In one of my blogs I talked about the need to take responsibility and recognise that your actions lead to your results, and you are in charge of your actions.
What I did not get chance to talk about was the concept of values and how this underlies your actions (and therefore results).
Our values are the subconscious murky depths of our world. Often we are not really sure exactly what our values are until we really try to expose them and understand them.
We probably have a vague idea of what some of our values are, but not as much clarity as we should. When you look into it, our values are often provided to us when we grow up by our family, wider social groupings and schooling, and are often accepted subconsciously and without realising it.
These values then go on to shape the rest of our lives !
And this is important because our values set parameters on what we think is acceptable behaviour and what is not acceptable behaviour. Most people will try to act according to their values of what is acceptable.
So values determine actions, which then determine results !
Ok, so they are pretty important then. But you cannot change your values can you, they are part of what makes you you?
This was my first reaction to the issue of changing values, it was like an attack on my core identity. And you know how we react to attacks on our core identity – with rejection.
But actually when you think about it, our values change over time. I don’t have the same values now as I did when I was 18 (just a few years ago 😊), and if you have a family then you will know how overnight you suddenly have a major value facelift.
So values do change and one of the questions you need to ask yourself is whether your current values are empowering you to achieve the things you want to.
If your values are stopping you doing the actions you need to take to achieve your objectives, then it is time to take a good long look at those values. Ideally you need to see if you can change them so that they empower and support better actions and better results.
Let me give a quick example of this.
I am from a good solid working class background. And one of the very strong working class values is that we should not be greedy and want to earn more then we need to just be comfortable.
For me, underlying this belief was the idea, based on scarcity, that if I earned more than this amount, someone else would lose out and it would be more difficult for them to put food on the table. I had another value too that said, don’t make people starve. I am sure a few of you have that too.
Therefore earning more than just enough is something to feel guilt about (not an empowering belief and feeling, but a limiting one).
This value and supporting belief is completely inaccurate.
I recently looked up the amount of money there is in the world and divided it by the number of people there are so I could see how much we could each get if we had an equal share.
The result was astonishing!
Do you know how much we would all have if the money was divided out equally ?
I still cannot believe this every time I look at it.
We would each have $1.3 billion, not million, billion !
And there was me thinking there was not enough money to go around and feeling guilty about earning more than a comfortable amount.
There was plenty of damn money, it was just that I had barely any of it.
I now have a new, empowering belief, which is that I am as entitled to that $1.3 billion as anyone else and I am going to do as much as I can to earn it in the coming years.
This is just an example of one value that was limiting me.
The first step though is to unearth your values, think long and hard about what they are. Then assess them to see if they are empowering or limiting you. If they are limiting you then it is time to find another more empowering set of values.