Value Your Values

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When you live in alignment with your values, the quality of your life improves. Your values are a reflection of what makes you, you. At a simplistic level, your values are your brand.

Benefits of Understanding Your Values

  • Reduces stress: When you are not living in synch with what is important to you, it’s similar to living in a state of constant conflict.  You are doing one thing but always want to do something else. This can create frustration, anger and eventually stress.

  • Better decision making: When you understand what your core values are, decision making is more straight forward. This does not mean that it will always be easy, but you will know what is right for you.

  • Clear Priority Setting: Understanding your values means that when multiple things are calling for your attention, you are in a better position to determine what takes priority.

If you’re not sure how to identify your values, consider those things that make your life meaningful.  When have you been your happiest or most satisfied?  When are you utterly engaged? What are you doing? Who are you with? Chances are whatever that thing was, it was in alignment with your values.

If you are not sure what your values are take a look at the exercise below.

Exercise 1 – Which Words Feel Right?

Below is a list of 200+ words. Go through the list to choose those words that you feel reflect your values. Once you have done that, condense your list to 20 values. Do this two more times, always halving the number until you come up with 5 values. It will be difficult but try. If you simply can’t imagine not having something on your list, then it reflects one of your core values. Obviously, you can have more than five core values, but the exercise is a great way to identify what’s really important to you.

Tip: When considering the list think about what you stand for; what do you choose to chase, defend and more importantly act on? The answer to these questions gives you some insight into what you value.

If there is something important to you but it’s not on the list, then add it.

List of Values
Acceptance Expressive Poise Warmth
Accomplishment Fairness Positivity Wealth
Accountability Family Potential Welcoming
Accuracy Famous Power Winning
Achievement Fearless Present Wisdom
Adaptability Feelings Productivity Wonder
Alertness Ferocious Professionalism Worthiness
Altruism Fidelity Prosperity
Ambition Fitness Purpose
Amusement Flexibility Quality
Assertiveness Focus Realistic
Attentive Foresight Reason
Awareness Fortitude Recognition
Balance Freedom Recreation
Beauty Friendship Reflective
Boldness Fun Reliability
Bravery Generosity Respect
Brilliance Genius Responsibility
Calm Giving Restraint
Candor Goodness Results-oriented
Capable Grace Reverence
Careful Gratitude Rigor
Certainty Greatness Risk
Challenge Growth Satisfaction
Charity Happiness Security
Cleanliness Hard work Self-reliance
Clear Harmony Selfless
Clever Health Sensitivity
Comfort Honesty Serenity
Commitment Honor Service
Common sense Hope Sharing
Communication Humility Significance
Community Humour Silence
Compassion Imagination Simplicity
Competence Improvement Sincerity
Concentration Independence Skillfulness
Confidence Individuality Smart
Connection Innovation Solitude
Consciousness Inquisitive Spirit
Consistency Insightful Spirit of adventure
Contentment Inspiring Spirituality
Contribution Integrity Spontaneous
Control Intelligence Stability
Conviction Intensity Status
Cooperation Intuitive Stewardship
Courage Irreverent Strength
Courtesy Joy Structure
Creation Justice Success
Creativity Kindness Support
Credibility Knowledge Surprise
Curiosity Lawful Sustainability
Decisiveness Leadership Talent
Dedication Learning Teamwork
Dependability Liberty Temperance
Determination Logic Thankful
Development Love Thorough
Devotion Loyalty Thoughtful
Dignity Mastery Timeliness
Discipline Maturity Tolerance
Discovery Meaning Toughness
Drive Moderation Traditional
Effectiveness Motivation Tranquility
Efficiency Openness Transparency
Empathy Optimism Trustworthy
Empower Order Truth
Endurance Organization Understanding
Energy Originality Uniqueness
Enjoyment Passion Unity
Enthusiasm Patience Usefulness
Environmentalism Patriotism Valor
Equality Peace Victory
Ethical Performance Vigor
Excellence Perseverance Virtue
Experience Persistence Vision
Exploration Playfulness Vitality

Exercise 2 – Which Words Feel Right?

Now that you have a list of values, think about placing that list where you can see it every day. At the end of each day, ask yourself if you have lived in alignment with your values and consider what actions you can take the following day that are consistent with your values. In order to act on your values you need to focus on what they look like in action. If athletics are important to you, you need to find ways to incorporate athletic activities into your life.  It may be by joining a team or running in a marathon.

This exercise takes only a few minutes but is a great way to stay in step with what really matters to you.