September 14, 2023 at 11:59 am #422091DannyParticipant
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 🙂September 14, 2023 at 1:03 pm #422095HelcatParticipant
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! 🙏September 15, 2023 at 2:04 am #422123RobertaParticipant
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.November 23, 2023 at 5:24 am #425566MochaBParticipant
” 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.”
Could the inner critic actually be your conscience? It’s not okay to tell the customers that something they’re depending on will not arrive when they expect. Those are actual lies, and maybe you felt guilty. Telling the truth when an apology will go a long way in silencing your inner critic, because you’ll feel better and stronger for being honest.
The person said that “the customer will get what they need regardless” offered you unhealthy advice. Dishonesty generates more dishonesty, among others and ourselves. You said you welcomed guidance, so here goes: be honest with yourself when you lie. Don’t coddle and make it cute. Apologize when you make mistakes and learn from them. Commit to honesty. All of that is part of growth and self care.November 23, 2023 at 9:12 am #425571anitaParticipant
Quotes from the book Chimp Paradox: “The Psychological Mind is made up of three separate brains: Human, Chimp and Computer. You are the Human. Your Chimp is an emotional thinking machine. Your Computer is a storage area and automatic functioning machine”,
“Managing your impulsive, emotional Chimp as an adult will be one of the biggest factors determining how successful you are in life”,
“The Chimp does not necessarily work with facts. but it works with what it believes is the truth or with a perception of the truth or, even worse, with a projection of what might be the truth. It is quick to form an impression on little, if any, evidence and usually won’t give way. Of course, some impressions that the Chimp gives us are accurate and helpful, but they can just as easily be wrong. Searching for some accuracy and truth would help us to reach a sensible conclusion”,
“A golden rule for understanding people and situations is to ALWAYS try to establish THE FACTS before you make your assessment”.
Now, to your original post, Danny (I will be adding the boldface feature to some of your words):
“One of my values I have is that: I do my best at all times… 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!”-
– You prefaced “I am not doing my best” with “I feel“- that’s Your Chimp being “an emotional thinking machine”– it interprets X=Y because it feels that X=Y. It felt that day that your best would’ve been to send work emails. But what if your best was to read the book you read? What if that was the right thing for you to do that day, after work, and the wrong thing to do, was to send work emails..?
The Chimp, when it is in charge, leads us to lots of distress based on- not evidence and logic- but its impressions and perceptions that are often incorrect. I don’t think that you were guilty for having read a book.
The Chimp often makes us feel invalid, false guilt: we feel guilty when we are not guilty.
“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”-
– You prefaced lies with white little– The Chimp, when it is in charge, often harasses us with invalid, false guilt, like in your first example. The response of the one harassed: defending against all accusations of guilt, including against valid, true guilt by minimizing or denying it.
* By self preservation, do you mean that customers threatened to hit you if their orders were late, or a supervisor instructed you to lie to customers and you were afraid to defy instructions and lose your job?
“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 lose a few pounds is not the right thing to do. Again, the inner critic comes at me… I am extremely tough on myself“-
– Here is the problem: the inner critic comes at you, being aggressive, being extremely tough on you.
“Has anyone any general advice on this topic? All input welcomed and appreciated“-Your aggressive inner critic is your aggressively-critical Inner parent. Replace your aggressive inner critic with a gentle, kind and yet firm inner critic.
When a child has an aggressive, accusatory parent who is extremely tough on the child (a Chimp Parent, my term), the child tries very hard to do what’s right so to avoid the Chimp Parent’s aggression, feeling a lot of invalid, false guilt, and the child hates feeling guilty so much/ afraid of the Chimp Parent’s aggression, that he minimizes and denies valid, true guilt.
Replace your Chimp Inner Parent (Chip, for short) with a Human Inner Parent (Hip, for short), a Hip who applies logic, looks for objective evidence and the bigger picture, considers feelings but is not ruled by them, and is kind, yet firm.
You mentioned chocolate cake: “eating that chocolate cake at lunch, whilst aiming to lose a few pounds is not the right thing to do“- a Chip would harass you over it, putting you down, accusing you… telling you that you shouldn’t have had any cake and should never have cake again… making you feel oh so bad that you’d crave more chocolate cake so to feel better.
A Hip would react differently, he’d tell you something like: I can see how much you enjoy chocolate cake, and I want you to enjoy it. I want you to feel good. I also know that you want to lose a few pounds, so I’ll tell you what: have a thin slice of cake twice a week. Which two days of the week would you choose?