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Beliefs and Values

As an action person, it wasn’t common for Mark to reflect on who he was, nor on his core values and beliefs. However, he realised that his values infiltrated through the business, creating a philosophy and culture. Therefore, with this end in sight, Mark started to consider these aspects of his life.

Figure 1: Values, beliefs and attitudes[i]

He took some time to clearly define what these terms mean. He learnt that even though they are completely different, values and beliefs are intrinsically interlinked. And in turn, they affect his attitude, perceptions, and behaviour.

Clarity on Values and Beliefs

Values are principles, ideals, or standards of behaviour[ii]. They are based on what is meaningful to us and form the path of how we choose to live our life. Our values inform our decisions, which we base on what we deem to be right and wrong.

Beliefs on the other hand, are things that we believe to be true, based on our values. Our beliefs are assumptions that we make, which tend to arise from our experiences and the situations through which we have lived. This differs to values, which remain strong in any environment, and have neither context nor are they contingent on situations. We live our lives and make our decisions because of our values and beliefs.

A table showing the difference between values and beliefs is shown below:

Figure 2: Difference between values and beliefs[ii]


Why does this matter?

When Mark introspected on his values and beliefs and realised that some of his beliefs stemmed from previous experiences which he did not necessarily still hold to be true. And some that no longer served him. Such as, he believed that he needed to keep his clients happy at any cost. That cost could be detrimental to him or his business in the long term, and therefore, the belief was no longer valid.

Mark saw the correlation between his values, beliefs, and the ripple effect onto his habits. He saw how he conducted himself daily, and the routines which guided him through his responsibilities. He acted in accordance with his beliefs and values.


Mark’s business coach had shown him how his personal values need to align with his business environment. Mark saw that his values spread across numerous areas of his life:

He had monetary values, psychological values, social values, and functional values.
These areas in turn filtered into beliefs.


Everything that he deemed to be of value to him, and in which he believed, resulted in a habit that enabled him to function effectively in life. Mark’s habits were his regular actions, which he performed every day – most of which he hadn’t even been aware that he was doing. His habits included which tasks he performed first in his day, where he ate his lunch, how he spoke to his staff, and how he ordered the papers on his desk.

With this awareness he was able to define what kind of leader he wanted to be, and how he could make his working environment purposeful and meaningful with a value structure as a base. Mark expected Business Coaching to provide him with tools and a sounding board for his business. He did not realise the insights that this path had given him into himself, the other people in his life, and his business.

Understanding his values, beliefs and how these translate into habits empowered Mark to redefine what success looks like for him.

Ghandi Beliefs Quote

If you are looking to boost how much you know about yourself, and how you can enhance your business, contact a professionally qualified Business Coach at SA Business Coaches.


i Values, beliefs and attitudes→. University of Reading