Knowing the difference between core values and beliefs can be a little confusing. Most people often think the two are one and the same because they know, rightfully so, that they both guide the actions and behaviour of an individual.
To understand what values are, we must first know what beliefs are and how they steer a person’s life. Beliefs are the convictions that we hold to be true, often without actual evidence or proof. Beliefs are often connected to religion but not always. For example, the most widespread belief in the world is that there is a God, who created the earth in seven days, or that all people are created equal. Conversely, there are people who hold the belief that not all people are created equal, and this often results in sexist, racist or other inequality attitudes and values.
We can define beliefs as the basic assumptions we make about the world around us. Our values stem from these beliefs. We can define ideals as those things we deem important to our existence. Some of the concepts and terms that can define them include perseverance, honesty, equality, education, faithfulness, environmental conservation, and loyalty among others.
While values are what govern how we behave, communicate, and interact with others, they can differ with beliefs over time as we come across evidence and experiences that challenge our strongly held views. These factors can also strengthen either of them. Everyone has internalized systems of beliefs and values that they have nurtured throughout their lives and may stem from religious concepts or develop separately.
Values are who you are even when no one is watching
They give meaning to life and have a big impact on our decisions, behavior, and actions. Every person has a set of principles that are different from other people’s; we often accord each of these standards varying degrees of importance and may hold them consciously and very aware or in the subconscious mind, acting on them without conscious awareness. The common cause of stress and unhappiness is when we are living our lives with our values in conflict with those we relate to.
For instance, if you find yourself in a work environment where you are furthering a cause you believe in, and you trust your colleagues and they trust you, you will feel that you belong in that work environment. The more they are aligned with your business or work, the happier you will be in all areas of your life.
When one or more is in conflict with the work we do, we are very likely to be stressed or unsettled. If you work for a company that is facing rapid growth and limited manpower and feel that you are bending backward and working too hard to meet targets, you are likely to be stressed and discontent with your work and the company in general.
When we have to work or associate with people holding different values from ours, we are more likely to take different positions and behave in ways that cause friction with the others. A good example is when you have to work with a colleague who does not value privacy when you consider it an aspect of prime importance. The differences in values will cause unhappiness that will impact productivity at work.
When people are in conflict—whether at work or in personal life, both areas of life will be directly impacted. These ideas may include health, success, and execution of tasks. For instance, you may feel that work is rewarding in advancing your career but the long hours are taking a toll on your health and well-being. Unless these conflicts are resolved, they will have long-term implications on your life.
There is a difference between values that define our professional and personal lives and core values. These are those qualities and characteristics that give life meaning and often, directions on how to lead our lives. Simply put, they are the compass and reference point that helps us know our true selves and when exercised, feel really good on the inside. Every person has about five to seven core ideas without which they would become judgmental and even discontent with life.
Success in life means living by your values
Core values are important to everyone’s personal and professional conduct because these are the qualities that embody everything we do. They are the primary ideas; these often inform our beliefs about us and the world. Their proper identification of is essential in guiding our reactions as well as motivating our behaviors especially in times of personal or professional difficulties.
Clarifying these values is imperative to helping us make the right choices in life and live in accordance with all related ideas. Identifying and clarifying our own values is an important exercise and a crucial step in the path towards personal and professional fulfillment.
Core values are very personal. Even where two people share a list, their interpretations and definitions often vary. While defining them, we must often reflect on the moments that are most memorable and happiest in our lives—not to other individuals, the society or the world. These ideas are typically the cornerstones of building personal self-esteem, confidence and charting a thriving future. When we act against these values, whether consciously or not, we are likely to feel guilty and distressed.
There is a distinction between the two values. While growth ones generally correlate with something that we pursue or try to maximize, limiting ethic or philosophic value relates to those things we try to minimize or avoid. These limiting values can either be intrinsic limiting and/or instrumental limiting.
This signifies that limiting principles can be crippling but, if you’re willing to work on yourself, you can make a change. As a result, it is possible to change limiting values into growth ones by empowering the involved individual, thereby enabling them to realize the full potential of their capabilities.
Life is much easier when we acknowledge and nurture our core values. This is accomplished by making plans that complement our natural traits and when we make a decision to honor these plans. It, therefore, stands to reason that we must never face stress or conflict while—internal or otherwise—when applying these ideas to our personal and professional lives.
The most important role of the good traits we try to nurture and maximize is that they make us happy. Whatever the situation, we are more likely to be content with the results of an activity when we know and stand by the fundamental traits that define our lives and provide direction in every decision we make.
Limiting values are the negative standards that we often times try to disassociate ourselves because they cause friction in our lives or negatively impact on our personal and professional performance. For most people, the journey to aligning their lives with their beliefs begins with identifying these limiting ethics and eliminating them. Everyone has a set of limiting beliefs that prevent them from moving forward, achieving happiness, and accomplishing their life’s goals. In a nutshell, limiting ideas nurture behaviors and attitudes that sabotage of our convictions and other values.
It is therefore justified to say that core values are responsible for all the important decisions we make in life, how we lead our lives, our mannerisms, and what career paths we choose to take. The growth ones we hold dear determine what courses we take in school, what jobs we eventually get, whether we start businesses or get employed, whether to stick to tradition or travel unbeaten paths etc.
For us to fully maximize on growth values, it is vital that we understand them and apply them when setting priorities in life. Because they are fairly stable and have no strict limits or boundaries, values may change with time as we move through life. This also explains why our definition of success changes with time.
In an environment such as a place of business or an organization, employees do not turn to written-down statements on the organization’s bulletin board for ideas on how to behave or relate with each other and customers; they often turn to one another. This is because values in a company are fostered from individual ideas and personal interactions between employees.
While it is possible for an organization to create a value-based culture, this requires a balance between the recruitment of individuals with company-like virtues as well as implementing measures that encourage such principles. Just like with individual people, companies and organizations benefit from having clearly defined values because this help the company define itself in a way other people will understand. They will guide the company’s behavior in a way that is desirable.
In a work environment, the cultivation of corporate and organizational values encourages the formation of authentic organizations with trustworthy leaders. They also promote the growth of the whole organization just the way they help an individual grow personally and professionally.
Nurturing growth and common values lead to greater onboarding success in the organization, improved engagement between staff and the management and employees and customers and increased self-awareness among individual members of the organization. The reinforcement of common organizational ideas is crucial to excellence and corporate advancement.
While values guide individual behavior, there are many behaviors that we get used to because of the society that raises us, the environment we have grown in, and culture conditions. The same applies to organizational culture. There are corporate cultural elements that have direct impacts on set principles and may promote or diminish the positive cultures that define the future and legitimize the existence of the organization.
The word ‘culture’ is a general definition of the values, beliefs, and behaviors that we learn from those around us or those we have contact with. There are many different types of cultures including corporate, national, religious, societal, sexual, gender, and generational cultures. All these have a direct impact on every type of value. Business culture can be defined as an organization’s evolving set of values, attitudes, and beliefs. This is a key component in business with a huge impact on business strategy and direction. It influences business functions from production to accounting as well as management and decisions.
Almost every cultural aspect has an impact in how we interact with other people, how we communicate, and even how we solve challenges and create relationships. It is therefore admissible to say that the one greatest influencer of either growth or limiting values—at personal or corporate levels—is culture. Knowing what people believe in and want to do is a healthy practice as it allows for the management of performance and relationships.
Your core values are the deeply held beliefs that authentically describe your soul