Upgrade Your Old Values
October 23, 2020
All of us have a self-image that makes up our identity. It’s a view we have of ourselves. Our personal values determine how we view ourselves, And; our values come from our upbringing and external influences.
If someone asks you,” tell me something about yourself,” the adjectives you use to describe yourself will reflect your values.
“I am a fun-loving, friendly guy.”
“I am a self-made, hardworking guy.”
” I enjoy doing stuff that earns me respect and recognition.”
” I am a competitive person who likes challenges.”
If something threatens our values or how we view ourselves, we tend to resist that something. So if there is a serious workplace or a job that demands a 12 hour work, six days a week focus that takes you away from your fun space, you will feel threatened and uncomfortable. Conversely, if you are a competitive, ambitious person in a work setting that values relationships more than results, you will feel out of place.
All of us have a certain comfort that comes from knowing how we fit in this world. Anything that shakes up that comfort- even if it can make our life better-feels scary and puts us out of our comfort.
This comfort is at the root of many challenges a lot of people experience.
A few examples.
- Your colleague asks you to take on some work that is not in your area of responsibility at the workplace. Your own work is already overwhelming you. Yet, you struggle to say NO, because telling a direct NO conflicts with your work identity of being a friendly and helpful person.
- If your view of yourself is that you are a humble guy who likes a simple life- when you get a chance to take on a significant role- you will tend to evade the opportunity and self-sabotage. Even though it is right for your career, the big role challenges your view of yourself. So you are uncomfortable.
- You have a toxic friend you are unable to disconnect from. Even though the relationship is bad for you, you avoid confronting the relationship as it would conflict with your self-image of a nice forgiving person who always sticks by her friends.
Through my coaching conversations, I have come to this simple realization. Many of the so-called “big problems” that people struggle with are because there is a wedge between their actions and their values.
There are only two ways to resolve this stress that comes with a disconnect between your actions and your values/identity. Either you change your actions to suit your values or reframe your values and identity because it will help you become a better and bigger person.
When you do the latter, you are replacing your old values with a new set of better values. When you do this, you start experiencing an inner transformation.
“Yes, I value friendship but I also value my peace of mind which is more important. Hence, I will let go of this toxic relationship”
“I am a simple, humble guy. This is a value I will show in my relationships. But, I also want to challenge myself to take on a bigger role because I believe I am capable of leading a team”
Personal transformation comes from changing the way you view yourself. Keep constantly upgrading your values.