Photo by Mahdi Bafande on Unsplash
You may or may not know it but your values play a significant role on why you are where you are right now. I’m also certain that it is also because of your values why you are reading this very article right now.
You always have the choice to just sit at your couch and watch all day. You also have the power to delay indulging into something that you know which won’t benefit you in the long run. And these are both influenced by your values.
I’ve been talking about habits in my blog but realized that you can’t change your habits without the proper mindset coming from your values. If your values are not align to what you wanted you will certainly go back to your old habits no matter how many times you have tried.
However, values are not engraved into your mind in an instant, this is result of both conscious and unconscious actions taken in the past. This has also been imparted to you when you are growing up by your environment and the people you deal on a daily basis.
Well, does that sound like your values is already permanent? Totally not! But it is never been easy to suddenly change it or fully understand it as we have our own biases and we often don’t totally know ourselves. Our self-perception are often different from our real self. The only way to know and understand your values fully is through watching your actions.
WHAT ARE VALUES?
Let’s understand first what does values really mean. I think Ethicssage has a comprehensive definition for values;
“Values are basic and fundamental beliefs that guide or motivate attitudes or actions. They help us to determine what is important to us. Values describe the personal qualities we choose to embody to guide our actions; the sort of person we want to be; the manner in which we treat ourselves and others, and our interaction with the world around us. They provide the general guidelines for conduct.“
Our values are the basic and foundational reason why we are doing such actions, either consciously or unconsciously. These are also our qualities and what we believed. We, people, have freewill who can always choose what we wanted to believe, and that’s how powerful your values can be.
HOW TO UNDERSTAND YOUR VALUES?
Now, the question is “how we can understand our values?”. How we may know that it is our real values and not the values that we just “wanted to have”?
Mark Manson has clearly explained how we can better understand our values:
“Remember that one key thing about values? They are constantly reflected in the way we choose to behave. When it comes to values, what you do matters a hell lot more than what you say.
You may say you want a family with five kids. You can shout from the rooftop until your voice goes hoarse that you value family and relationships above all else. But if you always find an excuse to not go on a second date, then it’s very likely that’s not what you value at all.“
As what Mark Manson is saying, no matter what you say about your values. If that is something different from what you are doing, that’s entirely not your value. Do you really value your relationship then how’s your relationship going so far? Do you value your family? Then, how often do you chat with them?
We are sometimes confused with values that we wanted to have with the values that we really have. It sounds cliché but actions really speaks louder than words.
HOW TO CREATE NEW VALUES?
A. Deep dive on who you really are
The only way to create new values is first to understand what are your existing values. Do the following to help you understand more of your current values:
- Whenever you feel happy try to identify what triggers it? Is it recognition? Is it positive confirmation from someone? Is it the gift?
- What normally upsets you or makes you sad? Ask yourself why do you feel that way?
- How do you normally interact with others?
- Ask someone what they thought of you (sometimes people’s perspective is different from how we know ourselves).
5. What makes you angry? What and why it triggers you?
6. What are your hobbies? Why did you choose to have such hobbies?
The above are just samples but the context of these questions are knowing the reasons why you decided to do such actions. You need now to identify which of those are the ones that you don’t want to have or wanted to change.
That would be crucial in creating new ones. No one could ever intentionally create a new one without fully understanding their current values.
B. Living your new values
Now that you somewhat understood your values. You need to choose what values you wanted to have. Mark Manson has provided a simple step to live your new values:
Step 1 – Pick a value
Choose the one that you wanted to embody, it can be the value the you admire from other people.
Step 2 – Goal setting
Set a goal related to the value that you’ve chosen. For example, if you value money and wanted to be frugal and wise when it comes to your finances, set a savings/investment goal. This is critical in order for you to properly measure your progress.
Step 3 – Make conscious decisions
This is where it gets difficult, you have to have conscious decisions align to your values and set goals. This is where the shift happens, the initial part is always difficult as your are trying to expand and go out of what you use to do. You have to watch yourself and ensure that the decisions you are doing are align with the goals you set and the values you want to have.
Step 4 – Experience the reward
All habits have rewards that pushes people to keep on repeating the same action in order to create a habit. You must experience and feel the emotional and physical benefits of the value you want. This will inspire you to do more of it and slowly progress in having those values.
They may sound so simple but they are insanely difficult! You will most likely have to go out of your comfort. However, you have to keep pushing yourself if you really wanted to reinvent the new you.
Your values are fundamental in knowing who you truly are. This is what made you up, every decisions you make, every options you choose it boils down to what your values are. If you wanted to reinvent yourself and create a new you, you have to have the values of the person you aspire to be.
Start with small actions, build the momentum, keep the consistency and you will be surprised how you are slowly building the new you.