If asked, “What do you value most?” You would be most likely to answer, “My kids. My husband. My wife. My dog.” Or something along those lines. And, you wouldn’t be wrong. What you value is personal and there is no right or wrong answer. We hope to make it clear the value of values.
Similarly, if I asked you, “What are your values?” You may be inclined to blurt out, “Honesty. Kindness. Freedom.” And, so on. And, again, you would not be wrong.
But, very few of us truly understand what our values are and most of us don’t know how to define our values, let alone understand the value of values. Those obvious ones, like honesty, kindness and freedom, pop out quickly, but do they truly define who you are and help you live a life that makes you feel complete?
What are Values?
The easiest way to describe what values are in a general sense is to say that when you are feeling out of sorts or uncomfortable in a situation or about a person, generally the situation or person have stepped on one of your values.
When life is going smashingly well, your values are all in alignment.
When things are out of kilter, you need to ask yourself what value has been compromised.
But, in order to answer that, you need to work out accurately what your values are.
How to define your Values
Values are subjective. They will ebb and wane as you travel through this thing called life. What was important to you at one point may not be so important to you at another point in your life.
A good example would be the young man who has started a new job as a salesman and making money is of ultimate importance to him. But, as he gets older, more settled in his ways, and wiser, he will feel that money isn’t the ultimate, being with his family is.
Identifying your values isn’t easy, but we have crafted some questions to help you on your way. To aid you further, take a look at our Life Balance Wheel and use these questions across all the various quadrants.
#1 What were the moments in your life when you felt the most satisfied and content?
- What were you doing at the time?
- What was life like for you at that moment in time?
- What desire or need was fulfilled?
- How did the experience affect your life going forward?
#2 When were you the happiest?
- Who was with you?
- Where were you?
- What made you feel happy?
- What factors contributed to your feeling of happiness?
#3 What triggered you to feel very proud – either of yourself or for someone else?
- Why did you feel proud?
- Who was the other person if it wasn’t about you?
- What other factors contributed to making you feel proud?
Now that you have those events and moments clearly in your mind, try out our Values Exercise to determine the values that you felt were triggered in those moments.
Choose as many as you like from the list supplied and then prioritize your top five values.
This will be the trickiest part out of this whole exercise. But, keep referring back to those moments you picked out and keep asking yourself what value was triggered.
Take a break and come back to your list after about an hour or even a day
Reaffirm your top five values. Change them if you are not feeling 100% sure of any of them. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer, however, let your gut guide you.
“How does this value make me feel?”
“Do I feel proud of my values I chose?”
“Would I feel proud and comfortable to tell others what my top five values are?”
“If there were ten others in a group and I was the only one to choose one of these values, would I still feel proud to announce it?”
“What is the point of knowing my values?”
This is really the most poignant question of them all.
Why bother? Why do you need to know your values?
The True Value of Values
The value of values will become more apparent as you use them in everyday life. Your values will guide you on a life that will feel righteous and good. When you get that deep-seated bad feeling in the pit of your stomach about something or someone, then one of your values is being tested. You may not be doing something to compromise your value, but someone else may.
By following your values you will certainly be able to lead a life that will be both rewarding and happy.
Signing up with a Mentor Coach will help you to hone in on what your values are and with regular check-in sessions, you will find a general sense of peace as you move closer and closer to that value-focused life. Understanding the value of values is only a click away.