10 May 2010

Know Your Values

Know Your Values

By Christine Compton

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.” Ayn Rand

Have you ever consciously looked at your values and worked out what is important to you? More often than not we go through life without recognising what it is that drives us, what we’re truly searching for. The following exercise is designed to help you get clear about what it is you want, the principles that truly govern your life.

When your lifestyle harmonizes with your values things have a way of flowing, everything just feels right. By the same token when your way of life does not reflect the values you hold dear it can seem that you’re constantly swimming against the tide, that you’re perpetually stressed and frustrated.

The following exercise can help you clarify your values, the principles by which you live.

Look carefully at the following list of words:

Wealth; happiness; love; companionship; autonomy; charity; community; success; health; respect; creativity; dignity; integrity; recognition; authenticity; beauty; peace; family; humour; orderliness; fame; status; self-expression; justice; influence; spirituality; adventure; honesty; nurturing; leadership; service; power; commitment; independence; stimulation; relaxation; risk; security.

You may think of others that aren’t listed in which case just add any that come to mind. Some of the words may mean the same to you, depending on your interpretation of them, and you can group those together as one value.

Having considered the list carefully, go back and score each value from 1-10, depending on how important it is to you with 10 being very important. Be as honest as you can. This is not about listing what you think your values should be. No one else is going to see this exercise – unless you choose to share it with them. There are no ‘shoulds’ – it’s about listening to your heart, rather than your head. Remember, when your way of life doesn’t reflect the values that are important to you, you are out of alignment and will struggle to feel fulfilled.

Once you’ve worked your way through the list, scoring each, choose 6 that seem really vital to you and then ask yourself whether your lifestyle truly reflects the 6 values you’ve highlighted.

When you know what your true values are you may look at a prospective job, a relationship, where you live etc. and see that you need to make some adjustments to bring things more into line with your values.

For example, ‘peace’ might have figured in your list of 6 values. What does that mean to you? Quiet, when you’re actually living in a very noisy environment? A calm domestic life when it’s maybe often fraught and angry? Or perhaps there are battles going on at work, personality clashes that are causing tension and stress. Or are you searching for an inner peace, maybe some kind of spiritual calm? You need to be very clear about your interpretation of your values.

Take time over this exercise. You need to be really honest with yourself if you’re serious about making changes in your life, getting ever-closer to who you really are and what you truly want from your life.

Finally, you may choose to create an affirmation from the 6 values you have selected as being the most important to you. For example, ‘My life is filled with creativity and adventure. I am healthy and successful in everything I do and I feel loved and respected by my family, friends and colleagues.’

Christine Compton is The Vision Coach and helps people create the blueprint for their life and start to live the life they only ever dreamed of.

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