping a healthy environment for my family)
- Responsibility (to my family)
- Useful (to my family)
- Traditionalism (that engrained belief of a clean house makes you a good mother and wife)
- Service (to my family)
So, you are going to do some soul searching to get started on this journey of Fibro-my-DREAM-algia or COVID-my-Dream Life.
Determine Your Core Values:
From the list attached, circle and write down all the words that resonate with you. You will know if you chose a core value that isn’t true to yourself, because you will feel stuck. It’s important to get quiet with yourself and chose your core values with care. Make sure they speak to who YOU are right now. NO JUDGEMENTS! We are our own worst critics.
Thoughts as you begin this activity
- Stop overthinking! Gotcha, didn’t I?
- Simply circle and write down the words that FEEL like a core value to you.
- Make sure you are thinking of your off-the-job self. If you happen to continue to have a job, I don’t want your work values to come into play here. Your job values are a separate activity.
- If you think of one not listed, write it down.
Would you have picked different values prior to the changes in your life?
Identifying your core values changes over time due to the experiences you have gone through. This is not an exercise you do once, and then, you are done. In fact, you will want to revisit your core values after we start living our “new normal”. Think of it as resetting the clock. This helps us keep in tune with what is most important to us at the time. It keeps us balanced.
Once you are finished, I want you to reflect on the words you circled. Take time to think about them. Are you surprised by your choices? Would you have picked different words prior to Fibromyalgia or prior to the Corona outbreak?
In the next few weeks, I will have other activities where these words will come into play. Together, these activities will help you move forward into the world of Fibro-my-DREAM-gia or COVID-my-Dream Life So, stay tuned, and in the meantime, I would love to connect with you. firstname.lastname@example.org