Thursday, December 12, 2013

{ ACT } our values as guides

How do you move in the direction of a life you value? This is one of the main questions in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT). In ACT, you choose to allow yourself to stay with all your feelings (even the hard ones), because running away from them has only increased your struggle and narrowed your life.

For example, Miss P who doesn't want anything to do with feeling incompetent may find she is always anxiously on the lookout for failure in her life. Not only that, but she constantly behaves in a way that helps to minimize risk and pain -- but ultimately prevents growth and spontaneity.

Although Miss P hates feeling incompetent, if she thought about it she might say "I want to look back and see that my life was not about hiding or playing it safe... but about being real and adventurous, and connected."

If her heart could be pulled -- really pulled -- by these values, maybe they would help her stay the true course in moments when she is tempted to jump ship.

If we had a better sense of what we want our lives to Be about,

we could have reason or courage to Have _________ (fear/pain/risk/etc.),

if that meant giving ourselves enough space to Act towards what we care about.

Everyone has their own set of "guiding lights" (values) -- some already shine boldly and brightly, while others need to be dusted off after years of being forgotten, covered over by other messages or priorities.

What are your values -- i.e., at the end of the day, what do you want your life to Be about?

1 comment:

  1. A very useful therapeutic approach and a valuable way to look at life!