What are your values?
Did the answer roll off your tongue in a matter of seconds or did you have to pause and reflect before answering?
You should be readily able to spit out the answer because your values are your personal standard of guiding behaviors.
TYPES OF PERSONAL VALUES
We sometimes confuse values to mean something that is cultural, moral, or even religious and they certainly do include those things.
Fundamentally, a value is a strongly held belief about something that is important (valuable) to you. There doesn’t have to be any religious or cultural connotation about it, although those items frequently drive our behavior.
You value what you value which is why it’s called a personal value.
Your Personal Values Include:
- Relationship Values – These values reflect how you view the people in your life such as your partner, spouse, family, friends, and even colleagues at work.
- Individual Values - Individual values reflect what you consider important for your self-interest and personal growth.
- Career Values – Career values are two-fold and reflect the values you hold for your career or the values you expect your organization to hold.
- Societal Values - Societal values reflect how you view your role in society such as, environmental awareness, diversity, and sustainability.
We’re not here to debate misplaced priorities and what’s right and what’s wrong. That’s for you to figure out but understanding your values is crucial because that’s what helps you make the best decisions for your life.
What you value impacts the direction of your life and your career.
WHY YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND YOUR VALUES
Because it makes a tremendous difference in life satisfaction… it’s as simple as that.
Let’s say you value teamwork. Maybe you believe that the best results happen in a team environment and not because of individual efforts. If you choose a career in sales where the setting is highly competitive and individually focused, how happy are you going to be with your job?
That’s where the friction comes in. You’re at odds with what you value and your career isn’t congruent with your value system.
When we align our life with our values, we are most fully “whole” and most fully invigorated.
Becoming more mindful of these vital aspects (values) in your life will guide you to make the best choice in any situation. While many options appear reasonable, it's helpful to rely on your values – and use them as a strong guiding force to point you in the right direction.
When the things you do match your values, you’ll feel more fulfilled, energized, focused, and satisfied with your outcome. But when your life, career, and even your personal relationships are not in alignment with your values, it creates a source of frustration which will magnify in terms of irritation over time.
Values shift as you age. That’s why a regular life reflection process is so instrumental. You don’t find your values at age 20 and expect those same values to carry you through the rest of your life.
While many values are fairly stable, other values can change over time and with life-changing events. Marriage, birth of a child, and even the death of a loved one can shift your values. So reflecting upon and finding ways to live your values will add fulfillment as well as to improve your energy and ignite your passions.
Just keep asking yourself if everything you are doing right now is in alignment with what you value. If not, it may be time for a shift.
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Johnston Osburn is a Career and Life Coach who helps people turn dreams into realities. After years as a Global Talent Acquisition Professional, she realized how frequently people limit themselves because they lack belief in their abilities. They are afraid to dream, let alone dream big. [...]