Values and beliefs:
June 20, 1969 marked the change in the cognition of human kind. Man set his foot on Moon. It changed the total perception, that man was confided on this very earth, the imagination of going beyond the earth’s ozone and magnetic field was a fantasy.
May 6, 1954 - marked the turning point in the world of athletics. Up to that date man had never been able to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. No one had ever achieved it. Roger Bannister made it at 3:59:4 and within 46 days his great rival John Landy recorded 3:57:9
In April1963, another great athlete Bob Haynes, made 100 meters under 10 seconds and now so many athletes have cracked 9.90 seconds barrier.
When Alexander Graham Bell at first invented the Telephone, people did not believe it can happen again,. If at that time anyone would have said that a ‘call’ on the move was possible, he would have been in the mental facility, but today we are talking about 4G.
Beliefs are not trivial, unimportant things. People are willing to live and die for them
On September 11, 2001 two American airplanes were hijacked and were flown in the Twin Towers that dominated the New York skyline, razing them to ground, killing more than 5000 people. It was the ghastly act by the people who believed in a belief more than important than life!
Beliefs play a crucial role in our lives.
Today man has evolved beyond imagination and now believes that anything CAN happen.
The great Henry Ford said, ‘Believe you can, believe you can’t – either way you are right!
So what is a belief?
In ‘Unlimited Power’, Anthony Robbins defines a belief as ‘any guiding principle, dictum, faith or passion that can provide meaning and direction in life’.
Beliefs are like mental maps that govern our life, emotions, health, skills, and everyday experiences.
Beliefs are simply put, assumptions and presuppositions we have about ourselves, other people and the world in general.
Our beliefs arise in a particular culture, in our family or society. They are invisible at most times. we take them as reality and often accept them as true.
You believe that the Sun will set in the evening and also believe that the Sun will rise in the morning.
Some beliefs are the judgements about how things should be, they are called –Values, because they imply an evaluation.
Anthony Robbins identifies Values as, ‘private, personal, individual beliefs about what is most important to you. Your values are belief systems about right, wrong, good and bad’
Values are the guiding principle, a set of belief, by which we live our lives.
Core beliefs and values which we hold most dear and which influence most areas of our lives, reflect the identity and the personality of an individual.
Remember Jesse Jackson’s famous words, “If your mind can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, you can achieve it “.
The importance of Beliefs and Values in NLP Context:
Beliefs and values, to large degree determine the way we experience the external world and they both act to create our internal representation of reality and to confirm it.
We can say that every belief and value is essentially a generalisation we have made about the world and every generalisation is essentially a distortion.
Beliefs in general and values in particular, are motivational. We tend to move towards what we value and away from what we don’t value, we put our energy behind what’s important to us.
When we value our career we put all our energy, priorities, our plans and activities around it. When we value the family all priorities are aligned with the activities around it. The same thing is for money, friendships, success and so on.
The power of belief is something been researched in almost every field or aspect of life. When we feel under the weather, feel little sick and after visiting the Doctor, we start believing that we will get alright within a specific period. The process of getting better in health actually starts the moment we decide to go to the doctor, what follows is the process of acceptance of medication. This is evident from the research that has shown that a significant proportion of patients who are given placebos believe them to be therapeutic and actually get well. The results vary according to situation, but placebos display as effective as real drugs in over one third cases.
Our beliefs are not mere thoughts, they are instructions. Believing something sends a psycho-neurological signal or message through our entire mind/body systems that seek to make it happen.
The language of beliefs and values.
The language and the expressions used often denote and reveal the belief & values. As a generalisation deeply held beliefs indicate a clarity in thinking. The words ‘Can’ & ‘Can’t’ in particular give a clear indication of a belief and words like ‘right’ & ‘wrong’, ‘good’ & ‘bad’, ‘should’ & ‘shouldn’t’ give a clear indication of values people hold.
It is important to note that Beliefs and Values are not fixed. People act as if they are facts, in reality they are mere perceptions.