This is where the rubber really meets the pavement in anger mastery.
Time to make choices.
You now know that in order to change, it comes time to accept life as it comes along and to accept thoughts and feelings as they show up and some ways to break the spell of thoughts, language and the stories we tell ourselves.
Then you learned that in order to master life even when anger shows up, it is imperative to find ways to get off the thought train.
And now you know that the choice isn’t to listen to your mind when things are going wrong. Your valued path will lead you more effectively to the life you want to live.
Now it is time to commit to that valued path.
This is pretty straightforward, and it can also be tricky.
Often, when I look at living by my own values, I have the thought that I can do it unless x happens.
Values don’t work with that way. I rarely say things are either/or, yet living a value-based life is not always the easiest thing to do. If you are feeling stressed out, it is much easier to ‘revert to our lower selves.’ At least I know it is for me.
Making Values Real
While values provide inspiration for living, and done well, also provide a powerful outline for life, committed action is the step that actualizes them.
Committed action involves both choices and behavior. One way of getting at committed action is to look at what the important thing in your life entail and rate them as according to how important they are. Here’s an example from my own life.
When I look at my values, the five things that consistently come up are listed below. I have also rated them from 1 to 10 as to their levels of importance.
- Autonomy – 10
- Authenticity – 8
- Loving Relationships – 10
- Psychological Flexibility – 9
- Friendships – 7
To take another view, the one that measures commitment to values in a given time period, I rate myself as to how consistent I am at living by my values on a day to day basis.
Behavioral Consistency – Values
- Autonomy – 8
- Authenticity – 8
- Loving Relationships – 7
- Psychological Flexibility – 6
- Friendships – 6
As you can see, I am nowhere near perfect, but that is the beauty of getting a handle on what your values are in the first place. Where you are is less important than knowing where you are. The path is always there.
When we make these choices based on our values rather than on what we are thinking or feeling at a given moment, we are not slaves to circumstance. We make choices that are effective, timely, and focused based on what is important to us long term.