Personal values, beliefs, and attitudes…the drivers of the direction of your life!
As human beings, we all have our own values, beliefs and attitudes that we have developed throughout the course of our lives. Our family, friends, community and the experiences we have had all contribute to our sense of who we are and how we view the world.
Values are principles, standards or qualities that a person or group of people hold in high regard. These values guide the way we live our lives and the decisions we make. A value may be defined as something that we hold dear, those things/qualities which we consider to be of worth. We are all influenced in varying degrees by the values of our family, culture, religion, education and social group.
Beliefs come from real experiences but often we forget that the original experience is not the same as what is happening in life now. Our values and beliefs affect the quality of our work and all our relationships because what you believe is what you experience. We tend to think that our beliefs are based on reality, but it is our beliefs that govern our experiences.
The beliefs that we hold are an important part of our identity. They may be religious, cultural or moral. Beliefs are precious because they reflect who we are and how we live our lives. However beliefs can also change over time,with the influence of new information, experiences, life events, relationships ,education etc….
The word ‘attitude’ can refer to a lasting group of feelings, beliefs and behaviour tendencies directed towards specific people, groups, ideas or objects.
An attitude is a belief about something. It usually describes what we think is the ‘proper’ way of doing something. The attitudes that we feel very strongly about are usually called values. Other attitudes are not so important and are more like opinions. Sometimes our own attitudes can make us blind to other people’s values, opinions and needs. Attitudes will always have a positive and negative element and when you hold an attitude you will have a tendency to behave in a certain way toward that person or object.
Our attitudes develop over time and not only reflect where we have come from i.e. the influence of family, friends and experiences have had on our attitudes, but also how we will proceed with our life in the future. Attitudes are therefore a powerful element in our life, are long enduring and hard to change—but not impossible!
It is good practice to think about your attitudes and beliefs: it helps you to understand yourself better. It is beneficial to reflect on your life, identify some of the significant events that have shaped you, consider what qualities you admire in yourself and others and be mindful of what values and are important to you.
Everyone is entitled to their own values, attitudes and beliefs. It is important to accept and respect that other people may well have different attitudes, values and beliefs than you. We do not have the right to expect that others change their values, attitudes and beliefs just because they are different to ours.
As values, beliefs and attitudes are the drivers of your life, it is really important in times of conflict, strife and serious discontent, to consider reviewing them.
A useful question to help you do this is simply…
Is what I hold dear to me, what I believe to be right and true and how I think about others and situations serving me well right, and of benefit to me?
Sometimes letting go and allowing new truths and new directions can help us find our new happiness!.