Have you ever found yourself giving advice to others, only to realize that you don’t follow your own advice? I have. As a mother, friend and therapist, I find it easy to counsel others when it comes to stressful situations, difficult people or helping them find their life balance. When it comes to me, however, I can dish it out—but I don’t always take it.
During times like these, I like to reflect on how well I am living my truth. Am I acting in accordance to my words? Do I demonstrate to others the same advice I give? I believe that to truly live a meaningful and purposeful life, it’s important to stay true to yourself and your values.
Values help guide the way we live and the decisions we make. In other words—these are qualities that we are not willing to compromise in ourselves and that we look for in others. Living up to the values you set isn’t possible all of the time. But there are ways we can work on living our truth to achieve deeper meaning in our daily lives:
Accept yourself as the person you are, flaws and all. No one is perfect, and no one is expecting you to be. Accept where you are in life and work to embrace all your many parts, even if some are a little messy. By acknowledging that you are an individual with many diverse and sometimes flawed characteristics, you can begin to live your life as you are.
Take time to reflect on your values. Write out a list of the things that are most important in your life. Maybe it’s respect for others, self-expression, nurturing your friendships, or honoring your family.
Then strive to live out these values every day. Keep tabs of when your actions don’t match up to your values, and think of ways you can make adjustments in the future. Don’t sweat the setbacks. Living out your truth is fluid.
Realize that change is a part of life. Your values may change over time, and you may realize that you no longer live by the same truth you did in the past. That’s okay. We are each a work in progress, and every day is a new day to learn more about yourself and your place in the world. Don’t become fixated on any one value, and don’t become discouraged if you find it hard to live out this value all the time. We are only human, after all.
Focus on your truth, according to you. Don’t get caught up in how others may perceive you. What matters is living out your truth according to you. You won’t find happiness abiding by the standards of others. Stay true to yourself, and you will find there are people out there who like you just as you are—perhaps in the least expected places.
Finally, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Oprah Winfrey, who said: “What I know for sure is that you feel real joy in direct proportion to how connected you are to living your truth.”
May we all lead joyful lives.