Is it time to upgrade your Internal Guidance System (IGS) and live from the inside out?
A creative hobby I love, is singing and songwriting, and the pandemic has impacted performing in the community. During the summer I performed at some local outdoor venues where I felt safe. Recently I was asked if I would sing at a local hotel. As I live in the midst of a cold, snowy Idaho winter, it would be an indoor gig. I love performing and I’ve missed it over the last few months, but I was concerned about the risk. To sing, I am not masked and I repeatedly fill my lungs deeply with the air in the room. I was torn and couldn’t decide what to do.
Then I remembered my Internal Guidance System (IGS) which guides my behavior and life choices. At its core are values, which are the qualities and aspects of our lives that are connected to our heart and integrity. Examples of values are courage, integrity, health, financial independence, family, respect, spiritual growth, education and kindness. By reconnecting to my IGS, and my top value of health, my decision became easy. I said no, not now to the indoor gig and that I’ll wait for outdoor opportunities once the weather warms up. I looked inside to my IGS to make a decision on the outside.
In this time of great change and upheaval, it’s essential to be living from the inside out. Living in reaction to outside circumstances, we can lose our way. If you want a fulfilling and meaningful next chapter for yourself, that is aligned with who you truly are, at the heart of it is a strong IGS. There is no way around this. It guides how you navigate your way in the world during the pandemic and how you make life choices in work, family, relationship, etc.
How do you live from the inside out? Make sure your Internal Guidance System is up to date by exploring two types of experiences you’ve had – those that have been most fulfilling and those that have not been at all enjoyable. By looking for what defined those experiences, you can uncover your values.
Choose and explore one of each type of life experience at a time and take notes. Who were you with? What were you doing? Where were you? How did you feel? Capture as many details as you can. For example, I love skiing – being outdoors in the beauty of the mountains, physically active, sharing the experience with friends, and the adventure of it. That shows some of my values are outdoor adventure, natural beauty, and friendship.
In the experience that was not at all enjoyable, look for what was missing. For example, if it was a bad experience with an old boss at work, what were the character qualities that were missing. Maybe what upset you the most was that your boss was not truthful or didn’t follow through on promises made. That would signal that you have a value of integrity.
Now, what are your top three? Keep those top of mind as you navigate your life.
In addition to individual values, we have shared values in our families, workplaces, and country. I invite you to take the time to explore those as well. The opportunity and choice to live into our personal and shared values is always in front of us. By living into them, we can create a best next chapter for ourselves and for each other.
Sabrina Roblin, CPCC is a retired executive, founder of Life Reinspired, and a coach, trainer and speaker who is happily enjoying her best chapter of life. She now helps others do the same. To learn more or schedule a complimentary Life Reinspired Strategy Session, contact Sabrina at: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.lifereinspired.com.