Beliefs, your unseen core

By Cornelia Tan

Beliefs influence your attitudes and priorities. Attitudes and priorities influence your behaviour. Your behaviour influences your environment.

So what are beliefs? Let us take them as the things about yourself you completely trust in, know and experience as truth.

We each hold a core set of beliefs for every area of our life. For example:

In the family setting, if I believe that I am a father who provides, I will always look for opportunities to provide for my children. If I think I am strict and disciplinarian, I will deal with my children accordingly.

In the financial setting, we will see people saving and investing their money according to their belief in:

  • fixed deposit accounts
  • investment in land and properties
  • trading stocks

At work, we see those who believe themselves to be capable to take on seemingly impossible challenges and excel. Others would like to do the same, but they do not believe in themselves. A big step to success lies in examining and changing your core beliefs.


Things in your life happen according to what you believe to be true about yourself and others.

Let us examine our beliefs in the workplace.

How would you describe your work?

+ Fun, engaging, interesting, challenging, exciting, etc.

– Boring, a chore, senseless, routine, etc.


What attitudes and priorities are you setting about your work that influence your answers above?

+  “I learn something new every day”/ “I expect good things out of my work” / “I value-add to existing work” / “ I go the extra mile” / “this is a job I enjoy” etc.


–  “It’s the same old thing every day” / “let me get this day over and done with as soon as possible” / “I want to get home to my kids” / “I just need the money from this job” / “I didn’t want to be in this line” / “nobody will appreciate it if I go the extra mile” etc.

Your answers to the above questions will reveal your work related core beliefs. What are they?

Let us do an exercise together.

If you have never experienced this, and I gave you a normal plastic straw and told you, “you have to pierce through this potato with this straw, and both ends of the straw must show through the potato”, what would your response to me be?

You would probably tell me that it’s impossible, it can’t be done, just like what we told our team building leader. Because we had never experienced a straw piercing right through a potato, we were in a state of unbelief. However, he demonstrated the possibility to us by piercing the potato with the straw at great speed. After we saw this, we believed it was possible, and were able to do it ourselves. In fact, we pierced our potatoes with multiple straws as we grew in confidence and belief in our newfound ability.

Just like the exercise of passing a flimsy straw right through a thick potato, the barriers to our success in all areas of life are in our minds. But the moment we have a tiny bit of belief in ourselves, these barriers in our minds are moved, removed, and we are able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ever thought ourselves capable of doing.

This week, let us identify and work on our core beliefs and pierce through some barriers.

Remember: If you are able to believe, everything is possible to the one who believes.

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