How to Discover Your Inner Guidance System
I see many people unhappy because they are out of touch with their own values. We live confidently when we live our values because they are our inner guidance system.
Knowing the difference between your beliefs and values can be a little confusing. People use both to guide their actions & behaviours and to form their attitudes towards things, but they are essentially different.
Beliefs are convictions that we generally hold to be true. usually without actual proof or evidence – they are a matter of faith.
We tend to be more aware of our beliefs then we are of our values. Values on the other hand are our moral code, our standards and from my point of view, so much more important than beliefs because our values are our beacon on the road of life. Whereas beliefs will change.
“I once believed in Santa Clause but I have never not valued love.”
When we’re driving the bus of life, we can have a whole bunch of often-unruly passengers in the back. The passengers are our thoughts and feelings. At times they can be a nuisance. Sometimes they shout out stuff like “You’re a useless driver, “ or “You’re going in the wrong direction,“ or a whole series of other potentially distressing and distracting feelings and mind noise.
This metaphor teaches us the importance of values. It’s very important for our health and wellbeing that we mostly focus on driving the bus in the right direction. The ‘right direction’ is determined by our values. By what truly matters to us. Our values are the compass bearing which we need to steer by. Values are things like “I want to live with courage and compassion” or “I want to look after my children/my health.”
It’s helpful to distinguish between ones values and goals. Values are likely to be compass bearings we use to steer by for many decades whereas our current goals are a thing we want to do.
So we might want to travel around the world or climb Mt Kilimanjaro or target other goals that are an EXPRESSION of our values.
Unlike goals, values are not about our future; they are about now, today. Values are the way we walk, the direction. Goals are the checkpoints on the journey. Values, unlike goals, are not some destination that we’re traveling towards. Values are THE WAY that we are travelling, the way we make our journey.
For example, if my key values are to live with spirituality, determination or integrity – this is the direction, the way I want to travel. It’s like saying I’ve decided to drive to Denmark. This is the compass bearing I’m going to follow.
You can start to follow your compass of values right now. It’s not something that you have to wait for or work towards. Isn’t that great news?!
Knowing your values is important, as they are a primary source of our internal motivation – WHY we do what we do. They provide us with self-worth, meaning and desire.
More importantly, when are values are met or matched, we feel a sense of satisfaction, harmony, rapport and confidence. When they are not met or matched, people often feel dissatisfied, violated or incongruent – something just feels wrong.
I bet dollars to doughnuts if you’re doing something that doesn’t feel right; you are rubbing up against one or more of your values.
“Values are not like laws – you cannot break them. You can only break yourself against them.” – Mark Wright. I love this quote.
According to ancient Vedic philosophy, the 4th Spiritual Law of Success is the Law of Least Effort: I practice acceptance. I take responsibility. My actions achieve maximum benefit with minimal effort.
‘I practice acceptance.’ If I choose to do something in alignment with my values, there will be a consequence. Typically, I will feel good.
‘I take responsibility.’ I am responsible for my actions and feelings. If I follow my values I feel good and if I don’t, I feel bad. It’s that simple.
‘My actions achieve maximum benefit with minimal effort.’ If I’m guided by my values, there is really no effort because I’m doing what’s right for me and as a consequence I will find myself in the state of flow. In the zone baby!
It takes so much more mental effort and energy to do something that is rubbing up against our values. And therein lies the rub. You’ve got to take the time to discover your hierarchy of values.
As a Master NLP Practitioner, a large part of my work is guiding my clients to gain detailed knowledge of the force of their values. It is an essential component of living with confidence and clarity.