What often is so easy to recognize in another MAY BE what one fails to recognize in oneself. 

Have you ever been curious about your own values? You may assume that you know what you value. 

What one values may become more clear (the 20-20 vision kind of clear) when one is aware of what they disdain. And by the word disdain, I mean disgusted by – having a viscerally repulsive reaction to.

Viscerally repulsive reactions can easily be attributed to conditions. For this blog post, let’s consider external conditions as that which can be observed and measured. I often refer to ‘conditions’ as circumstances, situations, or events. 

When we have such a strong reaction to something that is external, we ‘feel’ it internally. What we ‘feel’ (literally feel – fast, hot, heavy, tight) is most likely the stress response intelligently responding to what we have interpreted as a danger and/or threat. Depending on our preferences and particular tendencies, we may respond with our own version of fight, flight, freeze, or faint.

Living in conditions interpreted as dangerous or threatening keeps the intelligent stress response activated. The stress response is internal. The conditioned response to internal sensations is individualized. Maybe one talks about the sensation as the result of a problem. Maybe one talks about the problem. Maybe one talks to other people with the same problem. Maybe one denies. Maybe one exploits. Maybe one exerts a lot of effort and energy to manage the sensation from an external vantage point.

What if it’s the interpretation of the problem that keeps the problem alive and by default keeps the stress response activated. What if we change our interpretation of the problem. What if we disrupt the story we tell that keeps the problem activated and in charge.

If one can recognize that which they have such a strong response to, one can be curious about what they value by looking at what lies in opposition to the activating condition.

If you have a visceral reaction to being lied to you must hold a value of truth.

If you have a visceral reaction to feeling manipulated or played, you must hold a value of authentic communication (or honest communication).

If you have a visceral reaction to feeling held captive by rules and laws, you must hold a value of freedom. 


In the coaching program, Best Year Yet, there is a question about values: What are your top five values. The point of this in BYY is to align your desires, or goals, to be aligned with what you value.

To live from a space of authenticity is to live from your (not the other) values. That which you hold to be valuable is what resonates with you. What resonates is what’s true. When something resonates it feels good, it feels right – balanced. Whole. 

Getting stuck in the problem doesn’t feel good. Disrupt the ‘stuck’ by shifting the focus to a solution. Stop the crazy by stepping away from what you are pushing against. Ask yourself why such a strong reaction. If I am having such a strong reaction to _________ it must mean that I value _______. 

We are pulled toward that which is valuable. Flow with the current of wellbeing in your life. Fighting against the current is living on a treadmill. You don’t get anywhere.

The space where value resides is without conditions. 

When I can love me for free, it’s easy to love you for free.