Understanding what your values and beliefs are, is an important aspect of personal growth. So what are values and beliefs? We all have an internalised system of values and beliefs that have developed throughout our lives. People use both their values and beliefs to guide their actions and behaviour as well as helping to form their attitudes towards different things. However, values and beliefs are different.
Our values are things that we deem important and can include concepts like equality, honesty, education, effort, perseverance, loyalty, faithfulness…etc. Our values are very much individual and they affect us at a deep subconscious level. Every decision we make is based on our values and either we use them as avoidance or for aspiration.
Values can be split into core values and secondary values. Our core values help us to resolve any hidden conflicts, remove stresses and give us a firm direction in life. Ultimately they are important for helping you move towards solutions and away from problems.
Our secondary values are the values that we bring to the fore to use when certain situations for arise. Eg You might make yourself suddenly more ‘available’ because you have a friend in need and this loyalty is something you value.
Our beliefs on the other hand are assumptions that we make about the world. They grow from what we see, hear, experience, read and think about and they apply not only how we see ourselves but also how we see other people. We tend not to question our beliefs because we are so certain about them and many of them stem from childhood. Our beliefs can be changed or turned round by the ‘re-programming’ of our subconscious. Like values our beliefs can be split into two different types empowering beliefs and limiting beliefs.
Empowering beliefs help us to confidently make changes. We use our empowering beliefs to make decisions in what can often be an ambiguous world. Limiting beliefs do the exact opposite and keep us rooted in particular positions. Our limiting beliefs are often based on assumptions that are not true. For example – saying you can’t learn a language. If you spend a lot of time saying that you can’t do something then for that time it will be true.
Understanding your own values and beliefs
The clearer you can be about your values and beliefs, the happier and more effective you will be.
One option is to look at your own values by completing a range of exercises designed to draw out and clarify the things that are most important to you. These will help show you why you make certain decisions.
Another option is to have some values and beliefs coaching The aim of such coaching is to ensure that your values and beliefs are not limiting you in anyway and preventing your from achieving your chosen goals. By increasing your awareness of your interactions, reactions and motivations you will ensure that the goals you set are entirely congruent with your value and belief system. This approach is suitable for anyone who finds their life being limited by their values or beliefs.