What do You Really Value in Your Life? (Part two)

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.

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4 Responses to What do You Really Value in Your Life? (Part two)

  1. Hi Fiona,
    I actually “should” be in my studio and paint but I don’t. Right now, I feel it is more important to connect, to read and be on the sofa with my husband. My husband had to stay home the last couple of days and I want to be close to him and do my online updates (and read your blog). I also should do my paperwork but it’s not their time either.
    Reading, writing and connecting has brought so much value to my days and painting would have not given me the same feeling (for now). I like Grace’s comment, too many don’t value their days and walk through their lives with the feeling of guilt instead of enjoying their days,

    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting again Franziska. It’s lovely to hear how you are listening to that inner voice guiding you to be true to your values. And if you can feel the huge benefits from doing it, fabulous. This does us all a lot of good doesn’t it? Well done!

  2. Grace Kelly says:

    Great section to part two Fiona!
    I am sitting here enjoying your blog with glass of red wine in hand, I could and “should” be doing other things but the truth is i’d rather connect and learn.
    Despite a leg injury and 3 days cooped up at home being told to “rest”, I still managed to get out connect and learn something last night.
    Today I got a call to see a chiropractor who could slot me in to sort my leg, I thought about all the things I could be doing to build my business today, but when I got that call to drag myself to Central London, that was much more of a value than building my business. Perhaps a temporary value but health has always been up there for me, health, self nurture(vino and relax), learning, teaching and style.
    So here I am, living my values.
    Sadly ,many people are not their own authority when it comes to values.
    Gratitude, Grace
    “Teaching you to experience life more gracefully”

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      I’m glad you’ve been able to see a chiropractor to do some work on your body. Isn’t it vital to tune in to what our values are and to live them. I’m glad you’ve found a way to nurture yourself and be where you want to be. But next time do it without having an accident. 🙂

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