Personal values are critical to a fulfiling life and integrity. They are our internal reference for what we value most in our lives. We can use them as a standard for our behaviour and a way of doing things in our personal and work-life. If we live by them, we feel satisfied, calmer, more balanced and in alignment with our purpose. That sounds quite tempting, and probably you would wonder why not all are doing it yet. The answer is that most of us don't even know what the references we should follow are. Do you know your top 5 personal values?
Not until I was in my coaching programme I questioned myself about this. Has anyone asked you this question?
If I claim (and I am not the only one) that knowing your values is so important, why has nobody taken the time to teach us? Why are many not taking time to discover, honour, review and question it? It is because we were taught SOME values, but not our PERSONAL values. The values we learn are very often misinterpreted, and we accept the definition given by society and family.
When we don't question these values and simply accept them, they are likely to become beliefs we hold in our lives – and these either serve us or limit us. For example, imagine you learned that success means hard work, and have a high paid job or highly profitable business. The educational system and your family encourage you to follow this definition of success as something desirable. But the main question is: what does success mean to you? How important is to be successful for you? How do you know you are successful?
This is just one of many examples of values defined by society but not questioned by individuals. Let's stick to the example of success. Imagine you've reached your goal, expecting this would make you feel fulfilled, but nothing has changed. You feel like you're still missing out on something. This might feel very frustrating and disappointing. It is very natural as we achieved something we didn't even define ourselves and that wasn't actually important to us.
The fact is that you have your personal values no matter if you are aware of them or not. Choosing them consciously is what sets the direction you want to go.
I guess you already see the benefits of knowing your values. It allows you to make decisions with clarity, having in mind the bigger picture. It enables you to live a unique and honest life with high integrity. It saves you a lot of energy as you honour what you believe in. You no longer waste energy victimising yourself or blaming the world around you as you take responsibility for your choices. And believe it or not, this saved energy is what you need to create the life you want! You are no longer the effect of your life but its creator.
Get in touch with your coach to discover your values!