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  • Writer's pictureSteve Braun

Introjected Values

Have you seen the commercial for Canadian Club whiskey where some buddies are sitting at the bar and one of them looks depressed?

Mike: What’s wrong?

Jimmy: I don’t like beer anymore.

Mike: Well why do you drink it then?

Jimmy: Cuz Big Terry drinks it

Big Terry: But I never said I liked it!

The announcer chimes in, "Who made beer the go-to?"

This is a humorous, albeit great example of Introjected Values which are beliefs or opinions that we may have subconsciously learned from our parents or figures of authority in various stages of life.

Some examples I frequently see:

  • I don’t make time to work on myself because I don’t want my husband and kids to feel neglected

  • Real men don’t cry

  • You obviously don’t care about your family if you can’t quit drinking.

As a counsellor I recognize introjected values, but to the person in therapy, they are often unaware of it because it is their truth–It’s all they know.

We were probably taught this information with the best of intentions, but many of my clients find these beliefs limiting and don’t serve them anymore.

Our true selves are often hidden because of these introjected values and many want to find their own truth, not someone else’s.

You probably know someone who underwent a journey to ‘find themselves’. Well, part of finding yourself is leaving behind the parts of you that aren’t yours.

What you can do:

Look at various life domains such as relationships, career, health, spirituality etc. Ask yourself the following:

  • What are some of my beliefs in these areas?

  • Is this my personal outlook / value / belief, or is this something that I’ve taken on?

  • Do I still believe this to be true now?

  • What are the potential consequences of continuing to believe this moving forward?

  • What is a more fitting narrative / outlook / opinion / belief for me now?

What messages have you been given in your life? If you would like help discovering or processing some of your introjected values, let’s connect!

Steve Braun

Call or Text: 778.932.1978

About the Author: Steve currently resides in the sunny Okanagan in British Columbia Canada where he spends his free time camping at remote lakes chasing monster rainbow trout with a flyrod.

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