Most of us are operating on the level of appearance value most of the time. It takes some serious investment in personal work before we start functioning for the sake of what is, and not for the sake of what it looks like in the eyes of others.
Appearance values aim at creating an impression. In their most crass form, these values are about craving approval and selling out our truth to impress someone else. We want to be on that pedestal. We may be bold in going about this, or subtle and covert. There’s just always a subtext in the background: What will they think of me?…
Operating on this being level changes things quite drastically. There are byproducts that cascade from the integrity of our deeper motives. It looks like this. When we feel attacked by judgment or criticism, if we’re operating from appearance values, we’ll be devastated. How could we not? If we’ve attached our self-worth to what others’ think of us, we must be annihilated whenever they see us in a bad light—even over something tiny. We lose our inner ground. We lose our center because we aren’t centered in ourselves.
We lose sight of this when we are living in appearance values—until someone criticizes us. Sure, we seem centered as long as we’re being praised and admired. How gratifying, in that moment. But even in such moments of seeming success, there is an anxiety eating away at us. What we’re worrying about is how to shore up our uncentered state in which we get our self-value from outside ourselves. Problem is, in this case, we have zero control over our sense of self-value.
Living from a center of being values, conversely, brings deep inner security. That doesn’t mean peoples’ put-downs, judgments or unfair treatment don’t sting. But it won’t rattle our foundation. We experience the truth of our core. When operating from appearance values, our foundation gets shaken and even crumbles if someone looks sideways at us.
Listen and learn more.
Read Finding Gold, Chapter 13: Being Values and Appearance Values