Values: what we hold to be most important; what we deeply believe in; our guiding principles. A value is a way of being or believing that gives direction to our speech, behaviors, and thoughts. Our values drive how we live our lives. They are our WHY.
When we are in touch with our values, we know who we are and we have the freedom to move into the world from that stable place. We can choose the words, actions, and life direction that will support who we want to be and we can feel good about it. We can also find the jobs, people, and places that feel in alignment with what we deeply believe. When we are out of touch with what we value, we experience unease and deep discomfort in who we are. We fail to get the results we want and we can lose sight of who we want to be and how to get there.
Sometimes in life, we live outside of our values. We act in ways that do not align with what we believe, we react rather than mindfully choosing our actions, we allow things to occur that do not feel good, or we say things that are the opposite of what we really believe in an effort to try to fit in. We make choices every day to live in integrity with our values or not. When we are acting out of alignment with our core values, our mind and body will reflect that.
When we are anxious, hurt, or feeling threatened, we can also find ourselves dropping our values and acting wildly different than the person we want to be out of fear and/or protection. But then afterward, we feel crummy and we often have to go back and deal with other issues that were created- in relationships with others- when we were acting out of integrity with our own beliefs.
Life is challenging and we must carry a clear sense of our values with us so that we can overcome the difficulties that will arise. We must re-evaluate what is important to us regularly. Revisiting our values, redefining who we want to be, and sharing those values with the people close to us will help us feel more fulfilled in our lives.
Defining our personal values will help us to more easily live our lives as the person we want to be. Clarifying values in a marriage or family will help to get everyone involved on the same page and will alleviate issues created by moving against each other. Solidfying the values of a business helps to build on the original inspiration for the company, attract employees to uphold the values, and to reach the intended audience.
This work is deep and vulnerable, but it is the most powerful work we can do to get in touch with living our lives as our essential and authentic self. When we take the time to define our core values and live mindfully in accordance with them, we can more easily reach our goals and live the life that feels good to us. Our values will support our purpose and how we can live in alignment with that purpose from day to day.
I invite you to take some time to explore your personal values. Assess if you are living in a way to support what you deeply believe and who you want to be. Investigate if your work feeds into or on your values and how that feels. Discuss your values with those close to you and create common value statements together.
There are many values and many values assessments available for free online. Here is the link to one by Darren Hardy:
Give it a try. And then reassess later to change them as it feels right. Write your top two or three down and post them where you can see them frequently. Discuss your values with your friends and family and share the assessment with them. Imagine a world full of people living in alignment with their core values. That sounds nice.
I will be reassessing my values right along with you.
Chat again soon,