Beliefs and Values
While often considered to be almost the same thing, beliefs and values are actually very different. The primary difference between beliefs and values is:
Beliefs are assumptions or positions held by a person, while values are principles that guide the behaviors of the person.
A person’s beliefs are an acceptance that a statement is true, a trusting that something exists, faith, or is confidence in someone or something, which is very different compared to a person’s values.
A person’s values are their principles or standards of behavior. They are their judgment of what is important in life. Values help guide behavior and thought, while beliefs are the things, we think to be true.
Here is an example of a belief and a value:
Belief- “I believe in global warming.”
Value- “I recycle because we all need to do our part to fight global warming.”
Notice that both of the statements indicate that the speaker holds the idea that global warming is factual, but the first statement is simply an acknowledgment of the opinion of the speaker, while the value statement indicates a behavior.
What are the significant differences between core values and beliefs?
The major difference between a core value and a belief is that a core value is a deeply held principle that sets the standard by which actions or behaviors are judged. A belief is merely a thought that someone or something is assumed to be true.
You may be at this point asking what the difference between a core value and a regular value is. A core value is one that is thought to be so strongly embedded in one’s psyche that it is unchangeable. Whereas a regular value is one that is believed to be important yet still malleable.
The similarity that exists between core values and beliefs is that neither requires factual or logical proof for the bearer of either. Core values, as well as beliefs, are things that are felt by the person to be accurate, although very often they are only “true” for the person who holds them.
Why is it important to be aware of your own values and beliefs?
It is important to be aware of our values and beliefs because firstly, it helps us to: identify the reasons we do what we are doing. It gives us an indicator of what we think is important and necessary. Knowing and being aware of our beliefs and values allows us to recognize our point of view and understand where we are coming from.
The second reason it is important for us to be aware of our values and beliefs is so that we can more easily change the ones we no longer agree with. Without knowing or being aware of our beliefs and values it is difficult to amend them or change them when they are no longer beneficial to us.
Why is it important to respect other people’s personal values and beliefs?
Once we know what our values and beliefs are we can more easily make space for understanding other people’s values and beliefs. Just understanding other people’s values and beliefs in no way diminishes our own beliefs or values. It is simply a measure of maturity to see that other people have different points of view, values, and beliefs.
Very often people believe that when they accept other people’s beliefs as being true for them, they somehow relinquish their own beliefs. I do not subscribe to that way of thinking because we all see the world differently. We all have different points of view and biases that influence our perception of reality.