Re-evaluating Your Family Values
Have you ever thought about the beliefs that were passed down to you from your parents? Your grandparents? Significant people in your life? The society?
Do you feel that some of these values that stem from these beliefs are not in accordance with your own belief system?
Have you ever thought about the beliefs embedded within yourself, that you would like to change?
Would you like to?
It´s expected that growing up we are taught by our parents, at school and by society in general, what is correct or not and how we are meant to behave. We are indirectly or directly given a set of values to follow.
These values could include:
- Respect others
- Be a kind person
- Do not steal
- Be honest
- Follow the law
- Work hard
- Education is a priority
- Treat others as you would like to be treated etc.
These are some of the most standard values that we learn, in order to be a good person and behave ¨correctly¨.
However, sometimes, we are also taught some beliefs, that perhaps are not necessarily ¨correct¨. Some values, that perhaps as we grow older and we become our own person with our own opinion and develop the capacity to have our own set of values, we no longer agree with. For example:
- You need a lot of money to be happy
- You need to get married and have children
- Image is important
- What happens at home is not talked about with others
- You can always do better
- Men have to be powerful and have high-paying jobs
- Women are weak and emotional
- Men don´t cry
- Women have to take care of the house etc.
This kind of implicit messages given to us can have a great impact on our lives, on the partners we choose, the career paths we choose and on our general psychology and wellbeing. Some can take us very far and make us feel proud, and others can destroy us.
Therefore, I would like to invite you to reflect on this matter and to listen to yourself.
I will give you a list of 6 steps to follow to guide you in re-evaluating your belief system:
- Make a list of your family values
This includes all the values passed on to you. The ones you like and agree with and the ones you don´t like and disagree with. Think about your family´s behaviour in several situations. What was most important? What kind of phrases would your parents normally say to you? Think of any friends of yours and how their families may have been different to yours. What differentiated them? What was the belief system of each one?
- Choose the values you want to keep
From the list you made, choose the values that you think are good to have and you would like to keep. The ones you agree with.
- Choose the values you don´t want to keep
Separate the ones you don´t like and that you don´t feel identified with. The values you would like to get rid of.
- Add values
If there are any values that you have acquired later in your life, or ones you would like to have, add them to the list of values you want to have.
- Reflect on the changes
Think about the values you want to get rid of and imagine what it would look like if you didn´t believe in them and didn´t choose to live by them. How would it change your life? How would it be different to your life right now? What can you do to make this happen?
In addition, think about the values you want to add and ask yourself the same questions.
- Put it into practice
After you´ve asked yourself what it is that you need to do in order to start making these changes, what´s left is to slowly start acting on it. Whenever you feel ready. Ask for help if you need it. It´s not easy to change something you were used to for your whole life.
Find the light you want to follow
Photography: Rebecca Pericleous