How to Cultivate Inner Goodness — The Missing Value We Absolutely Need
What I love about my community of people is that you want to make a difference, living a meaningful life that’s filled with purpose. To do that we focus on one of the most important elements to fulfilling your potential — being wholly connected with your core values. Over time you’ll find that you refine and re-define what your core values are. In youth, you may focus on ambition. In later years, you may focus on resilience. In my list of core values, I left out one that I believe we need now more than ever: cultivating inner goodness.
By Intentionally nurturing positive qualities within ourselves, we can live more meaningfully and spread goodness outwards. And isn’t that what we need more of today? Cultivating traits like self-compassion, fairness, courage, and patience are closely associated with cultivating inner goodness. When we embody these values, they guide our thoughts, words and actions to bring out the best in others and better society as a whole.
Why is it so important to clearly define our core values?
When we don’t know or we haven’t clearly defined our values, we end up drifting along in life. Instead of basing our decisions on our inner compass, we make choices based on circumstances or internal and social pressures. We end up trying to fulfill other people’s expectations instead of our own. And before we know it, we live far away from our deep truth. Trying to be someone else and living without core values is downright exhausting and leaves us feeling unfulfilled and unmotivated.
On the other hand, living a life in line with our core values brings purpose, direction, happiness and wholeness.
We are all artists, painting our lives upon the canvas of reality. Mix the colors your own way and apply emotions liberally. Don’t be afraid to let your brushstrokes show, and above all else, make sure your art has soul.” —Christen Rodgers, author of The Keys to Freedom
Why and How Do We Cultivate Inner Goodness
Because of our history, we have learned to make judgments that lean toward the negative It’s a survival mechanism to remember negative experiences, so we avoid them in the future. We generalize, delete and distort information to simplify our lives. The consequence of this is that we may become overly reliant on our past experiences to create our future. The ideal situation is to possess the skills to change your inner compass to something more positive and resourceful that’s based on your core value of goodness in the following areas:
- Importance: Being good to yourself involves treating oneself with kindness and understanding, not self-indulgence, especially during difficult times. It contributes to emotional well-being and resilience.
- During Good Times: Practice self-compassion by celebrating your achievements and acknowledging your strengths. Avoid self-criticism and allow yourself to enjoy success without guilt. Treat yourself with kindness.
- In Trying Situations: Practice self-compassion by acknowledging your struggles without judgment. Treat yourself as you would a friend in a similar situation, offering words of comfort and encouragement.
- Importance: Fairness is essential for building trust in relationships and communities. It promotes justice and equality, fostering a sense of harmony.
- During Good Times: Embrace fairness by acknowledging and appreciating the contributions of others. Share credit for successes and ensure that everyone involved is recognized. Avoid favoritism and create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued.
- In Trying Situations: Strive to maintain an unbiased perspective. Consider various viewpoints before making decisions, and be open to compromise. Treat others justly.
- Importance: Courage is the ability to act despite feeling fear or adversity.
- During Good Times: Have the courage to stand out as different, not going along with the crowd that brings others down. Display courage by setting ambitious goals and pursuing new opportunities.
- In Trying Situations: Embrace discomfort and confront fears. Taking small steps outside your comfort zone builds courage. Remind yourself of past instances where you displayed bravery to boost confidence.
- Importance: Patience allows us to endure difficulties without becoming frustrated. It promotes understanding, tolerance, and a sense of calm.
- During Good Times: Savor positive moments and avoid impatience for future achievements. Understand that everyone’s personal and professional growth is a gradual process. Patience allows you to appreciate the journey and maintain a sense of calm amid success.
- In Trying Situations: Practice mindfulness to stay present in the moment. Understand that challenges are temporary and that patience can lead to better outcomes. Cultivate a positive mindset and focus on what you can control.
- Importance: Gratitude shifts the focus from what’s lacking to what’s present, fostering a positive mindset and enhancing overall well-being.
- During Good Times: Express gratitude for the positive aspects of your life. Take time to reflect on the people, opportunities, and experiences that contribute to your well-being. Gratitude during good times enhances positive emotions and strengthens relationships.
- In Trying Situations: Even in challenging times, find aspects to be grateful for. This can be a powerful tool for shifting perspective and finding strength amidst adversity.
- Importance: Generosity involves giving without expecting anything in return, fostering a sense of interconnectedness, and contributing to the well-being of others.
- During Good Times: Demonstrate generosity by sharing your success with others. Look for ways to support colleagues, friends, or community members in their endeavors.
- In Trying Situations: Look for opportunities to help others, even in small ways. Acts of kindness not only benefit others but also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
- Importance: Mindfulness involves being fully present and aware. It reduces stress, enhances self-awareness, and improves decision-making.
- During Good Times: Practice mindfulness by being fully present and engaged in enjoyable moments. Avoid distractions and savor the positive experiences. Fully appreciate and immerse yourself in the goodness around you.
- In Trying Situations: Practice mindfulness through meditation, deep breathing, or simply being aware of your thoughts and feelings. This helps in responding thoughtfully rather than reacting impulsively.
Incorporating these qualities during good times not only enriches personal well-being but also prepares us for future adversities. These qualities serve as a foundation for building resilience and maintaining a balanced perspective, ensuring that positive experiences are not taken for granted but cherished and shared with others. Let’s contribute to creating a more compassionate and harmonious world by fully embodying our core values. My Stepping Forward Program has helped many determined women to strengthen this aspect of themselves.
I invite you to download an Introduction to The Stepping Forward Program for free.