6. How do I stay committed to my values, even during the difficult times?
You can engage in valued action even when you lack confidence, inspiration, or inner peace. You can engage in valued action even when your mind says you are “too anxious”, “too sad”, “too angry”, or “too confused”.
We sometimes think we have to have the right feelings or the right level of confidence to engage in a valued action.
However, if you look to your own experience, can you see that you can stay committed and you can act effectively, even when you lack confidence, even when you experience anxiety or anger?
Let's do an exercise to illustrate this point. The picture below is of a "toilet roll doll." It is a doll you put over a toilet roll to hide the toilet roll.
We have chosen this doll because most people don't have strong positive feelings towards it.
Let's assume you don't really care about this toilet roll doll. The question is, could you still act in a way that indicated you cared.
For example, could you come up with a way to sell these toilet roll dolls to people you know? Could you come up with a major advertising campaign? Take a few moments to think about how you might be able to promote the toilet roll doll and sell it to as many people as possible.
You probably came up with some good ideas about how to promote the toilet roll doll. It is likely that you don't really care deeply about the toilet roll doll. Yet, from the outside, someone would say that you valued the toilet roll doll based on your behaviour.
This exercise illustrates that one does not have to have to feel inspired to act inspired. One does not have to feel confident to act in a way that is value-consistent.
You were able to live pro-toilet roll values, even if you did not really care about the toilet roll doll.
Think about some of the things you do care about. Can you keep acting out your values, even when you don't have the "right" feelings? Can you, for example, keep engaging in loving behaviours even when you don't feel the emotion love in the present moment? Can you engage in exercise even when you feel tired and uninspired?