Armed with the information I gathered about what was truly important to me, I came up with a list of behaviors that would match those beliefs.
For example, in my time of soul-searching, I asserted a belief in acceptance of others and myself. I claimed it was important to me to appreciate uniqueness and be merciful about shortcomings. On a practical level, it would seem I spoke positively of others, I didn’t pick myself apart in my thoughts, I celebrated my successful friends, and I prayed for the ones who struggled. Well, I wanted to. Really.
In reality, though, I was constantly comparing myself to people who seemed to have it together and I criticized people who appeared to struggle (including myself). As I continued to reflect, the scales began to fall. While I had strong values, my actions had been hijacked by the norms of our society.
Think about it! I would be surprised to find someone admit they value putting others down, criticizing people they don’t even know, or having an unfavorable self-image; but we see it happen all the time.
I came to call it the Belief-to-Behavior gap. It happens to everyone: parents, married people, single people, young adults, teenagers, and even children. The Belief-to-Behavior gap is a clear disconnect between what a person believes matters and what they feel pressured to pursue.
Most people agree actions speak louder than words, but our hearts are sometimes deceived into unhealthy behaviors even though our brains know better. Ever heard the term, “against my better judgment?”
Check out this list of ten common beliefs compared ten common behaviors:
The moment I released myself from the pressure of following the norm and committed to being true to myself, to truly stand by my values and beliefs, was freeing. A weight lifted off my shoulders and I was now ready to hone in on my purpose and pursue it.
In the next post we’re going to dive in to the subject of purpose; what it is, how do we find out, and why we must get it right. I hope you’ll be back!