Grappling with Beliefs and Values

Our beliefs and values inform our view of the world and ourselves. To change, we need to consider our beliefs and values

Len Davey
By Len Davey
3 Min Read

Our beliefs and values inform our view of the world and ourselves. To change, we need to consider our beliefs and values

Core to our worldview is our beliefs and values. While different, they impact on each other. For example, our belief that family is important will impact on the value we put on spending time with our family. Understanding what our beliefs and values are, and how they are formed, are the first steps in reviewing them.

Building beliefs

Beliefs are convictions we generally accept to be true, often in the absence of actual proof. They are the assumptions we have about our world. Our values, attitudes and behaviour are greatly influenced by these beliefs.

Our beliefs emanate from various sources. They can stem from what we see, hear, read and experience. They can also arise from what we are taught. An example of this is our religious beliefs, which we are not born with. These are generally implanted in us from our early childhood, by word, instruction and behaviour.

In fact, most of our beliefs are related to culture and religion. A belief is usually a generalisation, for example, a person may believe that killing a living being is detestable or consuming alcohol is disgusting, but not every religion or culture may support these beliefs. These beliefs are often so strongly ingrained in us that they influence our behaviour, thoughts and attitudes in very powerful ways.

Finding value

Values are principles or standards of behaviour that are considered valuable or important. They shape our individual character and behaviour. Individuals may all have different values. They constitute the basic foundation of a person’s personality, behaviour, attitudes and perceptions. We should always make decisions about right and wrong based on our values.

They can emerge from a combination of background experiences and an evolving sense of self. A person’s values may be influenced by various factors, such as religion, culture or society. However, it is possible for a person to change his or her values over time. Examples of values are honesty, integrity, fairness, compassion, respect and similar qualities.

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Len Davey
By Len Davey Life Coach
Len Davey is a qualified life coach and writes about the value of life coaching.
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