Redefining well-being through the best practices of Jungian psychoanalysis
“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave them all over everything you do.” Elvis Presley
Personal values are not something we necessarily think about. However, it is crucial that we become more conscious of what we value as they shape and form our behaviour. Our personal values are in effect, the underlying principals of how we live our lives and ultimately define who we are.
They are what we consider as important and are integral to our well-being and happiness. In essence, they are an extension of ourselves and mould our character. Who we are and what we stand for is as a result of our personal values. Our values can be seen by others as they are expressed through our words, our actions, and our behaviours. They ultimately form the person we will become in the future.
Take a moment to reflect on your personal values.
Personal Values – the key to who we are
“There is nothing more personal than your values. What you will and won’t do to get ahead, the lines you will and won’t cross to win, whom you will and won’t step on for personal gain, are at the very core of your code of honour. And your code of honour determines your character and your character is who you are, behind closed doors, when nobody is watching.” Patti Labelle
Our personal values are the key to who we are and who we want to become. Understanding your personal values plays a significant role in self-awareness. Without self-awareness, you will never be in a position to truly know yourself. Without them, how will you know what you want to achieve, what you are capable of, or what you stand for?
To be able to understand who we are, we need to become aware of what drives us and what is important, and this can only be achieved by knowing our personal values.
You may have a list of personal values but are your actions and behaviours aligned with them? So many of us are always looking to improve, to grow – we want to implement change, and that is never more apparent than at the beginning of the year. Perhaps instead of writing a whole long list of New Year’s resolutions, write down a list of personal values you aspire to and then align your actions and behaviours so that you can become the person you want to be.
“Your personal boundaries protect the inner core of your identity and your right to choices.” Gerard Manley Hopkins
The dictionary defines integrity as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change.” Integrity is the foundation of all successful relationships, as, without it, there is no trust. Having integrity means that you are not afraid to show who you are; it is living your life according to your morals and values without compromise.
Integrity and boundaries are often not thought of in association with each other, but as we said, integrity means not being afraid to show who you are, and through integrity boundaries will naturally form. When you are confident in who you are, consistency follows; you don’t change to impress others or to fit in.
It is important to establish boundaries as they allow us to care and protect ourselves. And logically, we can only do this if we know who we are and what we value. We tend to forget that we don’t have to be available to everyone else all of the time. In effect, boundaries are the foundation of self-care.
You are responsible for setting your own boundaries, as people will only do what you allow them to do. Boundaries define what is and what isn’t allowed into your life.
“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.” John Lennon
We all need friends; they keep us sane, comfort us during tough times, bring us joy, and have our best interests at heart. We create memories and connections that can last a lifetime. But for these connections to deepen and develop into healthy and lasting friendships, we need to do that from a place of integrity.
Integrity is based on your moral principles and includes aspects like dependability, honesty, loyalty, and trustworthiness, and when you think about it, these are the traits you should be looking for in any friendship. They form the basis of your relationship.
Without integrity, there can be no trust, and let’s be honest; we often share our secrets with our closest friends! A friendship where you feel on edge or guarded is not one you want to pursue. Trust is fundamental to any real friendship as we trust them to be there for us, to keep those secrets, and to be honest with us even when it may not be something we want to hear.
“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.” H Jackson Brown
Raising children is not for the faint-hearted, but one thing we can do is parent with integrity. Whether we like it or not, our children’s behaviour and outlook on life are generally formed by our actions. Parenting with integrity means including those traits of dependability, honesty, loyalty, and trustworthiness. We all want to be around people with integrity, and our children are no different.
Our children need to be able to trust and depend on us, know that they are loved and that we have their best interests at heart. If we want our children to have these characteristics, then we need to display them. In addition, integrity provides consistency, and that is critical to any aspect of parenting. Children always need to know where they stand and what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour.
We often inadvertently define our child’s success by their academic and sporting achievements, we need to focus on developing their character and their integrity. Warren Buffet says, “In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first one, the other two will kill you.”
“Parents teach your children to express themselves. Teach them to be in touch with their emotions, to speak honestly to people, and to maintain integrity and stick by their principles in all they do. This is perhaps the highest morality you can instill. “ Jeff Bryant
Building integrity as a parent takes a lot of self-awareness. You need to be the person you want your child to become, and that is not always easy.
Parenting with integrity is not only about keeping our word, being dependable, loving, and nurturing; it is also about boundaries. If we don’t have them in place, our children won’t learn the importance of boundaries and that everyone’s boundaries need to be respected, including their own. As we said earlier, you can’t be available to everyone all of the time, and that includes our children.
“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” Augstine of Hippo
Sadly we live in an era where integrity seems to have taken a back seat to material success and power; our children are inundated with mixed messages which is why it is crucial to provide them with a solid foundation. At the beginning of the month, we looked at personal values and how they inform who we are.
Discussing personal values with your children will help them identify what is important to them and the type of person they want to become. For them to become people with integrity, they first need to understand who they are. A great way to introduce the concept of values is to define your family values together. It is a practical way of demonstrating how a set of values translates into how your family behaves.
When children have defined who they are and what is important to them, they have a solid foundation on which to base their decisions. They need a framework within which they can work. If your values inform your behaviour, then instilling these in our children should be a priority.
Have you ever wondered how integrity is respected in the long run and frequently uncomfortable in the short run?
Integrity is a wonderful quality we all should master but having integrity doesn’t make life easy. It can lead you to make an unpopular choice. It can lead you to lose a friend or disappoint those you love. But when you live your life with integrity, you are putting yourself and your values first.
The reality is that we all face integrity-based choices and challenges on a regular basis, and the temptation to stray is in abundance because somewhere in the back of our minds is that voice that can easily rationalise our decision. Another challenge is that we all have our own interpretation of integrity – what may not be acceptable to you can be perfectly acceptable to someone else.
In the short run, leading a life of integrity can be uncomfortable, especially when your actions or decisions cause disappointment. It is at these times we are often tempted to go with the flow. But a short-term compromise will lead to a long-term regret. Staying true to your beliefs and personal values will lead to respect in the long run. As Zig Ziglar says, “With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.”
Integrity must be more than just a word; it should be how you live your life.
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