Have You Given Thought to Your Values Lately?

Sharb ValuesWhen was the last time you actively gave thought to your values?  Not the values of stocks in your portfolio or the values of baseball cards in your collection, YOUR values, your personal values to be specific.

These values are something few individuals take the time to consider, let alone build an awareness of.  I don’t think this is because most would deem their personal values unimportant.  Instead, I believe it’s more likely most people have never been asked to give them much thought.

In coaching one of the more foundational areas I explore with my clients is that of personal values.  Today I’d like to share that process with you because I believe it’s important for everyone to give some thought to their values from time to time.

When beginning the process of exploring values, I explain to my clients that values are what you stand for and they speak to who you are at your core.  Values define your character and others are often keyed into values you hold by your behavior and actions.  Values tend to be grounded in your previous life experiences and continue to be influenced by your current life experiences.  Because of this, values can change over time.

The vast majority of us are operating from our values each day but just don’t recognize it as such.

For instance, if you typically choose to spend your evenings hanging out with your kids and partner instead of going out for dinner with the girls in the neighborhood you may be demonstrating your value of family.  If on the other hand your habit is to go out for dinner with the girls in the neighborhood every chance you get, you may be demonstrating your value of belonging or your value of friendship.  None of these values, “family”, “belonging”, or “friendship” are “right” or “wrong”, they simply are.

So if there is no risk of being right or wrong, why is it important to build awareness around your values?  I feel it’s important because being aware of your values can support you in many ways.  For instance:

  • Being aware of your values can make the processes of prioritization and decision-making easier.
  • Knowing your values and working to live in harmony with them can support you in making better, more thoughtful decisions.
  • Living in concert with your core values can give you the feeling you are living in integrity and moving towards being the individual  you most want to be.

Imagine how much easier it would be to feel confident about your  decision to take a job in another country if you knew your most closely held values were travel, adventure and life-long learning.  Imagine how much easier it would be to make a decision to purchase a multi generational vacation home near a national park if you valued family, relationships and nature.  Imagine how much simpler life’s tougher decisions could be if they were grounded in something that touched you at your core.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how exploring and getting in touch with your values can support you.    Please click here to let me know if you’d like me to send you a copy of my values exercise.   It doesn’t take much time to complete and I guarantee any time spent will be well worth it.

Already in touch with your values?  I’d  love to hear how you assess your values and how awareness of your values supports you!

 

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7 Responses to “Have You Given Thought to Your Values Lately?”

  1. Linda Samuels September 16, 2014 10:58 pm #

    Have you ever noticed that in emergencies, we seem to “just know” what’s most important and most valued? But how great if it didn’t have to be an emergency to be able to identify what we value. Like most things, awareness comes first. It sounds like the “value” tool you’ve developed is great for developing hat awareness.

    • Andrea Sharb September 18, 2014 11:29 pm #

      So true Linda and yes, the value tool supports you in developing the awareness now, with out having to experience the “emergency.”

  2. Janet Barclay September 18, 2014 8:44 am #

    I recently received a values worksheet from one of my clients, but filed it away and forgot about it. Thank you so much for this reminder to pay attention to this important aspect of self-development.

    • Andrea Sharb September 18, 2014 11:35 pm #

      Hi Janet. Thank you for stopping by and you are most welcome for the reminder. Enjoy the process.

  3. Ellen Delap September 21, 2014 10:10 pm #

    Love this perspective. It’s so important to be clear on our values, especially to be clear for each day’s activities. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Andrea Nordstrom October 20, 2014 1:56 pm #

    Excellent post Andrea, I love that you outline how it is easier to make decisions – especially big ones – when you are clear on your values. I have been thinking about values a lot lately. I think that gaining clarity around them can also help with the small, seemingly unimportant stuff. For example, I hate (HATE!) making school lunches. But I really value being the kind of mom who directs her love, care and attention to her kids in the little things she does, not just the overt gestures. So (even though I still hate making them), I remind myself that I am doing it because it is in line with my values. And, of course, because the only other option would be to let them starve… 😉

    • Andrea Sharb October 20, 2014 11:10 pm #

      Andrea, Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I definitely agree that values support you in gaining clarity on all types and all sizes of decisions. Though my kids are in college now I vividly recall the days of making lunches and hating every minute of it. I wish at that point in my life I had been as in touch with my values as I am now – probably would’ve made it easier, as it has for you. What a blessing you’re able to operate from this perspective at this point in your life. Happy lunch making!

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