A wise friend once told me, “Lisa, don’t listen to what a person says, watch what they do; what they do will tell you everything about what they believe.”
All of us have encountered people in our lives who have said one thing and done something completely different. These encounters leave us feeling shocked, disappointed, confused.
We like to be with individuals who live out their values and beliefs. They are consistent. What they say and do matches up. Their attitudes, their choices, their behaviors are natural extensions of their most deeply held principles. We feel safe with these people. We trust these people.
Here is an excerpt from my new book, Peace For a Lifetime, that shares why living out our values and beliefs is necessary for us to thrive.
Experts have said what you believe (perceive) becomes your reality. You do not believe what you see; rather you see what you already believe. Knowing ourselves requires us to look inside and carefully examine our beliefs and values because they hold the keys to unlocking and creating the reality for which we long.
All of us have an inner system of beliefs and values we have developed over the course of our lives. They are an accumulation of everything we have experienced in our lives from our parents and families, our religious heritage, our friends and peers, education, work experience, and more. If we take the time to identify what we believe, the things we value and why, we are closer to understanding ourselves at a deeper level and gaining insight into what drives and motivates us.
Beliefs are core convictions we generally hold to be true. Our beliefs grow from what we experience, see, listen to, or reflect upon. They can be spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, financial, or political in nature. From our experiences, opinions are formulated and developed.
Sometimes our beliefs are based on truth and sometimes they are not. Nevertheless, they can have a profound impact on our understanding or misunderstanding of the world around us. If we grew up in an abusive household, we might form the belief that love equals pain. Those of us who didn’t grow up with abuse can identify that belief as untrue, but until the abused can recognize that truth and heal from their wounds, that misbelief will impact how they experience themselves and everything around them.
As we appraise our beliefs, we can determine their worth or value in our lives; hence values are a natural extension of our core beliefs. Values are traits or qualities that we deem worthwhile. They comprise our top priorities, and our most deeply felt driving forces. Values can include concepts such as equality, honesty, faith, family, education, courage, effort, determination, loyalty, faithfulness, hard work, integrity, responsibility, excellence, respect, teamwork, freedom, beauty, happiness, empathy, wisdom, security, independence, challenge, learning, compassion, discipline, generosity, optimism, innovativeness, and service.
Emotionally-abundant people take the time to understand historic influences in their lives and begin to identify and develop a clear, meaningful set of beliefs and values. Living according to an internal code of values brings meaning, purpose, and direction to our daily lives. Decisions become easier as our understanding of ourselves becomes clearer. Choices are easier and our stress is reduced. Life feels calmer and more stable.
Do you find your behaviors betraying your most deeply held principles? Do you wonder why you struggle to discover your passion and purpose in life? Do you long to find peace and calm in the midst of the storms in life?
God desires for you to know your identity. He longs for you to find the deep meaning, purpose and direction that come from knowing your beliefs and values and living them out not perfectly, but consistently, day by day.
I share simple, practical life steps in my book, Peace For a Lifetime, that can help you understand the life God has for you. This material can help you create and experience an indestructible peace – not just for today, not just for tomorrow, you can experience peace…for a lifetime!
Join the Peace for a Lifetime Community!