For this reason, this is one of the first questions I ask clients.
Living by our personal values sounds easy at first. Your values, after all, are the things that are important to you in life, so it should be natural to live by them.
But often, the values we hold are subconscious or implicit. They are kind-of on auto-pilot, and we can find ourselves moving through life with a set of values that we picked up along the way from our childhood, family, relationships, jobs, etc.
Taking the time to pause and think about not only what we are valuing today and what we’ve valued historically, but also what we want to value is incredibly powerful.
For example, maybe honesty is a major value you hold. You may believe in being honest wherever possible and think it’s important to share your sincere opinion. When you don’t speak your mind, you probably feel inauthentic or that you’ve let yourself down.
Or maybe you value kindness. You believe that helping other people is an important and much needed act and you’re generous in giving your time and resources to friends and family.
Our values matter because we’re likely to feel better if we’re living in alignment with our values. This applies both to day-to-day decisions and to larger life choices.
When we stop and really consider what values we need to identify and embody in order to show up as our best selves and feel happier, more successful, content, and joyful, it’s important to pinpoint what values are truly ours.
Like all great things, I don’t think this process is always easy and because it’s something that evolves with us over time, it can feel overwhelming. So, to help you on your journey this year, I’ve included my values exercise for you to try out.
Let me know how it goes. And if you need anything, remember I’m just an email or phone call away.