Discover Your Values
Your Values are:
Δ your guiding principles for your life
Δ what you stand for
Δ your fingerprints
Δ who you are at your core
Δ what you base your decisions on
Δ how you live your life and why you live your life the way you do
Values create your foundation of who you are and what you stand for and are the guiding road in your life. Come back to this exercise at any time, and you may even find that your values begin to shift as you change. It is good to do a Value refresher every quarter of the year, so as to make certain that you are still rooted in your core values as you move forward.
Ask yourself what is really important and then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around that answer.
When I discovered my core values, it’s like I had discovered where I live and built a house around it for the first time in my life. Most of my life, I wandered around, aimlessly, feeling and reacting and repeating over and over again. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom that I realized I wasn’t really living and the one thing that was missing was: choice. I started choosing for me, what I wanted and then moving forward, fiercely towards that.
Each year, I set new goals and would accomplish them but still, felt like I was still wandering somehow. It felt as though I wasn’t clear on the big picture and the truth is, is that I wasn’t. Then, I learned about casting Vision (10, 5, 2, 1 year out!) and creating goals around that Vision. And then, everything became clear. But when I discovered my Core Values, I realized that these are directly connected to our Vision and goals and even more like: decisions and choices we make in that forward movement. I believe Values are the first thing you must do, so that you really know who you are at your core and then, always come home to that.
If your vision is the mountain in the distance, and your goals are the mile markers to the mountain, your Values are how you drive the car and the road you take to get there.
This may feel confusing at first, or maybe you see how values are important in your life and you have had prior experience with knowing your values. Whatever you’re feeling, I guide you to let go and trust in this process. It will all come in the right time and like a puzzle, the pieces will begin to connect the more time and heart you put into connecting them. Right now, all you need to do is be here now, dedicate this time to you and take part in this exercise. Here we go! Have fun with this!
- Journal or notepad or your Heart Work Binder
- Patience as you work to discover your values
Answer the questions below and follow the 7 steps to discovering your Values!
Step 1: Identify the times you were happiest.
Choose 2+ examples, reliving that time. Be certain to answer the below questions within or after your journaling of this time.
Find examples in both personal & career, which will help you identify a balance in your values.
- What were you doing?
- Who were you with?
- What other factors contributed to your happiness.
- Highlight the key words that brought you happiness in this time. For example, “I was in nature with my family, we were present and laughing together and experiencing a new adventure as a family.”
Step 2: Identify the times you were most proud.
Choose 2+ examples in both personal & career, reliving that time. Be certain to answer the below questions within or after your journaling of this time.
- Why were you proud?
- Did other people share in your pride? Who?
- What other factors contributed to your feeling of pride?
- Highlight the key words that brought you pride in this time.
Step 3: Identify the times you were most fulfilled & satisfied.
Choose 2+ examples in personal and career, reliving that time. Be certain to answer the below questions within or after your journaling of this time.
- What need or desire was fulfilled?
- How did the experience give your life meaning?
- What other factors contributed to your feeling of fulfillment?
- Highlight the key words that brought you fulfillment in this time.
Step 4: Determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride & fulfillment.
Why is each experience truly important to you, and memorable? Go back and reread your experiences in each of the steps and look at the words you highlighted. For the example in Step 4, I would say that in that experience, these are the values that stuck out: family, experience, adventure, fun.
From the list below and your experiences, choose the values that you discover within your experiences. Write them down. If you do not find a value on this list, that is absolutely ok! Write it down. These are your values and the list below is a list compiled by me as a guide. Aim for 10-15 values. You might notice some values overlapping such as candor & kindness. Write them down and in Step 5, you will find the most correct value for you.
A LIST OF VALUES
|HONOR||MAKING A DIFFERENCE||SENSITIVITY||UNDERSTANDING||IMPACT|
Step 6: Prioritize your top values.
This step can be the most challenging and will require you to look farther within yourself for the answers, the truth. By being super clear about your top Core Values, you will always have these to come home to in moving forward, decision making and how you drive your car to your mountain.
- Write down your top 10 values. Not in any order, just top 10.
- Look at your first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these two values, which would I choose?” So, which is most important to you. It might help you to think of an example in which you might need to make that choice. For example, if you compare the value of freedom to support, imagine that you got a job offer to the place you’ve always wanted to live. You’ve always imagined this would be the place you would feel peace and freedom. Your family does not show support to you for moving away. Which is most important to you? That you are supported or that you have freedom?
- Keep comparing your list, with one value to another, until your list of 10 values is ordered from 1-10, 1 being your top value.
Step 7: Reaffirm your values.
- Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
- Do they make sense to you?
- How do they fit the view you have of yourself as a person?
- Are you proud of your values?
- Do these values represent things you would support?
When you consider your values in decision making and vision setting, you can be sure to keep your sense of integrity and what you know is right, and approach decisions and your vision with confidence and clarity. You can also be assured that what you’re doing is best for your current and future happiness.
Write your top 10 values down and circle your top 3. Keep these with you in your planner, on your desk, on your bathroom mirror or in your phone to come back to over and over and over again.
Adapted from mindtools.com