DEFINING YOUR CORE VALUES
If someone were to ask you to define your values, what would you say? Most of us wouldn’t know where to begin because so many of us are not sure what values actually are. If this is you, then today’s article will help you figure out how to elicit what your own values are and then create a life that honours your values on a day-to-day basis.
What are your values?
Your values are the things that you believe are important to the way you live your life.
They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.
When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your values, that’s when things feel…wrong and off kilter. This can be a real source of unhappiness.
This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.
How to Define Your Values
When you define your values, you discover what’s truly important to you. So to help you to do this, today we have six great steps to help you define your own values. Enjoy!
Identify the times when you were happiest
Find examples from both your career and personal life when you have felt your happiest. Notice and make a note of:
- What were you doing?
- Were you with other people? Who?
- What other factors contributed to your happiness?
Identify the times when you were most proud
Once again, use examples from both your career and personal life and make a note of:
- Why were you proud?
- Did other people share your pride? Who?
- What other factors contributed to your feelings of pride?
Identify the times when you were most fulfilled & satisfied
(work and personal…you know the drill…)
- What need or desire was fulfilled?
- How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
- What other factors contributed to your feelings of fulfilment?
Determine your top values
Based on your previous answers about what offered you the greatest happiness, pride, and fulfilment, you now need to determine your top values.
Why is each experience truly important and memorable? Use the following list of common personal values to help you get started, and aim for about 10 top values. A great way to do this exercise is to pull out say 20 words that resonate and then once you have these, work to cull the list down to 10.
Prioritise your top values
From your list of 10 values, you now need to prioritise them. To do this you should:
- Write down your top values, not in any particular order.
- Look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?”
- Keep working through the list until you have your 10 values listed in order of importance.
Reaffirm your values
Check your top-priority values, and make sure they fit with your life and your vision for yourself. If you are unclear on your vision then check out our article, ‘How to build a life you love’ here. You can then ask yourself:
- Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
- Are you proud of your top three values?
- Would you be comfortable and proud to tell your values to people you respect and admire?
- Do these values represent things you would support, even if your choice isn’t popular, and it puts you in the minority?
When you consider your values in decision making, you can be sure to keep your sense of integrity and what you know is right, and approach decisions with confidence and clarity. You’ll also know that what you’re doing is best for your current and future happiness and satisfaction.
MORE ARTICLES YOU WILL ENJOY
Thanks for reading
Rebecca is the Founder & CEO of The Daily Guru. She sees Growth & Development as a vital part of anyone’s health & happiness, as well as being one of the most rewarding experiences we can all embrace.