Happiness, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose don’t happen by chance. They are actively cultivated. Discovering your values provides a compass to your life and helps you attract those things that are most important to you. Your values are yours and discovering them is a large part of increasing self-awareness and truly knowing yourself.
Since your values are tools used to help you guide your life, it should be easy to determine what they are.
After all, your values are yours and no one else has to agree with them but you. The reality is that oftentimes it can be hard to not only define your values but to live by them as well.
One way to truly know yourself is to get in touch with your own set of values. It's vital that you have your own set of principles and morals so you can stand firm in your beliefs. Our values shape our decisions and actions, and we’re guided by our commitment to them.
Your values are simply the things that are most important to you at the core. It's about your belief in the things that matter most. The people and causes that you stand by. The things that you stand for. The values and ideas you’re willing to fight for, no matter what others have to say.
When the things that you do and your behaviors match your values, then most people find that they are satisfied and content and life actually feels good.
But on the flip side, when actions and behaviors don't align with your personal values, that's when things can feel out of whack, unbalanced, and leave you feeling unhappy.
Why It’s Important to Discover and Define Your Core Values
There are numerous reasons why it’s beneficial to identify your core values. Some include:
Finding your purpose
Knowing your values helps you figure out what you want out of your life.
Guiding your behavior
They help you behave and show up in a way that matches who you want to be.
When you’re met with a decision, you can reflect upon what someone who values the things you do would choose. It also helps you in setting realistic goals that leave you feeling fulfilled.
When you know what matters to you, it’s easier to choose the right career path.
Increasing your confidence
Identifying your values brings a sense of safety and stability into your life because you know what you want and what’s important to you.
Expanding Your Mind Through Visualizations
An effective method of identifying your values is to imagine your future. Take the time to reflect on different areas of your life.
- Where do you see yourself as you get older?
- What are the things that are most important to you?
- What do you hope to accomplish in life?
Answering these questions can help lead you to discover your values.
Examples of Core Values In Real Life Scenarios
If you picture yourself growing old close to your family and spending valuable time with your grandkids, then a strong sense of family is one of your core values.
Maybe you believe and practice being honest wherever possible. You believe it’s necessary to say what you really think. And it is likely that, when you don’t speak your mind, you feel disappointed in yourself. If this is true for you honesty is one of your core values.
What would it look like if you value kindness?
Someone who values kindness might jump at the chance to assist other people, and even be free in giving time and resources to worthy causes, friends, and family.
You can have many values in life; you just need to determine which ones are most important to you and are your highest priorities. That way, at the end of each day, you can feel confident that you're nurturing the most important parts of your life.
Discover Your Values | Common Personal Values
There are certain values that most people feel are important. You might find that they are noteable to you too, as part of your core beliefs.
These values may help guide you in determining your own personal values:
Are you a thrill-seeker? If things seem to get too stale, do you eventually feel bored? If so, you have adventure close to your heart and you'd be happiest with trying new experiences and new ways of doing everyday things.
Valuing relationships includes finding all relationships important, in addition to your romantic ones. If you value loving relationships, it might be those with any family member or friend. This means that you hold your interactions with your loved ones to be one of the most important things in life. In order to foster this value, spend plenty of quality time and effort on strengthening your relationships.
If you align with a certain religion or spiritual practice, then the beliefs of that practice are likely dear to your heart. You may find greater fulfillment by spending your time studying and practicing your spiritual explorations.
Creative thinking helps the world in many ways, but it's not a core value for everyone. If you enjoy discovering and creating new things, perhaps it is one of your values. Try thinking outside the box while you're doing things that you enjoy, such as poetry, music, or painting.
Making a mark on the world
Most people will say that, in the end, they just want others to warmly remember them. There are many ways that you can make your mark on the world if that's one of your core values. You can help others through volunteer work, you can create something new to help the world at large, or you can be a positive influence on others, and much more.
All you really need to do in order to discover your values is find what makes you truly happy. Then ask yourself why those things bring you joy.
The answers will lead you to your core values.
If you feel like your life has taken a wrong turn, you can start to figure it out by thinking about your future and your future self.
Are you helping your future self by walking down your current path? If the answer is no, perhaps it's time to think about taking a new path based on your core values.
When you do, that path will likely lead you to happiness!
Need help bridging the gap between your future self and where you are today?
Grab your copy of the Who Are You workbook. Designed to help you become more self-aware through outlining and defining your core values, identifying your strengths and weakness and learning how to leverage them, and working to avoid repeating past mistakes over and over.
If you are interested in partnering to do this work with a coach that specializes in helping women just like you become what you imagine to be your very best version of yourself, let's schedule a time to chat to see if we are a good fit together.