Rules We Live By

| April 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

Our values are determined by our beliefs and the rules we hold to make that belief true.

While values have an intangible quality to them, the rules by which they get satisfied or violated are often very tangible! If you want ‘reliability’ in a postal service, does that mean that if just one letter goes astray they are unreliable or if the odd letter goes missing who cares?

“Rules are your beliefs about what has to happen in order  for you to feel good (or bad) about an experience”    Anthony Robbins

Rules are not about ‘reality’, they are about our experience of reality – and everyone’s experience is different. This is why you cannot assume you know what will satisfy someone else’s values.  You may think at work that staying back late shows dedication, others may think dedication is getting their work done by five o’clock. You can identify your own rules (or someone else’s) by asking:

  • What has to happen for you to experience/feel [value word]? •    How do you know when [value word] is satisfied? •    How would you decide if X were [value word]?

Rules are not necessarily logical, they are emotional! Therefore they are not to be argued with. Rather than attempt to change them by rational persuasion, it’s more productive to influence a person’s rules by changing what they mean. This is called Reframing. Rules can either disempower or empower us. Here’s how:

DISEMPOWERING                                                                 EMPOWERING

RULES ARE:                                                                            RULES ARE:


  • Impossible to achieve                                                    • Achievable
  • Complex                                                                           • Simple
  • Dependent on many things                                          • Independent of other rules
  • Outside our control                                                        • Within our power/remit
  • Place/time/people dependent                                     • Can happen anywhere, anytime, with anyone

e.g.    I’ll feel job satisfaction:

When I’m promoted and have a                                            Whenever I achieve a daily goal

pay rise and I’m employee of the          or                            I get positive feedback or I learn

year and my ‘in-tray’ is empty and …                                    something new or


What are your rules and beliefs around health and fitness?

Filed Under: Mindset

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