What do you truly value?
On a chilly winter’s day this January, I was asked a really strange question that nobody had ever asked me before. This person didn’t ask me what job I did or where I lived. They simply said to me “What are your 5 most important values?”
Well…I was stumped. I didn’t know where to begin as I didn’t even know if I had any values. It was a real light bulb moment and one that I wanted to explore more. And I did!
How to work out your values
So, now is my time to ask you. What are your values? Has anyone ever asked you this before? I can imagine some of you are reading this thinking, “Yup, I’ve been thinking about these for a while and have a good idea”, whilst others of you, like I did, are going “I have no clue at all!”.
Why is exploring your values important? Well, at LLLY we think that living to your values means that you are living the life that you love. If you know your values and embody them, inside and out, then you are living life on purpose. Sounds fulfilling right?
Whether you’ve got your values down or you’ve never thought about them before, let’s explore them a little bit more. This is a fun exercise so make sure you play with it!
An amazing moment
Without distractions around you, close your eyes and take yourself to a moment where you were really proud of yourself. This could be at work, at home – anywhere! Think of something you achieved and the buzz of pride/achievement/happiness/[insert your own positive word!] you had in that moment.
Now, as you recall that memory, remember the type of person you were being in that moment. Were you confident? Brave? Kind? Loving? Take as much time as you need to fully envisage the way you were in that amazing moment.
The next thing to do is to dwell on the impact that you had in that moment. This could be to others around you or simply to yourself. It could even be to the environment you were in. Be kind to yourself, let go of your modesty, and step into that moment truthfully. What impact did you have?
Paper and pen time
When you are ready, open your eyes, grab a pen and paper and fill in the blanks to these 2 statements:
- When I was in my amazing moment, the qualities I showed were ____________________________________________________________________________________________________.
- The impact I had in my amazing moment was ____________________________________________________________________________________________________.
You can fill in the blanks with as many or as little words as you want. But here’s a tip – the more words you use, the more values you’ll bring out.
So, what are your values?
When you read back those statements above, which words stick out the most? Was it that you were being honest and so honesty is an important value to you? How about you were being yourself, and therefore you honour authenticity as a value? Make the connections between the words and the impacts in the blank above and link them to the value you think they relate to.
Choose your top 5
Out of the list above, choose your top 5 values. There is no rush with this – simply engage with the words and see how they sit with you! You’ll discover more than you realise.
You are ever-evolving
Don’t forget that the values you have today might not be the same ones that you have in a day or even an hour! This is the beauty of being human – you are ever-evolving. Make sure to check in on yourself regularly with this exercise and keep mining for those values.
If you need help with these exercises or want to uncover more values that you harbour, make sure you book in for a session with Steve!