I talked to you in What do you really value in your life (part one) about how many people think they know what their values are but when you look at what they say and what they do, you get two completely different pictures.
I looked at the example of someone saying they valued getting exercise. They think they highly value going to the gym but turning up once a week at the very most and often not even that, shows that their heart is not in it despite the fact they may tell friends and family they are intending to go more often. Their preferred activity of resting on the couch with their feet up reveals a hidden value on giving themselves well-deserved rest and relaxation after a period of hard work.
This could also manifest itself as someone going to the gym but constantly getting ill or things happening to stop them going there. Or even continuously complaining how hard it is to train and how much their muscles always hurt. This is a great example of trying to build your life around what you think you should be doing because you think others will respect you more for it.
And looking at the eating habits shows us the same thing. They will tell friends proudly how much they value a healthy life-style and yet they are munching their way through mounds of junk food each week. Again, their true values lie elsewhere. Perhaps the fast food is available just around the corner and minimises the amount of effort and time needed in each break to go and get some. Perhaps the healthy food just isn’t as tasty as the fastfood and so MSG & co. win the day.
So where does this discrepancy come from? What we think our values are is decided by all the outside factors that influence our thinking and actions. Other people’s opinions, the things we think would make us look good to others. So everyone loves us more if we are a good family guy or mum. We all love to be at home and spend lots of quality time with our kids, right? Or do we?
Deep down in our subconscious we know what our real values are and it is these that decide how we run our lives. Deep down this person knows that having enough money to create security and have a good lifestyle is very desirable and so he or she does whatever he can to make that a reality. Even though they think they would like to spend more time with their kids. When the conflict is there, the subconscious desire always wins the day. And there is nothing we can do about that.
So instead of asking someone what they value, just look at how they are living their life. Even if that person is complaining about their job, saying how they hate it and would rather be at home, the truth is that they are in that job because they have chosen it and their deep-seated beliefs allow them to stay their in that space because it is serving a purpose that may even be unknown to them.
We all automatically make space for things according to our values. When I look at my life, I spend so much time sitting at the computer, blogging, posting comments, making connections, and nowadays making videos. I love it. It takes up a big part of my day and even when I make lists of things to do, the things that I value highly end up getting done and those that I just don’t attach much value to end up being left behind.
So when you find yourself struggling to do things you think you’d like to do, just be aware that your subconscious could well be telling a completely different story to what you are sharing on the surface.
Have you become of any values you think you hold but don’t really? What story does your life tell about what you value? I’d love you to share you experiences here.