How Are Your Values Making You Happy?
Values shape who you are, not who you think you should be. Many people neglect their innate values and instead choose to adopt values placed on them by their parents or friends. By coincidence these could be one in the same, but unlikely.
One way to discover whether or not a value is authentic or imposed is to ask yourself, Does honoring this value with every fiber of my being bring a sense of love and peace when I inhale it? Or does it feel like work or something I'm supposed to do in order to find success or approval?
Not being clear on your core values can leave you searching and wandering through your life, not being sure where to go or what to do. Your values can actually assist you with your life balance; in knowing what actions to prioritize and allow to enrich your life. When you don’t have a clear sense of your values, your actions might actually be at odds with your core values and this leads to frustration and lack of fulfillment.
Do You Know What Your Values Are?
In a quest to bring other's top-5 values to light, I often include a values exercise in my offerings (such as The Why of You) that presents a list of possible values to pick from. It’s a long list! And the thing is, it can be easy to go overboard and pick many, many values from the list. This is because most of us will always identify—to a great or small extent—to nearly every value on the list. This is one of the things that makes us all One and allows us to empathize with others, regardless of our actual experience. But the thing that makes us each unique and different is that we all resonate stronger with some values than others.
For example, Community and Impact are two values that I appreciate as being very important and I make an effort to support each in my life when I can. But they are not actually a part of my personal top-5. Does this compromise my integrity or make me less honorable than someone who has one or both of them on his or her list? Of course not.
As you may have guessed if you’ve been with me for a while, Authenticity is one of my top-5. But I can’t expect that to be part of everyone’s list and I would never hold not having it on a top-5 list against them. I understand that it may very well be very important to them—maybe it’s even number six or seven on their list. It’s simply that they have other roles to play. By each of us holding different values at the top of our lists, it ensures that everything in the world gets taken care of because it would be crazy for us all to assume the responsibility for everything.
How Is Being Clear on Your Values Important?
- Values shine a new light on your goals as you decide whether something you’ve set out to accomplish is truly in alignment with what you really want.
- Recalling your values during times of uncertainty or suffering can actually help bring reassurance and even a sense of peace.
- A clear set of values gives you a feeling of purpose in your life.
How Are Your Values Making You Happy?
- Are each of your top-5 values reflected in your current life’s activities—daily, weekly or at least monthly?
- Think of each of the part each of values plays (or currently is not playing) in the areas of your work, your relationships and your personal time.
- Which values are you saying Yes to? Which ones might you be denying?
Just a little food for thought. xo
If there's anyway I can support you in gaining clarity around your values, I'd very much enjoy talking to you about it. Also, I'm currently putting together a rich e-course tentatively called Discovering the Book Inside of You. Mining for values, passions, skills and strengths is a big part of the course. To be among the first to know when the course is launched (and receive a special discount), be sure to add your name to my e-mail list.