Do Your Behaviors Match Those of the Person You Want to Be?

Align your values and actions and your authenticity will grow


Being authentic is no mean feat. You might think embodying the qualities you admire would be easy, but it’s actually one of the hardest practices to accomplish.

When our values and actions align, we’re inclined to be happy because our behavior doesn’t evoke mental disturbance. Consistency in views and behaviors matters because it shows people you are dependable too. We’re used to seeing public figures whose words and actions are mismatched, and we know this means they are untrustworthy. Our own inconsistencies aren’t so obvious to us though.

We all have ethical opinions about what’s right and wrong, and most of us can stick to the big ones. We don’t kill people or steal, hopefully. But embracing our smaller values is more difficult.

One example is how easy it is to give advice, yet difficult to follow our own suggestions. You might tell a good friend who is down in the dumps to express her feelings, or look after herself more and see people who lift her spirits. When you’re blue though, perhaps you’ll sit all alone in your room.

Another instance of mismatched behaviors and ideals is when we want to be honest individuals, but lie our way out of social difficulties rather than tell the truth.

Matching your inner wisdom with your actions on such an occasion would be beneficial. Nonetheless, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Likewise, most of us have plenty of other ideas about the individual we want to be, but don’t necessarily match our behaviors with them.

A reason for our lapse might be the way our brain is wired. If you’ve already laid a neural network to support old habits, hitting the snooze button, for example, getting up early like the successful entrepreneur you want to be is tough. And if you want to be fit and healthy, your old wiring will send you to the treat drawer rather than the fruit bowl if that’s where you usually go when you’re hungry.

Similarly, you might frown about people who are late, make a mess, or do something else you dislike, but carry out the same behavior without recognizing it.

Mindfulness increases alignment

Adopting new habits consistent with the qualities you want to embody means rewiring your brain. You need to repeat new behaviors until they become second nature. First, though, mindfulness has to come into play because you can’t change unless you remember you want to improve at the right time.

When you are mindful, it heightens your awareness of being alive in the moment so you are present and can see what happens with clarity. You’re less likely to slip into old unhelpful patterns if you are alert.

The best way to increase mindfulness is to practice. Remind yourself you want your values and actions to match when you wake in the morning and last thing at night so the idea sticks.

Change will be slow initially, but when you make sure your choices reflect the qualities you want to own more often, your brain will alter to accommodate future positive actions.




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✨ Bridget Webber

✨ Bridget Webber


Writer, former counselor, author, and avid tea drinker learning how to live well.