Values and beliefs are at the core foundation of a person. It explains, why they do what they do. How they behave, make decisions and choose the lifestyle they live. Values and beliefs present a sense of meaning and stability in a person’s life. The values and beliefs of a person are what keep them ‘grounded’, and aware of their surroundings, everyday actions and the effects of their decisions.

Beliefs are assumptions we make based on our surroundings. More often than not, our values stem from our beliefs. Our values are things we deem important and they can be described as ideals shared by members of a culture or similar mindset; about what is good, bad, desirable or undesirable. Our values have an influence on our behavior and attitude. Our values form a guideline for us to follow in all situations. It is similar to religion.

Based on our values and beliefs, our spirituality is influenced. We choose the religion that most reflects the kind of person that we embody or who we would want to become. It is based on admiration and respect and the need to fill a ‘fulfillment-void’. Religion or the lack thereof, in our lives, stems from our values and beliefs.

Our principles are in close ties with our values and beliefs. Our principles act as the pillar to which our moral and ethical house stands on. The principles stand firm when we feel a need to waiver in what we believe in and what we value. Principles can be described as the fundamental norms or rules that represent what is positive and desirable for a person, group or community. Principles govern both the policy and objectives of an individual. They are more succinct and straight to the point.

Values and beliefs inform our thoughts and actions. They are a direct reflection of the decisions we make. As a result of the values we have, the actions we take are directed towards a specific purpose. Actions and words hold meaning and are respected in the way they are used when expressing oneself and communicating with others. The values and beliefs we hold near and dear, steer our growth and development. Adopting an open mindset when it comes to culture and diversity, could be as a result of valuing diversity in people. Or doing charity work comes from the value of being kind and generous to others.

When it comes to principles it does not change. Principles are regarded as being part of natural law and even transcend cultural differences. For example, genocide is bad. It is a natural principle that life is of value. Therefore, killing another human being is viewed as something wrong and one that will obviously attract adversely consequences. On the other hand, values and beliefs are subject to change. The goals behind values and beliefs may change over time. With regard to the needs or demands of the individual. They are intrinsic in nature and subject to a person’s opinion. People have certain beliefs regarding specific issues or ideas.

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An individual can form a personal value system based on their principles. Look for the good and see how your values attach or can attach to each one to become a new guideline in your life. Also, when faced with a dilemma, your principles are a good reference point. They will help guide your decision in the face of uncertainty and elevate any feelings of mistrust you have in yourself or in the decision you want to make or made. Overall, principles, values, and beliefs are all part of the same fabric.