Values and Beliefs

When someone asks you to describe yourself, how do you reply? Most likely, you describe your physical self such as your age, height, hair color and birthplace. Is this who we are? Aren’t we really defined by what’s inside us, what we believe in, and not what we look like? The problem is that most of us have not been taught to think this way. Just try describing yourself withoutphysical descriptions. Suddenly we may be at a loss for words. How do you describe your beliefs, values, virtues and emotions? If we don’t know what we stand for, we probably don’t have a clear definition of who we really are.

Have you ever thought about what your values and beliefs are? Have you ever written them down? How did you develop them? Do others share the same values as you? Values are an internal set of guidelines that we live by yet few of us ever stop and give them serious consideration. Values help define who we are so we need positive values in order to develop healthy, vibrant identities. If you establish a positive set of values, then it is likely your actions will reflect this positivity. Values can be the “constant” in an ever-changing world that guides us from wrong to right.

To create a “Who Am I” list, start by writing down your current values and beliefs. After listing them, review them and see how many of them you actually follow through with. You only cheat yourself by not being honest on this part. Next, use the goal setting categories above to create a more complete list of values. Now that you have your current values listed, it’s time to add some new ones and perhaps modify old ones. Are your values positive and constructive? Do they fit well with the goals and values of your significant other? Are there any major values missing? Now that you have a better idea who you are and where you are going, it’s time to help your friends, children and loved ones discover more about who they are. Ask them to describe themselves and see what they say.

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