Humans along with all animals on the planet are hard-wired to respond to threats by freezing, fleeing or fighting. It is part of our natural survival behaviours. Sometimes fear is useful to us when we find ourselves in dangerous situations and these automatic behaviours just kick in. Sometimes they are a hindrance when our fears are deemed irrational, like fear of a dark closet or of leaving our house when there is no reason not to.
So often Values and Beliefs are used interchangeably, but what is the difference between the two and why should it matter?
First, let’s tease these two apart.
Interestingly the online Oxford dictionary defines values as “… what is important in life”.
They define beliefs as “an opinion about something; something that you think is true”.
I find that a bit vague, so let's untangle it a bit more so that they are easier to identify.
I invite you to imagine a vehicle of any sort. It could be a car, truck, van, hovercraft, plane, motorcycle or anything. What makes these vehicles go? Fuel and an engine. In our own lives, motivation – our reasons why - is the fuel and intention is the engine.
Consider days that you wake up with an intention or purpose for your day. You have a clear idea of what needs to be done and you set out to do it. Now consider days that have no intention or set purpose. What is the difference between those two days in your experience?