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December 11, 2023

Setting Values: Stepping Into Your Higher Self

Omar Taher

Setting Values: Stepping Into Your Higher Self

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

It’s easy to go through life on autopilot these days. With so much going on, and access to it all at once, it’s hard to focus your attention on one thing – events to attend, relationships to nurture, hobbies to enjoy, and world news to be anxious or excited about. There’s little time to check in with yourself.

Poof. Years pass.

Time flies.

Damn it. Old people were right.

“Wait, that was 3 years ago?

 You get little goosebumps.

A concoction of joy, sadness, and perspective washes over you as nostalgia passes through.

Level up

As I mature and spend more time on this planet, more and more I’m pulled towards meaning — especially now, as I bid farewell to my 20s. The fleeting pleasures of partying and having a good time are all well, but that’s not something I look back at with pride.

One thing I do look back at is starting Jiu Jitsu at 25. There’s very little I appreciate in my life more than that. I leveled up in life the day I started. 

It was the first thing that made me feel respect towards myself. But there’s more to life than martial arts. And while Jiu Jitsu aligns very much with my values on a surface level, I know I have to dig deeper.

So this is an invitation for you, my dear friend reading this, to study yourself – the highest version of yourself.

“What the hell does that mean, Omar?” You may ask, “Are you about to go in on some hippy dippy sh*t?”

Hold on, hold on.

Think of the times you’ve felt most present. 

The times you felt most aligned with something greater than yourself.

The times you’ve acted in a way that resonates on such a level that you could only smile and feel respect and love for yourself.

Image: Greg Streech.

Those times when you’ve felt most connected on a level that goes beyond words? That, my friend, is your Higher Self operating.

You see, on a day-to-day level, we often succumb to the “everyday” form of ourselves – the one that gets stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, angry, happy, sad, excited, nervous, all the feels.

When we hop onto the mats, or do something else we love, we may catch a glimpse of the Higher Self – when your identity melts into the environment around you. It’s no longer about you — but rather everything, the universe. You exist as part of a bigger entity. These moments, gates of entry to this version of ourselves, we’ll call portals.

I know for me, Jiu Jitsu is one portal to my higher self. There’s very little mental traffic going on in my head when I train. Think i70 at 4:30 AM on a Wednesday.

Another example of when I step into my higher self is when I’m present in the moment. I’m not thinking about what I’m going to say after this person finishes speaking. Not ruminating on something that happened or may happen. Not grasping or averting thoughts.

My mind empties and I feel connected to everything around me. There isn’t an “Omar” chattering in my head. “I” am no longer up there. I’m here. Free form.

My Higher Self also appears when I serve others, when I help someone close the gap between where they are and where they want to be. This can be as simple as helping an elderly neighbor out, or being a source of support to a friend going through a rough patch. Or coaching someone in a way that makes them feel like they’re not garbage at Jiu Jitsu. (It’s OK, we all feel that way ;))

I keep my Higher Self in the driver’s seat is by not sabotaging myself — by letting go of beliefs that no longer serve me. By daring to step out of my comfort zone and embrace the uncertainty that life throws at me. By progressing even when things are unclear.

Another way to look at the Higher Self is to look at your core values. What do you hold above all else?

Courage, accountability, empathy, curiosity, and integrity.

The words above define the characteristics of my higher self, my values.

When I act against these values, I create distance between “me” and my higher self. When I choose to be bitter, hold a grudge, or judge, I’m disconnecting. When I don’t follow through with what I say I’m going to do, I disconnect. When I cower from the things that scare me, I disconnect. I’m unconsciously committing to the lower form of myself, and I feel it.

[The Power of Core Values in Business And In Life]

Choosing your values

Choosing to identify your Higher Self, or adhere yourself to values that you want to live up to is mostly simple, but not necessarily easy. If it were easy, we’d live in a perfect society. Circumstances will test you. 

But you’re also holding yourself to a higher standard by investigating your state of being — your patterns, your daily rituals.

You might be reading this and already thinking of values you have in place that activate your Higher Self. However, if you need guidance on idetifying your values, I invite you to pay attention to how you go about your day.

What habits are you trying to implement in your life right now?

What attributes do you admire in individuals that you know?

In a perfect world, how would you show up everyday?

Chances are, your values are hiding behind these questions. 

Ask yourself these questions as you go about your day. Start by note-taking on your phone as answers appear. Don’t overthink it.

Now you understand what it truly means to have your own values — and to act in alignment with your Higher Self. You’re one step closer to stepping into yours. Rise above mediocrity simply by asking yourself questions 90% + of people don’t.

Image: Greg Streech.


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