Do you feel as though you are living according to your values?
Do you know with certainty what your true values are?
If you don’t, it’s completely normal not to know what your true values are exactly.
Because there are so many different influences in society sending us messages about the things that we “should” value, or telling us that we can’t afford to live according to our true values, it can be difficult to clarify what our true values are and make them part of our lifestyle.
However, identifying and living according to your values in ways that you’re able to (depending on time, lifestyle, etc.) no matter how big or small, can be extremely beneficial for boosting your self-esteem and confidence.
When you live according to your true values, you are acting in alignment with what you feel to be good, moral and just on a personal level. This is also known as conscious, mindful living.
You are following your moral compass, which not only helps to boost your opinion of yourself, but also provides you with direction, clarity, a sense of authenticity and motivation for life. Living in integrity is very empowering.
So, clarifying what your true values are is a really helpful first step in re-building your self-esteem, self-image and motivation.
Don’t panic and settle for any values that don’t feel right – take some time to really think about what you value and how you’d like to live your life.
Think about what you would like to be remembered for in years to come. What would you like people to say about you?
Also, think about someone you really admire. What qualities do you admire about them?
These mental exercises can be helpful in clarifying what it is you truly value.
Examples of True Values
Personal / Behavioural Values: Adventurousness, Authenticity, Commitment, Compassion, Courage, Creativity, Dependability, Fearlessness, Honesty, Integrity, Kindness, Open-Mindedness, Positivity, Spirituality, Trustworthiness
Social Values: Charity, Community, Education, Environmentalism, Equality, Freedom, Human Rights, Social Justice, Support For The Arts, Tolerance
Business / Work-Based Values: Accountability, Collaboration, Continuous Learning, Customer Service, Diversity, Innovation, Quality, Teamwork
Our Values Can Change
Values don’t need to be rigid – they can adapt and change over time as you grow and learn more about the world.
The world is not black-and-white, there are grey areas everywhere, so refrain from using your values as objective standards for life imposed from above. They come from within you. They are about what feels good and right to you.
As humans, we’re always in flux. So it stands to reason that our values are too!
In situations of uncertainty, use your intuition to explore and ask questions about appropriate ways to act/respond. Consult a trusted friend or therapist to get a fresh perspective, meditate or journal about it to gain insight (read on for journal prompts to help you explore).
If you act in a way that doesn’t align with your true values, it does not make you a bad person. It makes you a totally normal, complex, perfectly imperfect human being.
Feeling guilty or strange about a way you acted is just your intuitions way of saying “Hey! We might be getting a bit off-track here” – it’s a friendly reminder that you do have values, that you are a thoughtful, compassionate person and you have the self-awareness and ability to recognise that.
This is why clarifying your values is a such a great tool. When you are living according to your values, your self-esteem and confidence are given a boost. When you stray from your values, your self-awareness, insight and clarity are given a boost. It’s a win-win situation for personal growth and development.
Authenticity and integrity are conducive to positive emotional well-being. It may not be the whole picture, but exploring your values and how to live consciously and mindfully according to your values, is a great place to start for feeling more aligned and at peace within yourself.
And remember – there’s no rush. The journey of finding out which values truly matter to you is just as important as living them.
I’m including 10 journal prompts here to help you explore and discover your true values if you’re feeling unsure and would like to gain some insight. I hope you find them useful!
Journal Prompts For Living According To Your Values
1. Describe your ideal morning routine
Take note of the values behind your dream morning routine – is it luxurious? Is it all about slow self care and balance? Is it very fast-paced and productive? Is it family-focused?
2. What do you want to be remembered for years down the line?
3. What qualities do you dislike in another person?
4. What is your biggest goal in life?
5. What is the first thing you would save if you had to evacuate immediately?
6. What do you consider your biggest character flaws?
7. When were you most happy in your personal life? Can you pinpoint why? What were the circumstances?
8. When were you most happy in your career/work life? Can you pinpoint why? What were the circumstances?
9. Is there a controversial or polarising topic that you feel strongly one way about?
10. What are you most proud of in your life?
Understanding our values and how this aligns with our identity is the foundation work we undertake in coaching. This helps you to live your life aligned to your values and stay emotionally connected. If you are misaligned, you may be more vulnerable to overwhelm, anxiety and stress which prevent you from moving forward.
If you’re not clear on what your values are and feel as though you are living in misalignment, why don’t you book in a Discovery call and we can talk through how I can help you realign and live to your purpose and passion.
Of course, feel free to leave a comment and let me know what your true values are.
Look after yourself!
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