Have you ever heard the saying “People don’t change”? There is a lot of debate around this proclamation, so I want to clarify:
People don’t change – they don’t change their values. However, people DO change – they change their behaviors.
Values are traits that define who you are and why you do what you do. They are the motives behind the action and the hard-set beliefs, triggers, and truths. Examples of values are authenticity, creativity, balance, competency, faith, humor, leadership, love, popularity, security, service, wealth, wisdom, etc. Values are the antecedents to the behaviors.
People add to their values over their lifetime, and find new traits, but when they find what rings true to their heart, they stick with it.
Behaviors on the other hand, are the verbs, actions, reactions, mindsets, and perceptions. Examples of behaviors are getting angry, starting a business, dating someone else, exploring for a new answer, creating a new hobby, etc. You do these things because of your values.
In other words, values are the why and what. Behaviors are the how, when, where, and who. You aren’t defined by what you do, but you do things because you value them. Your values drive your actions.
For example, a person really values service so they go out and serve in the military. However after four years, they find that they don’t like being in the military. So they change, and go start a non-profit to serve veterans wounded in war. Their actions and day-to-day life changed, but their value of service remained the same.
Another example is someone who values whole-heartedness. That person may find that they are fulfilled when their caring for their family. But if someone in their family passes away, they don’t stop caring for them and others, they just find other way’s to be whole-hearted and show compassion to their family members for the situation.