In business we talk about the value of a product or service: market value in real estate, the blue book value of a car. Socially we talk about family values or value systems. Personally we ask ourselves “What is the value of my time?” or “What’s the value I bring to the table?”
Value has many meanings, but it always come back to concepts of what is right, worthwhile or desirable. Sometimes these are quantifiable, and sometimes they are more abstract.
Values are what motivate you! We need to be very aware, however, that there are two types of values: fear-based, and conscious-based.
Values based on fear cause you to take action to avoid something. They are “have to’s.” When you think about them, they are usually followed by “or else”. For example someone who highly values avoiding conflict might say, “I have to keep my mouth shut, or else we will end up fighting.” These values are also based on judgment from others or yourself – “I need to.” “I have to.” “I ought to.”
Conscious values drive positive action. They are “want to’s.” I am doing something because it is positive and growth-giving. “I want to.” “I choose to.” Think about using conscious values in even those most difficult situations. Someone who has had a difficult break-up might be reluctant to love again. When they are looking for the “right” next person from this standpoint, they will be looking for a trustworthy partner NOT because I’m afraid I will be hurt again, but because “I know that when I am with someone I can trust I can offer so much more and we are both more fulfilled.”
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