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Values and Beliefs

Recently I attended my third 'accelerator day' with the Coaching Academy. It was to summarise the most recent module I've completed on Values and Beliefs.

I was really looking forward to this day but I came away feeling so refreshed, motivated and inspired by everything I learnt. I can't wait to start putting some of it into practice with my clients, but also wanted to share some of my key takeaways from the whole module and the day.

Values:

Values are our moral principles or standards and are an expression of who we are. They are programmed from a very early age and are based on universal concepts. We are not always aware of it, but our values motivate our actions and affect everything we choose to do (or not do). They are not real, physical things but are instead associated with feelings, like:

  • Security

  • Purpose

  • Freedom

  • Success

  • Comfort

You may have the same values as someone but what that value means is entirely personal. For example, security to one person might be associated with finances, whereas to another it might mean living in a safe area. We have a core set of values that drive our decision-making from a young age, but we can change or inherit new values as we grow up and experience life in different ways.

Knowing what your values are can help you to identify why you act in a certain way. They are the driving force behind all our actions and an increased awareness of them can often explain why you feel stuck in a rut or unable to move forward. For example, someone who can't seem to take the plunge to change jobs or start their own business may actually value security and comfort (the way things are) more than success or financial gain. Or someone who struggles to keep long-term relationships going might really value freedom and could be self-sabotaging their relationships to an extent.

Beliefs:

Similar to values, beliefs are often established from a young age and come from different influences such as parents, teachers, friends, the media and religion. Beliefs are assumptions we hold to be true, but often they are not based on fact or proof. Once established, we rarely question the beliefs we have which can influence the decisions and actions we take.

So, why are beliefs important? Beliefs can often be positive, like if you believe that the world is a great place that is full of kindness. However, they can also be negative or limiting, like if you believe the world is out to get you and that everyone is selfish. Because we assume them to be true, they can often go unchecked and can dictate how we view ourselves and the world around us. This can be a good thing: the actions and outlook of someone who believes the world is a good place are likely to be open, friendly and unassuming. Alternatively, someone who believes the world is a bad place is likely to be closed, nervous or defensive.

I explore values and beliefs in a lot of depth with my clients. The more aware someone is of the reasons behind how the act, the more they can do to promote the positive values and beliefs they have whilst controlling the negative. The intended outcome is to achieve greater balance and positivity in all areas of their life.


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