Yesterday in my weekly group season we went over the connection between values and self esteem. I admit I was confused about this, but with asking a lot of questions and listening, I think I walked away with a piece of my personal puzzle piece loosened, which for me is a good thing, as it means I am challenging my core beliefs.
Values are statements about what we want to be doing with our life: about what we want to stand for, and how we want to behave on an ongoing basis. They are leading principles that can guide us and motivate us as we move through life.
Values are here and now, goals are in the future
Value never need to be justified
Values are freely chosen
Values are here and now. In any moment, you can choose to act on them or neglect them. Even if you’ve totally neglected a core value for years or decades, in this moment right now, you can act on it. In contrast, goals are always in the future. A goal is something that your aiming for, striving for, and working toward. And the moment you achieve it, it’s no longer a goal.
Because of this, people who lead very goal-focused life often find that it leads to a sense of chronic lack of frustration. Why? Because they’re always looking to the future and continually striving to achieve the next goal under the illusion it will bring lasting happiness or contentment. In the value-focused life, we still have goals but the emphasis is on living by our values in each moment. This approach leads to a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction as our values are always available.
SOME EXAMPLES OF VALUES
- To lose 10lbs of weight is a goal – eating healthy is a value
- To go to the gym is a goal – caring for your body is a value
- To have a big house is a goal – supporting your family is a value
- To get love and respect from others is a goal-being living and respectful is a value
- To feel less anxious is an emotional goal – acting courageous is a value
- To feel happy is an emotional goal – being warm, open and friendly towards others is a value