What is your personal belief system? And is it leading you to an Identity Crisis?
As we research baby boomer well being, and our move into the life stage of retirement, major changes such as moving from working for a living to having nothing to do during the day can cause questions about our identities. Those of us who owned businesses or worked at the same company for most of our lives can wake up finding out we don’t do the things that defined us for so many years, Including having the youngest child finally leave home and forcing us to deal with being empty nesters. Now is the time to explore who we REALLY are, instead of what we’ve done all our lives.
Our belief system comes from our upbringing and our life’s experiences, and may or may not include a religious, political, or familial aspect. A belief is something we accept as absolute truth with no questions asked. Our beliefs are taken without question.
Our values stem from our beliefs. A value is an aspect of our personality that we hold close to us and follow in our everyday interactions. Beliefs and values determine our attitudes and opinions.
Morals are formed from our values. Morals contribute to the system of beliefs and are the result of the values which we get from society. Ultimately, we’ll be much more successful, happier individuals if we figure out what our beliefs are, adhere to those beliefs be placing values on them, and follow othose values with morals in our everyday interactions.
How do we determine what our values are?
A great way to determine what our values are, is by looking around us to see who we admire and associate with. Think of some of your favorite acquaintences and write down what trait in their personality draws you to them, don’t worry about whether they are male or female, as you are looking for values here. Do this for everyone until you reach ten values.
Think of aspects such as honesty, courage, resourcefulness, caring, light hearted, humorous, boldness, etc. If you’re having a hard time thinking of values, go here https://www.cmu.edu/career/documents/my-career-path-activities/values-exercise.pdf for a list.
Once you have ten values, sort those values from One to Ten, with One being the most important, ten being the least important. My core values started with honesty, humorousness, enthusiasm, adventure, and went downhill from there. This is a good picture of what your core values are. These are the personality traits that your belief system searches for when choosing friends and acquaintances.
If, in our belief system, we have a certain belief, and we are living contrary to that belief in our daily situations, we create discontent in our own being. We feel empty, we feel depressed. Our belief system rears up and protests, giving us feelings of guilt, embarrassment and all sorts of negative feelings. If our belief is that we are honest, and we go around lying and cheating, we end up with depression and other negative long term mental issues because we are not being true to ourselves.
If one of our top beliefs is honesty and we are acquainted with a person who isn’t honest, we naturally avoid that person. So ultimately, we’ll be much happier individuals if we figure out what our belief system is, watch for those aspects in other people and associate with the people who have the same beliefs as we do.
The following is an excerpt from the book 7 Principals For Living With Authenticity, By Jack Beauregard, Author, Founder and CEO of The Platinum Years:
Why you might face an Identity Crisis, and how to benefit from it.
Your personal identity affects the way you think, and feel about yourself, and has a strong impact on your level of self-esteem. Your personal identity needs to change as your life circumstances change. People who experience a major life-transition are often thrown into an Identity Crisis, as all your old rules, roles, and sources of support have suddenly evaporated. Here are some of the life-transitions that might generate an Identity Crisis in your life:
Going through any of these transitions can cause you to ask yourself: “Who am I when I’m no longer doing what I currently do?” Even though this crisis causes significant upheaval, it also provides you with the opportunity to rediscover who you really are, so you can rethink and reframe your life.
Even if no major changes are taking place in your life and things appear to be going well, you may still feel that something is not right about your life. For whatever reason, you may be going through an existential crisis that motivates you to start asking the big questions, such as “What is my purpose in life?” “Do I really matter?” or “Who am I really?”
If you are going through a life-transition or facing an Identity Crisis for whatever reason, you need to expand your definition of who you are beyond what you are doing and discover and connect to your True Self, so you can live the next chapter of your life from the goals, values, and passions of who you really are.
As you can see, going through the process we baby boomers are going through definitely falls in several of the categories Mr. Beauregard lists. If you’re interested in Mr. Beauregard’s book you can download the first chapter free of charge here. If you feel this book could help you through the coming challenges, you may purchase the full copy here.
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