Our values are a set of powerful internal beliefs and they direct our lives. They are like an internal compass and we make our daily decisions based on them.
Anyone that knows me, especially my clients, know that I chant this message over and over again.
I think values are grossly underestimated, by most people as this directional force that they are. Certainly when deciding on a new career or starting a new business or pivoting in business. Even our most important relationships or when we get to the stage of retirement. Values are an essential clarity that we need to have.
In these most important aspects and phases of life, the majority of us are more inclined to make a decision without considering our values. And by doing so, we can often feel disenchanted with the choices we’ve made. Even if not immediately, eventually.
This is because when our values aren’t properly met we can feel like something’s missing. In a worst case scenario we can feel downright unhappy with the circumstances we’ve created. And then of course it can make us lack trust in our judgement. Making us overly apprehensive in the future and often missing opportunities because of that.
Here’s the thing though;
If we don’t gain clarity on our most important core values, we’re highly likely to make repetitive poor choices
There’s no short cutting this. And there’s definitely no benefit in borrowing someone else’s values either. Because they are not you. Their belief system is highly likely totally different to yours. This means what fulfils them quite probably won’t light you up at all.
No matter what stage of life we are at. Or what aspect of life we want to change, if any. We need to have complete clarity on our own personal core values. It’s essential to know what drives us, what motivates us and what is most important to us. Once we have this awareness it makes decision making so much easier. Plus it gives us the self knowledge to create a life, career, business or relationship that totally fulfils us.
The best way to gain this kind of clarity is to work with a good and experienced coach. To be honest without having a coach involved it’s really easy to trip yourself up. This is because we have a tendency to identify with ideals. These ideals are not necessarily values but what we aspire to. Without a coach listening for what’s not said, it’s quite challenging to know the difference.
Values are intangible and we already live them mostly unconsciously. So it requires the support of an experienced coach to help you gain much deeper clarity.
But aside from speaking the benefits of coaching, there are ways you can begin to gain some clarity yourself.
Moments you have felt totally fulfilled are times when your values are met
Just look for those moments. It’s often big events that bring those moments of deep fulfilment. But we have fleeting moments frequently, we’re just not aware that we’re meeting our values.
Times you’ve felt incredibly annoyed about something
Most people find it much easier to identify these. They are situations where we have felt our values have been compromised or not met. To give you a clue, they tend to happen in circumstances with other people.
Parts of your life that you spend the majority of your time, energy or money on
There are numerous aspects of life this could be. But we all tend to put our time, energy and money into the aspects of life that we value. And we tend to fulfil our personal core values within those areas of life too.
It is vital that we spend time eliciting our core values if we’re making changes
There is no getting away from it. If we want to feel happy with changes we are about to make. And if we want to feel fulfilled, then it is vital we spend some time eliciting our own personal core values.
Whether it is a relationship you want to improve. A new chapter of your career you want to start. Or a new business you want to start or you want to change tac in your business. Even if you’re at the point of retirement or want to improve your health. Knowing your values allows you to make changes that are sustainable and light you up from the inside. This makes life so much more joyful.
By the way, there’s also a whole set of rules and beliefs that sit behind those values and it’s important you know what they are too.
Also know that our values can shift as we age. This is because our experiences change. So if you’ve elicited your values in the past, it may be time to do it again.