Your core beliefs are so important that they can impact your relationships and your influence. They are so much a part of you, so much in your core, something that you hold so true that you attempt to live your life through them. They are so much a part of who we are that we filter and live our life through these beliefs. We hold our core beliefs so tightly that we might die to defend them.
An example of a core belief might be that you believe in 100% honesty 100% of the time, or it might be that gossip is wrong or it could be that you have respect for others. You might have a core belief around your faith.
Identifying Your Core Beliefs
What I'd like for you to do now is to stop for a few moments and take time to write down a list of your core beliefs. What are they? Write down at least one. Write down two or three. Most of us have at least one, and some of us two, three, four or five. Just take your time until you're ready to read on.
Let's think about core beliefs and how strong they are. Here are some general questions for you to consider. How does your behavior line up with what you say you believe? Ask yourself, based on your behavior, would others believe this about you, that you have this core belief? Do you allow your core beliefs to separate you from other people with different core beliefs and from achieving a common goal?
Here are just a few examples of core beliefs that people have.
— America is a great country to live in.
— America is evil.
— Men and women are different.
— Men and women are the same.
— Jesus is the Son of God.
—There is no God.
— Every white person is a racist.
— Racism doesn't exist in America.
— Abortion is murder.
— Abortion is a woman's choice.
— Marriage is between one man and one woman.
— Marriage can be with any gender.
This is just a list of examples. Are any of yours on this list?
Matching Your Actions With Your Core Beliefs
Now I'd like to ask you a serious question. Is there ever a time when your behavior doesn't line up with your core beliefs? If the answer is no, that is awesome. If you're saying and communicating publicly what you believe, and if your actions and behavior line up with that belief, then you have credibility. People believe you, and you will get the results you're after as you interact with people. Congratulations.
If you answer yes to that question, that sometimes your behavior doesn't line up with your core beliefs, the truth is we can produce responses from other people that we don't want, even opposite results that are detrimental to our relationships. If our behavior doesn't line up with our core beliefs, we lose credibility. If we put something out there, something we say is our core belief, and our behavior doesn't line up with that, then we lose credibility, and people don't believe us when we talk about what our beliefs are. An example would be if you said honesty is a core belief and someone saw you doing something as simple as taking a pen off someone else's desk, would they really believe that's your core belief? Would you have influence with that person after that?
We have to be very careful when we say we have a core belief. When we put things out there and our behavior doesn't line up with what we say, we risk credibility. As transformational leaders, let's stop and think about what our core beliefs are so we can identify them and so we can determine if our actions support what we say we believe. We have to make sure our behavior lines up with our beliefs. Because we want to develop positive and authentic relationships, because we want to make sure we have credibility in those relationships, we need to walk out the core beliefs we say we have.
Ford Taylor is a leadership strategist and solutions trainer, keynote speaker and the author of Relactional Leadership. As the founder of Transformational Leadership, he is a man who solves complex business and relational issues with straightforward, practical solutions while maintaining his focus on people. Ford shares authentic leadership training and individualized leadership consulting with a primary emphasis on the people who serve an organization while simultaneously maintaining a clear focus on the organization itself. Ford helps to both define and navigate leadership in today's culture with an empathetic intelligence.
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