If you want to know what your values are, then just take a look at your life because it’s a total reflection of them. Your values are the things that are important to you and that drive you. They are the things that you prioritise both consciously and unconsciously. They are the things that will motivate you from the inside, influence your decision making and direct what you spend your money on. You will have complete attention, retention and motivation for them.
“Your values create your internal compass that can navigate how you make decisions in your life. If you compromise your core values, you go nowhere.” ~ Roy T Bennett
We can sometimes strive towards something that we think we want but it really isn’t one of our true values. It’s a ‘should’ that is most likely somebody else’s (your parents, partner, religion or society in general). If that’s the case you will procrastinate and it will feel like a real struggle. There will be no joy or flow in it and something will feel very off and resistant in you.
Have you ever thought you wanted something, only to find that you did the complete opposite of what you said? I’ve been looking into my values again this month and found an example of this in action and it’s all around saving money.
I keep saying I want financial freedom and to save money but I never regularly manage to put money away every month. Other more important things, the things that I value more are getting my money instead! I’ve also realised that ‘financial freedom’ to me means freedom to spend. It’s all about spending rather than saving. My money is going to the things I value such as travelling, books, courses and now, my new house!
Saving has not been high up on my list of values (on a large part due to paying off debt) but I really want it to be from now on in because it’s a huge fundamental part of being financially free. So I am bumping it up my list of priorities. You are able to move values up your values hierarchy and it’s actually quite a simple process that I will get into in another blog.
It’s important to know your values because your intentions and life direction should be in total alignment with them. They will of course change throughout your life as major events occur like illnesses, having children and as………well, shit happens as they say! If you know them, it gives you more awareness as to what drives and motivates you and they are your very own personal recipe for success. Stick by your values and they will lead you to a life you love!
So how do you know what they are? Here is a simple exercise below to come up with your list of values…
- List 3 things for each category below. You will find that words get repeated throughout and your answers should be honest and not what you think they should be!
-What do you spend all your spare cash on (after food, bills, rent, etc)?
– What items occupy your space the most?
– What do you spend your free time doing?
– What do you always have time, energy and motivation for?
– Where in your life are you most organised and ordered?
– What can you be relied upon most for?
– What thoughts or daydreams do you have the most often?
– What visions do you have that you are realising and actively working towards?
– What could you talk about all day long?
– What inspires you the most in other people?
– What are your long term goals?
- Now, circle the words that have repeated themselves and keep a note of how many times they repeated
- Next, group the words into categories. So for example, if you have put books as items you have and it’s courses you spend money on and personal development is something you like to talk about, then they can all be grouped together into a learning & growth category for example. You can name the categories with whatever feels right to you.
- Order them into a hierarchy, which is simply how many times the words in each category have appeared on your list. If some are the same then use your judgement as to what you think is higher.
The ordering is the part that I have seen people struggle with as they think they are just as equally important! Just because you are putting one above the other doesn’t mean that you are negating the other one. It’s simply just a gauge of the things that are most important to you and there is no right or wrong answer!
You will then be left with a list of values in order of importance to you. The list should totally resonate with you and you will recognise them being demonstrated throughout your life. Even more interesting to me is the fact that my Core Desired Feelings from the Desire Map process are also in alignment with my values. They are the feelings that are generated when I am doing the things that I value.
So try this little exercise out and let me know how you get on! As part of my coaching, I always find out my client’s values so that we can make sure all the work we do together honours them. Need help figuring them out? Then why not ask me about my coaching as it’s totally tailored to what you need and is more affordable than you think. I would even go as far as to say that finding out what is important to you and going after it is totally priceless!