LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VALUES AND BELIEFS TO CREATE YOUR BEST LIFE
Would you rather own a home or spend a year traveling the world? Have a steady paycheck or a flexible schedule? Put money away for retirement or splurge on an expensive gift? For many of you, the answer was obvious, but your answer depends on your values and beliefs.
If you value security and stability, you’re less likely to find splurges or a year of travel as appealing as someone who values variety. That’s how values and beliefs determine your decisions – and your decisions shape your life. So what’s the difference between values and beliefs? Once you truly understand the difference, you can leverage them to create a more fulfilling and less mistake ridden life.
VALUES VS. BELIEFS
While we often talk about them interchangeably, there are some big differences between values and beliefs. Your values are the principles you live by. They’re the standards that you set for yourself about what is good, fair and meaningful in the world. They determine what you seek out and what you avoid, what you enjoy and what you find draining.
Your values directly influence your actions. They affect your behavior and character in your day-to-day life and are related to your needs. Whatever you feel is missing from your life – or is most important to you – is what you value. These things give us a better sense of fulfillment and well-being.
Your beliefs, on the other hand, are facts that you accept to be true, often without question. They’re formed throughout your life and are influenced by the way you were raised, positive and negative events in your life, the depth and scope of your knowledge, the past results of your decisions and your imagined plan for the future.
Beliefs are usually a generalization that affect your morals or values, mostly related to religion or culture. They are an acceptance that something is true or that something exists, even without concrete proof. These assumptions about the world grow from different sources and are typically called memes.
Both beliefs and values underlie and influence your decisions. You may believe that being kind will win you merit from people, that they will like you more. The value that corresponds with that belief is being liked. The mechanism of getting liked is therefore your belief. You might also believe that giving up is bad and therefore you might stick to a relationship or a job even when it’s toxic. The value underlying this is “winning” – not failing.
In the debate over values vs. beliefs, one thing can get lost: they are not always healthy. Most of us have developed limiting beliefs during childhood and over our adult lives that we’re not even aware of. Limiting beliefs are thoughts like “I’m not deserving of love” or “I’ll never be good enough,” or even “I’m not worthy unless someone I authorise says so,” and they don’t represent your true values. You must surface these negative thoughts and replace them with empowering ones that speak to your real beliefs and values.
LIST OF VALUES AND BELIEFS
Not sure what your values and beliefs are? You’re not alone. Many people go through life without ever figuring out what is meaningful and impactful to them. This is one of the reasons why people become distracted by power or material wealth. They lose track of what truly matters. We never find out why we are the way we are and end up pursuing someone else’s idea of success.
If you need a little help determining your core values, you can start with this list of values and beliefs:
- Appreciation: Do you enjoy being recognized by others and validating those you care about?
- Creativity: Is imagination and creating new ideas or projects important?
- Generosity: If you truly embrace that the secret to living is giving, then generosity is definitely one of your values.
- Self-reliance: Being independent and not having to rely on others is paramount to those who value self-reliance.
- Honesty: How do you react when someone lies to you or doesn’t own their actions?
- Authenticity: Being yourself is not being swayed by others’ opinions and is vital to those who value authenticity.
- Loyalty: If you honor your commitments and always have your friends’ and partner’s backs, loyalty is likely important to you.
- Compassion: Are you a good listener? Do your friends come to you for advice?
- Positivity: Living with an attitude of gratitude and optimism is a hallmark of those who value positivity.
- Courage: Those who stand up for what’s right and what they believe in value courage.
- Resilience: If you pride yourself on inner strength and overcoming obstacles, you value resilience.
While this is not a comprehensive list of values and beliefs, it will get you thinking in the right terms and help you decide what you will focus on today.
HOW TO LIVE BASED ON YOUR BELIEFS AND VALUES
Knowing the difference between values vs. beliefs and identifying your own core values is the key to creating a life of meaning and passion. When you stop basing your decisions on what others think and determine your own priorties, life becomes filled with purpose.
RECOGNIZE YOUR THOUGHTS
As I so often say in coaching, “Every decision in your life is controlled by your values and beliefs.” The first step in creating Innerwealth is recognising the power of your beliefs. You must understand that your beliefs shape your decisions, actions and destiny. And if they conflict with your values, you create a battle within and with your true nature. Identify your existing belief systems: Are your thoughts positive or negative? Constructive or destructive? Then proceed to the DISCARD process to clean them up.
Negative and destructive beliefs are the result of the influence of others. Once you’re aware, you can begin to reshape these negative beliefs into empowering ones that serve you. Let them reflect your true values, rather than values others place on you. You can also strengthen the positive beliefs you already possess. Use these beliefs to actively guide your decisions and take the power away from destructive beliefs.
UNCOVER YOUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Using your values to guide your decisions goes back to understanding what drives you. What causes you to take action? What’s the driving force behind your goals? Are you someone who seeks thrill or stability? Do you gravitate toward pleasure or pain? What gets you out of bed in the morning feeling energized and joyful?
By examining these invisible influences, you can redefine the power these forces have over your life. This will help you reset your intentions toward success and joy – instead of misery and suffering – ultimately helping you to live a more fulfilling and successful life. It’s up to you to shift your focus to your top beliefs and values because as I say in Coaching repeatedly “What you value determines what you focus on.” And “what you think about you bring about.” (positive and negative directions here)
EXAMINE HOW YOUR THOUGHTS AFFECT YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Your personal beliefs and values deeply affect how you create and maintain healthy relationships. Relationships can be a major source of joy and love, but they can also cause intense disappointment and sadness. Your limiting beliefs about yourself and others are magnified when you enter a relationship, and that means that your values are also magnified. When two partners find themselves debating values vs. beliefs, or when limiting beliefs prevent them from finding real connection, the relationship is unlikely to last. Finding someone who respects the difference between your values and theirs, and the things that shape your beliefs is a step toward a stronger relationship.
Values like significance and appreciation can manifest negatively in relationships. For example, if you are drawn to conflict as a validator of attention in a relationship, you will seek that feeling of significance in damaging and dangerous ways. It’s hard to admit when your values aren’t serving you, but if you are able to see the pattern and shift your mindset to believe that relationships must be nothing but positive and loving, then you’ll see that reflected in your bonds with others.
CREATE NEW VALUES AND BELIEFS
“Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life.” – “What you think about you bring about.” Now that you’ve recognised that you’re guided by your values and beliefs, use your power and the discard process to change them. Look up Success Formula on Chris’ Spotify podcasts for more on this. When your beliefs and values are more aligned with your true self, you can create new rules to live by.
When it comes to vision setting and goal setting, it’s a time to envision a life you’re insanely passionate about. A life that would fulfill your wildest dreams. A life that can only be achieved by reassessing your current belief system. Recognize how your beliefs are affecting your values. Then create a custom life plan to achieve it. Include your new mission/purpose in life and a list of values and beliefs that help you achieve that mission. Then you will have ways to set new goals for yourself.
By now, if you are being coached by Chris, you will have been encouraged to create a clear vision, construct a dream board and therefore a clear view of your beliefs and values. You know what you want your life to look like. You understand that each thought and action in your day are leading you to fulfill your destiny and create an extraordinary life. You know how to control your beliefs instead of letting your beliefs control you. By reevaluating your method for choosing values and decision-making, you’ll be armed and ready to create the life you crave.