Understanding Core Values vs. Beliefs

I teach a lot of classes to all sorts of different people and do a lot of speaking all over the world. (For a list of my current topics & how to book a time with me, click this link.) Along the way, recently, I spoke about core values and how they help with just about everything in life. Also relevant: not many people understand what they are or what their own personal and unique core values are, so I wrote a LONG email back to this person who sent in the question after the fact to me, and then I decided, “Hey, hold on, other people are going to have this question.” And here we are… on The GILDed Blog. Welcome.

Before we get started, I want to give you a core values exercise if you’d like to explore your own. This is a basic view, and we go much deeper when working with you either one-to-one or in a group setting. Still, this can get you started on your path of self-discovery in this area: Core-Values-Determination-.pdf

In the labyrinth of life, we often grapple with questions that delve deep into the essence of our being. One such inquiry that frequently arises is the distinction between core values and beliefs and how they influence our actions and perceptions. To embark on this enlightening journey of self-discovery, let’s unravel the intricacies that differentiate these two guiding principles.

Core Beliefs

These serve as the bedrock of our existence, entrenched in the very fibers of our identity. They are the profound convictions we hold about ourselves, others, and the world at large. Like a finely crafted lens, they shape our perspective, coloring our interpretation of reality. Whether it’s our notions of self-worth, trust in others, or our understanding of societal norms, core beliefs wield immense power, influencing every facet of our lives.

Core Values

Contrastingly, core values act as the compass by which we navigate life’s turbulent waters. They are the yardsticks we use to measure worth and derive meaning from our experiences. While beliefs paint the broader canvas of our worldview, values dictate the brushstrokes, guiding our actions and decisions. They represent the essence of who we are, encapsulating the ideals and principles that resonate deeply within us.

Imagine core values as the operating system of our lives, providing the framework from which we operate. Much like a well-tuned engine, they drive our behavior and shape our interactions with the world. When aligned with our core values, we feel a sense of harmony and purpose, confident in our choices and direction. However, when our actions diverge from these guiding principles, we may experience a dissonance that leaves us feeling adrift.

What distinguishes core values from the myriad of other principles is their inherent significance to our being. They are the fundamental pillars upon which we build our lives, representing what we hold dear and essential. From authenticity and loyalty to integrity and respect, our core values reflect the essence of our true selves. And while they may vary from person to person, their importance remains unwavering, serving as the bedrock of our moral compass.

Core values not only define our boundaries but also help us prioritize what truly matters in our lives. They empower us to make decisions that align with our authentic selves, guiding us toward fulfillment and contentment. Consider the scenario of a young professional woman grappling with the decision to forgo her vacation time. Through the lens of her core value of relationships, she gains insight into the misalignment between her actions and priorities. Armed with this awareness, she can now make informed choices that honor her values and nurture her most cherished connections.

While core values may evolve and refine over time, they remain steadfast in their role as guiding beacons in our journey of self-discovery. They provide a roadmap for navigating life’s complexities, offering clarity amidst the chaos. Just as core beliefs shape our worldview, core values illuminate the path ahead, guiding us toward a life rich in purpose and authenticity.

In essence, core values and beliefs are the twin pillars upon which we construct our lives. While beliefs provide the foundation, values serve as the guiding light, illuminating our path and shaping our destiny. By embracing these guiding principles, we embark on a transformative journey of self-awareness and fulfillment, navigating life’s terrain with clarity and conviction.

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