Your Values Guide Your Life
Simply put, your values are how you verbalize what is truly important to you. They are the foundation of your life.
Simply put, your values are how you verbalize what is truly important to you. They are the foundation of your life. In fact, all of your thoughts, feelings, and actions are built upon them. When you feel something is off in an area of your life, it’s usually because you’re out of alignment with your values. You’re operating in a space that doesn’t work for you such as a job, a relationship, a community organization, or perhaps a single conversation. Or maybe you are living into values that have been assigned to you rather than those you’ve chosen. This can make you feel as if you are living a life that is not your own.
The first step in figuring out how you want to respond to a situation and, subsequently, how you want to live your life, is to define your own values. It sounds simple enough but most people haven’t taken the time to really determine what their core values are and find themselves caught in situations where they don’t quite know what to do.
“A value is a way of being or believing that we hold most important. Living into our values means that we do more than profess our values, we practice them. We walk our talk – we are clear about what we believe and hold important, and we take care that our intentions, words, thoughts, and behaviors align with those beliefs.”
— Brené Brown, Dare to Lead
Defining Your Values
The easiest way to define your values is to spend some time thinking about what is truly important to you in life. What are the things that are absolutely essential? Do you value honesty and trust above all else or is it career success? Is faith most important to you, holistic living perhaps, or something else?
Take some time to think about what’s most important to you. It’s tempting to say that many things are important but refining it to just a few items will help you focus your future decisions more easily.
Once you define your values, the next step is to stick to them even when it is hard to do so. Having your values clash with people is uncomfortable but you can do so. Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you need to be nasty, just firm about what is and isn’t acceptable.
Ah, now we are getting into the realm of boundaries. Many people struggle with boundaries because they aren’t clear on their core values. Take some time this week to work on your values and check out my article on which boundaries are right for you.