How are you living your values today?
Personal values can act as your own personal playbook for inspiration and life satisfaction. You will be happier when your life endeavours – your work, your family, and friends – are aligned with your values.
Clarity around your values can give you a direction to move in and they can help you make decisions that enliven you. When you don’t know your values or you aren’t keeping them in mind, it’s easy to make choices that may not be the best; perhaps you make choices because that’s what others do or you choose something because you feel you should rather than you want to.
It’s easy to forget about them, so it’s helpful to remind yourself what your values are so you can use them as sources of inspiration and satisfaction.
Time to reflect
Once you know your values, it’s still important to remind yourself of them and to reflect on how you are living according to them or not. Here are some questions to help with that reflection:
- How valid are my values right now? Are my stated values still the ones I want to follow?
- How much am I living them?
- What gets in the way?
- What changes could I make in what I choose to do and who I choose to spend time with?
- What internal changes could I make to live my values more – how can I shift my thinking, attitude and/or mindset?
Are you off-track?
If you find that you are off-track, you might need to give yourself a little slack. It’s really easy to forget about values, or to get swept up in projects and daily tasks. We often get pulled in different directions by the practicalities of life – for example, sometimes we just need focus our attention on our survival or that of our loved ones.
Life can get in the way – but you do have some choices
If life has gotten in the way, we might not feel that we have a choice; values may feel like a luxury. Maybe this tells us it’s time to look at values we can honour despite external circumstances. Perhaps you have a value like kindness, love, connection or peace. How can you practise these internally, even if the external world doesn’t reflect them back to you? It may take a bit of effort, but it will be worth it for you to experience what’s most meaningful to you.
Managing external circumstances
If your external circumstances challenge your values, you might need to challenge yourself to change them, whether that’s getting a new job or changing who you hang out with. You can’t always control external circumstances, but you can choose how much you engage with them or let them control your sense of self and your life satisfaction.
The more we tolerate a life that doesn’t honour our values, the more (emotionally) painful it is and the more we have to work to maintain a sense of stability.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to clarify your personal values, one of our coaches can help. We can do individual, group or team sessions. Contact us for a conversation.