VALUES: WAYS TO CREATE A LIFE YOU LOVE THROUGH SELF-AWARENESS
What do you value? Relationships, career, health, a hobby that you are passionate about? Some people may know what it is that they value, whereas others may be unsure. If you have never taken time to truly think about what it is that you most value, it will be much harder for you to make decisions in life that will align with your core self and make you happy.
Discover your outdated programming
Values are things that you judge as important, that enrich you and give your life meaning. Values also consider our morals, principles and beliefs – some of which we may have learned when we were young and may be outdated now. We do not, for example, always need to be a ‘good girl’ and put others needs before our own, or always eat up everything on our plate.
We can, however, become aware of our outdated programming that no longer serves us or reflects who we are as a person and change it through becoming aware and shining a light on our self.
Values are vitally important to us and affect how we think, feel, behave and live our lives. So, awareness of them will help you to take back charge of your life and act in accordance with who you truly are. An awareness of your own values will help you to make decisions more easily and to live a happier life.
Take 10 minutes to work out what is important to you
So, take a piece of paper and a pen, set a timer for 10 minutes, and write down all the things that you value.
To kick-start some ideas, consider the following list of values-based questions and how they make you feel:
Do you love to help people, and if so, how?
Is family and nurturing your loved ones something that fulfils you?
Does the idea of affecting change in the world excite you?
Would you like to be an expert whose knowledge is sought-after? How crucial to you is recognition?
Do you want to be an authority figure or manager? What type of manager would you like to be?
Is being held in high esteem and respected by others important to you?
Would you rather be safe and secure, or do you crave diversity, change and the unexpected? How important is structure and stability to you?
Do you enjoy challenge?
Are you happier working with others collaboratively in a team or independently?
Is a sense of community and belonging important to you?
Are you an adventurer?
Does creativity fire you up?
Is personal integrity crucial to your self-worth?
How important to you is balance?
What type of environments do you prefer? Consider work environments, home environments, landscapes.
How important is money to you?
There are many more questions you could ask yourself to determine your values, but this is just a starting point to fire your thinking.
Set goals that align with what truly matters to you
Your values are unique to you, like a fingerprint. There is no right and wrong when it comes to what you value. But knowing your values will help you feel more certain of who you are and what makes you unique. Knowing your values will help you to set goals that you really want to achieve and will provide you with motivation.
For me, I value my faith, my relationship with my husband, family and friends, and my health. I also value gratitude, cheerfulness and calmness, and aim to cultivate an attitude that reflects these values. Joy, contentment, happiness, positivity, growth, creativity, balance, stability, support, learning. These are other values that also speak to me.
So, in knowing what it is that I value, I find it easier to make decisions that will make me happier and more fulfilled.
Adjust your life so that it fits with your values
Living a life informed by personal values (and not others’ values) will boost your feelings of self-worth and will help you to make decisions on everything from career to romantic partner. For example, if you dread getting out of bed on a Monday morning to go to work, knowing your values may give you a clue as to why. If you value your family a great deal and you have a job that takes you away from them for days on end, or where you end up bringing your work home, you will have discovered that one of your central values is not being met.
Understanding your values is one of the most affirming and empowering things that you can do for yourself. Taking just ten minutes to think about your values may be the first step to enabling you to make small adjustments to your situation, redesigning your life until it aligns with what matters to you most.