Values – How to Find Your Compass in Life
What are your values? It isn’t really a question we tend to ask ourselves. But when we do know what they are, it can really help guide us in figuring out what is important and how we can lead a more meaningful life.
Before training as a life coach I had never considered my values and didn’t really know what values were, since discovering mine, it has enabled me to make decisions about my life from a more aware place.
So what are values? Values embody what is most important to you- they are the essence of the things that mean the most to you. Like a compass they tell us what direction to go in. The dictionary definition for values is: ‘principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgment of what is important in life.’ Knowing what your values are can be a brilliant way to guide and make decisions. Some values change through your life, but some can also be pretty constant.
Like a compass they tell us what direction to go in.
Sometimes the best way to explain values is to give examples- So as I mentioned in my first blog one of my values is Freedom. For me, freedom allows me to be who I am and not be tied to who people want me to be. This shows up in not feeling boxed in and being free to make decisions that work for me. I honour this value by allowing free time in my diary for spontaneity, working for myself and going for runs in nature.
When you honour your values, it can help bring happiness and fulfillment into your life, so it can act as a compass telling us what direction to go in.
How do you figure out your values?
A simple way is to go through lists of values and choose words that resonate for you. This works, but it can also encourage us to ‘cherry pick’ the ones we want to be like rather than what is really true and resonates deep within us.
Another way is to think of a time when you felt angry or frustrated. What was happening? What values were not being honored? Often when we feel annoyed it can be because a value that is dear to us (consciously or unconsciously) is not being met.
Another way is to consider a really good time in your life when everything felt right, when you bring this time to mind, really consider what it was that made that time feel great, what values were being honored? Perhaps you were with friends and felt a deep sense of connection- connection may be one of your values, or fun.
There are tools we use in coaching to find out about what makes you tick and once you have your values it is looking at how you can work them into everyday life.
When you have found out your values it is about using them to guide your path in life. Ask yourself the questions- how can I bring this value into my everyday life? How much do I honor this value at the moment? How important is it for me? If I was to honor this value how would my life feel?
Let me know how you get on!