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What are your personal rules?
How your rules define you — and also cause conflict & disagreement
We all have a set of personal values that dictate how we interact with and judge other people. Our values also dictate how we view ourselves and how we see the world. We have pet peeves and our perceived concept of how things “should” be.
Think about it: When you say or hear things like, “If you loved me, you wouldn’t do X-Y-Z,” that is a rule or value that we expect the people around us to follow. Ever get upset because someone didn’t do something they said they would do? That is also a value you’re trying to adhere to.
But rules were made to be broken – and that’s exactly what we do. We get upset with each other all of the time because someone did something to violate some personal “value” that we have. In unhealthy relationships, each person uses the other as a constant sounding board for some rule the other one has violated. And while sometimes our rules are indeed valid, other times they are just plain silly. We often impose our values on our partner without telling them about our expectations or needs, which only results in disappointment and frustration.
The real question is: Where do these rules come from? Did you just make them up as you went along? The answer is: They stem from your beliefs and from your values.
What are personal values?
Personal values are the feelings and sentiments you hold about yourself and the world around you. These feelings become so deeply ingrained in us that we forget they only apply to our lives and not the world in general. Many times, your beliefs and values were adopted by you as you grew up. Ever hear the phrase “you are who your friends are”? We pick up little pieces from other people, your family, friends and significant others – the characteristics that we like. Then, we discard the characteristics that we don’t like. The end result is your existing values and beliefs. Both of these help you to determine whether something is “good” or “bad.”
As we turn to our personal values as a source of guidance throughout our lives, they begin to make a lasting impact. Our rules shape us – they make up who we are. There’s nothing wrong with that! It’s when our rules become unreasonable and make our relationships more difficult that we need to re-evaluate and re-shape our beliefs and our values so they create more harmony, not conflict.
How do your personal values help or hinder you? Are these beliefs having a positive impact on your success and relationships, or are they holding you back? By taking an objective look at your beliefs, and deciding how you can alter them to better suit your goals, you can ultimately find more fulfillment.
Header image ©Maridav/shutterstock, article image © Aleksandar Mijatovic/shutterstock