Are you led by your values or your beliefs?

Values …..

Reflect whatever is important to us. As we grow and develop, our values may alter, but they tend to be deeply held. Separating Values from beliefs is important as we intertwine our Values with our deeply held desires rather than short-term goals. Values represent what’s important to us. If we pursue goals not in line with our values, we will either not attain them or will achieve them only to find we feel unfulfilled.

What we value in life is determined by a cocktail of our genes, our DNA, and by our identity.

As an example, I have a deeply held value of the importance of equality. When I look at the United Nations 17 sustainable Development Goals, all are appealing, but “Reduced Inequalities” stand out to me. Hardly surprising as I identify as someone who feels in a minority. In short, when we employ our values, we focus on what really matters to us.

In my last post, I talked about identity and why we are who we are.

Beliefs….

Are formed by how we interpret our experiences. As infants and young children, we form our beliefs according to what our parents and school teachers tell us. As we get older, we are more able to form our own opinions and beliefs because of what we learn and experience for ourselves.

The challenge is in discerning whether beliefs gained from experience apply to the current situation. Some long-held beliefs become so entrenched they become part of our identity.

How often do we hear ourselves saying things such as, “I’ve always had a money problem.” We say it so often, this belief i.e. having a money problem becomes a consistent reality, an identity. As a result, the problem of money will probably affect us whenever, we are dealing with earning, spending saving or investing. It will shape our attitude to risk.

So why are values so important to us?

Unlike beliefs which are formed from our interpretation of teaching and experience, and which come into play in the context of what’s happening in the moment, values are deeper rooted and form our character. Yes, they may change over time, but our values form the cornerstone of our desires and actions.

If our goals and actions are congruent with our values rather than our beliefs, we are far more likely to make them happen. We do not require external forces to motivate us. If I’m coaching someone who, despite all the creative excuses under the sun, does not complete their agreed actions, it is pretty certain, it’s because the actions are not congruent with his or her values.

You will always make time for activities falling in line with your values. When we make decisions based on our values, we focus on what matters to us. We banish procrastination.

Next time……..Getting clear on your values