Living by my values – causing me internal issues

HomeForumsEmotional MasteryLiving by my values – causing me internal issues

New Reply
Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #422091

    Hi guys,

    I read an amazing book called the “Chimp Paradox” by Prof. Steve Petters. It’s an amazing read and I would highly recommend it.

    In the book, the author speaks about creating your own “Stone of Life” which is made up of your truths of life, your values that you live by and your perspective on life. The author recommends that you review this regularly.

    The problem I am having is that I am starting to question whether my values are to “Lofty” and “Idealistic” and when I check in with them, if I haven’t lived my life that way I feel like somewhat of a fraud.

    For example, one of my values I have is that:

    • I do my best at all times

    Now, the problem with this is that I often feel that my best if not good enough. I feel that no matter what, I could have done more. Also, to take work as an example, I came home today from work and I had an hour to myself. I could have logged on and sent work emails that could be sent, but I didn’t. I read a book. So here, I feel I am not doing my best. I am more doing what I want. Inner critic rises up!

    Another value I try to live by is:

    I am honest in my dealings

    Again, while that is correct 90% of the time, I did tell a few white little lies today for self preservation and telling customers their order would be with them next week when I know it will be the week after. Again, que the inner critic.

    Another value I aim to live by is:

    I do what’s right

    Again, this is closely related to the value above and whilst I do live a good moral life, lying to that customer earlier, eating that chocolate cake at lunch, whilst aiming to loose a few pounds is not the right thing to do. Again, the inner critic comes at me.

    Now even if my values are a little bit ambitious, being the person I am, I sometimes feel that I need these structured values in place because if I don’t, my life can be aimless and I drift. Plus I want to live a high quality life and I believe these will help me do that.

    But then if I don’t live these values – exactly as I say, I am extremely tough on myself and feel almost fraudulent.

    Has anyone any experience of Prof. Peters work?

    Has anyone experienced anything like what I am talking about themselves?

    Has anyone any general advice on this topic? All input welcomed and appreciated.

    I look forward to hearing your replies.

    DD 🙂


    Hi Danny

    I haven’t read the book, but I have worked on my core values. My core values are kindness, helping, personal development, honesty, hard work, health, family and pets.

    I think you’ve managed to highlight the issue you’re experiencing.

    Your inner critic. It sounds like you’ve created some really high expectations for yourself.

    Perfection 100% of the time.

    I do like your values, doing your best, doing the right thing and honesty.

    But life is complicated and people are not perfect.

    If you don’t get everything you want to done, perhaps you need a small break to recharge? That isn’t really a bad thing. Self-care can help you to be at your best and maximise what you’re able to do. If you’re tired and getting stressed no one is at their best. Self care is how we refill our cups.

    So you don’t like lying to customers. I think that’s fair! Are there reasons why you said that they would receive what they need in a week instead of two? Are there any other ways you can achieve what you want to achieve?

    Life is complicated and white lies are very common in society. I don’t think you meant any harm but if this is something that you would like to plan on changing, you could try to.

    I think when something happens that you’re not comfortable with you can reflect on it and try to figure out a better way. You did what you could in the moment. But having time to think perhaps you can find another solution that you could use with future issues?

    And if it’s just the nature of the job, there’s nothing you can do about it whilst working that job. You would have to accept that it is part of the job. It won’t always be your job, there will be other jobs in the future. You are not your job and you should give yourself some grace.

    Doing what is right is very subjective when it comes to your examples.

    Your customer will get what they need regardless and there’s nothing wrong with eating cake. Sometimes eating cake is good self-care.

    I think that your expectations for your values are idealistic but perhaps not realistic. If you were a monk, sure it would make sense. But you live in a complicated world, life is complicated. Perfection is unattainable.

    All you can really do is TRY your best and that is enough. You seem like a great person! Your inner critic needs to learn to see that.

    Working on self-care, self-compassion and self-acceptance could help you with that struggle with your inner critic. It sounds like you’re doing a great job as you are.

    Wishing you all the best! 🙏


    Dear Danny

    I agree it is good to have a foundation or framework to give your life meaning & guidance. Aspirations are there to help & guide you , not a big stick with which to punish yourself or others.

    I also think that Helcat is on the right track with your inner critic running the show.

    I have struggled with things that are phrased in the negative like commandments. That shalt not kill so I prefer the offerings of Thich Nat Han. May I keep sentient beings safe, May I be mild of thought speech & manner, May I have integrity in all my relationships, May I keep my judgement clear. Also the phrase May I is gentle and allows for contemplation to think deeply about how that works in real life.

    Taking inspiration of the Muslim idea of stopping and praying throughout the day I try to remember to review my actions of the previous few hours and if & when try to rectify where I have been a bit clumsy with myself or others. A slower, gentler, quieter life helps keep me on track with my ideals.

    I hope that you continue on the journey of bringing your inner & outer life into align with each other.



Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.