Sunday, September 12, 2010

Personal Congruence

Congruence refers to "a state of agreeing."  It denotes harmony and alludes to balance and equilibrium.  A lack of congruence creates discord, tension, and oppostion.

Personal congruence refers to a state in which a person's values and beliefs are consistent with the way he or she lives his or her life.  A person achieves personal congruence when what goes on in his internal world is consistent with what he says and does in his external one.  Dieter Pauwels (lifecoaching.dieterpauwels.com)  explains that, "On a deeper level, personal congruency exists when your true desires (intention), your thoughts (attention), feelings, and actions are aligned with your core values."

Why does this matter?  The reason is inherent in the definition of the term congruence.  Personal congruence leads to internal harmony.  It enables a person to be at peace with himself and therefore to experience true joy in life.  Without it, a person is left feeling conflicted, confused, and unfulfilled.

How do you cultivate personal congruence?  There are a number of ways to do so and I won't attempt to create an exhaustive list.  It seems to me, though, that if you want the way you live to be congruent with your values and beliefs then the logical first step would be to identify what you value most in life.  After all, you cannot live in accordance with your values if you are not sure what those values are.

So go ahead -- make a list of your top ten values.  Then narrow it down to your top five.  For those who need it, here is a list of common values to get you thinking:

Family relationships; friendships; career; money; education; fun/leisure time; spirituality/religion; community interaction; politics; physical health; change/variety/excitement; creativity; helping others; intellectual stimulation/knowledge; independence; belonging; public recognition; etc.

Once you've identified your top five values think about what you do on a regular basis that exemplifies each one.  For example, if you value physical health you might write, "I exercise four days per week."  If you value family you might put, "I call Mom three times a week" or "I visit my sister weekly."

When and/or if you come to a value for which you are unable to identify an accompanying action that exemplifies it you have identified an area in your life that needs work.  Identify one thing you can do (preferably on a regular basis) to exemplify this value and develop a plan for doing it.  Start small if you need to -- maybe exercise once or twice a week to start, for example -- and then work your way to where you want to be.

I hope this is helpful...

5 comments:

  1. I’ve enjoyed looking over your blog. I came across it through another blog I follow. I am now a follower of yours as well. Feel free to look over my blog and perhaps become a follower of it if you wish.

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  2. hello I am wondering if you could help me with a question i am stuck on im doing a course and its asking me what is meant by congurent in this instance? what is it actually asking me. please help thank you

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  3. Very helpful and soul searching indeed

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  4. Thank you, it's so helpful and actionable.

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