What are some great tests or tools to help you gain clarity on your core values and beliefs?
We always do what we believe is best for our survival, security, love and belonging - three core needs. Many of these beliefs are not conscious. Some are formed by a child watching a parent’s face and trying to discern the pattern of pleasing the parent or avoiding trauma. When we say “I believe stopping smoking is the best thing for me” but we don’t it means that we are out of touch with the parts of ourselves that believe it is the best thing for us for a variety of semi-conscious ways.

The best way to find out what you do believe is make a list of every action you take for a month, every thought you think and every dollar you spend or invest. This will tell you what you believe is best for you. Figuring out why is the hard part. Are you acting in the belief that killing yourself would please your parents and make them less resentful? Or that having a baby will help you be accepted in this circle? Or that working harder will get you promoted? We form our beliefs originally by observing what helps some specific thing. Staying silent during molestation to “not break your mother’s heart” can lead to feeling that whoever speaks about a crime is the criminal and it may be taboo to question that if the young part experiencing that message feels they will dye if they challenge the authority. Then another part of you feels you are safer from public shame by forgetting. And then you as an adult don’t know why you can’t speak up when everyone tells you “come on - say something!” You believe you will die at some level - your body tells you it’s not safe. So you are silent.

Action is a form of prayer and we pray on the altar of our values, stated or unconscious. It can be as simple as “I don’t want to be different and excluded,” in which case you will always do what the most powerful majority around you is doing regardless of its sanity in rational terms. Many have made a pact to follow a crowd - it will “feel right” if your core fear is exclusion.