What Do You Value?

Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values

~Dalai Lama

A friend confided in me the other day.

Somewhat frustrated, she couldn’t decide what road to take next in her career. She had left her job as a lawyer to be a stay-at-home mum for her two children, and at the same time, decided to study a degree in Education as she believed teaching would nicely complement her children’s school schedule.

But what she discovered – as she waved the last teary goodbye to her youngest starting kindergarten – was something was very wrong with her plan.

The idea of studying at home and beginning a career as a school teacher no longer excited her. What once, was the perfect means to an end and fitted beautifully around school hours, was now a lackluster chore.

It wasn’t until she stopped and truly listened to her heart that she identified what she really felt – a pull to go back to full-time work. She wanted a role that would use her existing strengths and experience. A role that allowed her to  ‘contribute to something that was bigger than herself’

A role she felt passionate about

Our chat got me thinking. It reminded me how important it is that we understand what we truly value in life. How our ‘core values’ are the very foundation of our life’s journey. And when we act in alignment with our values (or not) it has a direct impact on the outcome.

When we know and recognise what is important to us, suddenly making a decision is effortless.

This explains why my friend was feeling unsettled and looking for a change. Being fully present for her children had fulfilled her, but now her circumstances had changed, she was experiencing a ‘nudge’ to look for an alternative.

Instinctively she was seeking to fulfill her values and “contribute” to something which made her feel good. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

How do you identify your values?

You may already be clear about what your values are; however, if a little unsure, it really comes down to what makes you feel good.

  •  Your values are what you stand for
  • Your values are what give you pride, satisfaction and purpose
  • Your values are  fundamental  to your happiness and fulfillment

Simply put, your values are your “worth”

Your values list

An easy way to help identify your values is to create a list. Begin by thinking about what core feelings and emotions you like to feel regularly that make you feel happy and in tune with yourself.

Your list doesn’t have to be the “perfect” the first time round.  They can be a work in process. I’ve fine-tuned my list at least 3 or 4 times since the first time I created it. You can always go back and refine it anytime you like.

Also, don’t think your values have to be expressed in just one word; they can be strings of words or a sentence – you may even like to collect a series of images – whatever creates the most meaning for you.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help identify your values:

  • Remember a time in your life when you felt the most fulfilled.
  • What was important that was happening to you?
  • What did you value about the experience?
  • What made you feel passionate about your experience?
  • What emotions did you feel?
  • What made that experience flow?
  • What held your interest at that time?
  • What created enthusiasm and commitment about that experience?
  • Who were you being in that experience?

Next, make a short-list of the key values you identified. Try to list at least 5-10 core values. It’s ok to have more, but you’ll find that most of them can be grouped down to one important short list.

For instance; if you value love, romance and passion – you could group all these under the value of “love” or “connection”.

Trust your inner wisdom and let it guide you on this.

Don’t go back and edit your first instincts. Whatever comes up first is the perfect answer. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Using your values to guide your success

 

It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your value are

~ Roy E. Disney

Designing your life and business around your core values is not only important to make sure your needs are being met, but also to help you fast track towards your big goals.

Even with a ton of commitment, planning and discipline- which are all integral to taking action towards your goals – without staying true to your values, your actions are ultimately unsustainable.

In order to stay committed to your goals in the long term, you need to feel inspired. Inspiration comes when you are congruent your values—when you act from a place that is true to who you are.

Aligning your goals with your values

When your goals are aligned with your values achieving them feels meaningful and rewarding. But be careful, because the steps you take to achieve your goals must ALSO align with your values.

If you honour and express your values in the process, then the journey as well as the destination must reflect your values in order for it to be more enjoyable and sustainable.

The strategies and actions you take towards your goals must honour your values @kymmulcahy #bravebeautifullife – CLICK TO TWEET! ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Checking in with Your Values

When I having trouble deciding what to do, I know I need to stop and refer to my list of core values to make sure they are being met. I find the easiest way to do this is by checking in with my feelings.

I ask myself – how do I feel?

If it feels yucky, heavy or I feel terribly anxious – then you can guarantee it is not in line with my personal values. But, before your right off any decision that makes you feel a little anxious…

TAKE NOTE: If feeling “anxious” comes up for you, then be very careful that what you’re feeling isn’t in fact something else. Feeling nervous or anxious when trying something new is not always a bad thing. That’s why I prefer to label the butterflies I get in my stomach, ‘excited anticipation.’

The anxiety you need to be aware of  –  the one that will tell you your moving away from your goals – is a dreaded, sickly feeling. Not a nervous “if only I could do it” vibe.

Be extremely careful identifying between the two. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

My core values

I know my core values are continually transforming and growing over time. As I drop away more and more of what’s unnecessary in my life and embrace more of what makes me light up; as I pay more attention to how I feel when I contribute to something I’m passionate about and whom I connect with, my values are slowly but surely shifting.

If you’re curious, these are my top 5 core values as I write this today. . . who knows what tomorrow’s values will be?

My Core Values

I’d love to know what you’re values are? Share your top 5 values with me in the comments below!

Kym ♥ post-divider Images: via Pinterest {author unknown} // Alexxandra81

3 Comments

  1. Hi Kym,
    Thank you so much for directing me to this post. It is funny how when reading this post, I feel like I already know these things you are writing about, I have just forgotten how to implement them.
    I came up with the following values when answering the questions above, 1: Kindness (what you give will come back to you) 2: Carefree (live life with ease) 3: Energetic 4: Fulfilment (school, work, hobbies) 5: Social (enjoy the human experience with fantastic people)
    I can’t wait for our next coaching session
    Shalee xx

    Reply
    • Heart-felt thanks to you Shalee. I love your self-awareness around realising your values – they really are the sum of you. :) You’re an absolute pleasure to coach and I know your future is destined for wonderful things. xo

      Reply
  2. This is beautiful

    Reply

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