I live by four values – balance, connection, creativity, & integrity. It took me some time to arrive here. But now, I live my life completely aligned with my core purpose. When something happens, and I feel violated or stressed, it is usually connected to a value.
We can’t live into our values if we can’t name them. I shared a while back that I lost my job during the pandemic. The details of that don’t really matter. What does matter is that one of my values was compromised during that ordeal, my integrity? And the idea of compromising my truth, to give in to their ask, was not an option. I was living so deep into my knowing that I was willing to lose my job to maintain my personal integrity.
I realize that most of us can’t just quit a job. And if that would not have been an option for me, I can guarantee you I would have been on the job hunt pretty fast. Once our value system has been questioned, it is tough to see things differently.
What are values & why do they matter
Values are the principles that we live by. They are what makes us tick. When we are in total alignment, we move right along with no hiccups. A way of being or believing that we hold most important.
When we know and can live our truth, we live a more satisfying life. We know what motivates us and what makes us successful. Anxiety and tension simmer for us. Our energy and awareness are heightened. The bottom line, we are awake and living our life vs. watching it float on by.
Our values are influenced by choice and by inheritance. My dad has always said, “If you are not 10 minutes early, you’re late.” I adopted that value from him for a long time. Consistently, I was 10 minutes early for everything. But then, as I got older, I realized I didn’t value time as much as he did. I wasn’t late, but I didn’t see the value in arriving 10 minutes early. After all, I could get so much done in that extra 10 minutes instead of just waiting! Now, my value of time has shifted to my choice vs. his.
We associate so much of our life with our values – family, culture, etc. Often, I hear clients tell me a value is a 10 for them, but they can’t explain why. This is often where we get caught up in the “should zone.” I should value love or family. If I don’t, I am a bad person.
But is that true? Another good one is to be successful; you need to work really hard. How does that one land with you? For some, it might be very true. For others, they might find value in stepping back and really getting clear on if that is true for them or not.
Sometimes values are ones we have adopted from past learnings or ones we were taught growing up. And maybe now they are not serving us.
When our priorities change, so do our values. Having kids vs. being empty nesters might give way to a different set of views. Getting divorced or remarried will likely bring a new set of things to consider. Job changes and new work environments/bosses can lead to a shift in your values.
Exploring your values
Living into our values isn’t possible if we can’t name them. How do we find the balance between what is important to us and how we are acting? How can we connect to our values?
Start by thinking back to a time when life was really good. What value was being expressed or honored? Now think about a time when you were upset. What value was being challenged for you?
A quick google search, and you can find several lists of values if you need a little help. When I give my clients their assessment, I ask them to rate each value from 1-to 10. If they give something a 10, that tells me it is a high value, no questions asked, hardline for them. The goal is to only choose 3-4, but often the first round is upwards of 5-10.
If you are doing this honestly, it will take some reflection time. Many find that certain values encompass others when having to share thoughts or explain the rationale.
Putting your values into action
This is the part where we see the most change. If we can’t live with our values, they likely are not our values. They are, instead, perhaps an expectation.
The value assessment I give my clients has two columns. One to rate the value and the second one to assess how well you are living into this value through your words, actions, beliefs, and perspective.
If we are living into our values at the highest level, others should see this demonstrated through our actions and our conversations. Your beliefs about yourself, the world, and the people in it would be at the forefront of everything you do. A laser-focused perspective would tell anyone who knows you, that this is a hard line for me.
If you read this and want to know more, or would like assistance in narrowing down your values, let’s hop on a call and chat. I would love to share with you more about the 5 stages of the Design Your Dream Career program. It is never too late to begin again.