From our guest author – Holly Fox
Before I go any further with the science behind the power of belief—we need to check your values. What we focus on we will perceive and what we usually focus on is what we value. What we value is what we find important. I think it is interesting that most of the things we value, we aren’t aware of, and often those values are not helping us become happier people. In fact, they are doing the exact opposite. In a lot of ways our values are our default system. They are ingrained so deep that we don’t really know where we came up with them to begin with.
For example: A value that I am personally working on changing is difficulty. This may seem strange to value difficulty but let me go a little further to explain how I do this. Although I have valued difficulty all of my adult life, I became aware of valuing difficulty when I was writing my book. I would assume the hardest route possible was the way to go because somewhere in my subconscious I learned and believed that hard work pays off. Life is hard. Things don’t come easy. Stress equals success. How do I know I believe these statements? Because again and again I choose to make things difficult. I choose stress over happiness. I choose rigid structure over free-flowing ease. I do this because I believe that if things are not difficult than the reward will somehow be less and I will earn a badge of honor for being stressed out.
Rest assured this belief I have been carrying around is not true. In fact, it usually yields the exact opposite of what I am trying to accomplish. This belief—however untrue—has directed and molded my behavior in such a way that it has almost become a part of me. Thankfully, I can change this belief and have made great strides with conscious-thought monitoring. I feel a lot of times we try to change our behaviors without going to the source first (our beliefs) and this is why we fail at behavior modification. We also need to be aware of what we value because often we are not even aware that our values are not helpful.
The lesson for me would be, life is not meant to be struggle. For the longest time I did not believe that little man on a hammock. Now—I get it. It is only my beliefs that make anything so. I am the cause of my own unhappiness, which on the flip side means that I am responsible for my happiness. This should be a relief because I am available to myself 24/7 to make this happen. I do not need to depend on anything or anyone but little ol’ me. If I am able to recognize what things I value, which are of no use to me, then I will be able to change them, in order to make my life more happy-friendly.
How do you recognize what your values are and if they are working for you or against you? I am going to go out on a limb here and say that most of our values are all kinds of screwed up! We do not value happiness and peace as much as we do being angry and right. And what could be more important than our happiness? Nothing! Yet we choose to value other things over own happiness—All. The. Time. Take for instance the last heated argument you had with a co-worker or spouse etc., When I let these arguments keep me up at night or choose to recycle them in my head over and over again, I am choosing THAT over my own peace. I am valuing this stupid, inconsequential argument over my inner peace. I am not putting peace first because somewhere in my life I do not value of peace and happiness more so than being angry or “right.” If you value being a victim over your own inner peace then that sucks! You are going to be miserable. Why not value your peace and happiness instead? Whenever I start to feel upset about something, I literally say to myself “I could be at peace instead of this.” And somehow it works! I see the way out by just giving myself a choice to value my own inner peace instead. We can no longer believe that we are ruled and controlled by our default emotions and that they are driving the bus, when in fact, our conscious mind can take the wheel—but only if we let it.
In short: check your values. Know that what you value, you will focus on and obtain. And that nothing—and I mean nothing—is of more value than your inner peace and happiness.