Are you living a life that is true to you?
Do you know what defines you as a person?
Do you know which personal values you’re operating from and if so, are they yours?
See as kids, most of us are taught a few basics, socially acceptable norms such as being polite, honest and respectful. As we grow, we absorb directly or indirectly, many values from friends, family, religion or even popular media. Too often we tend to hang on to the values we were taught as kids, without ever questioning them; we end up defining our lives solely by the ideals and values of others. Hence why we end up having very weak boundaries and values for ourselves.
As an example of hanging on to values that aren’t yours:
Growing up you might have been drawn towards the arts, maybe you had/have a real talent for it. You are an artist at heart, valuing creativity and freedom but because your parents value stability and security. They probably instilled and drilled those values into you as a kid. “You need a career that gives you stability and security, being an artist will not provide that for you. You cannot make a living as an artist” etc… You, then, rather than following your “true north”- take on your parents values and become a lawyer instead. Where “stability and security” are more of a guarantee.
In early High School, I had a friend whose mother was instilling in her the value of her beauty and how to use it to attract men and money. This is a girl, who, unless redefines and discover her own values, will most likely end up defining her worth based on how she looks, how much she’s liked and what she has…..
But, usually we are oblivious to this fact – We don’t realize that our own individuality is in fact often times being shadowed by the opinions of other and it also doesn’t help that society rewards the valueless with superficial benefits and in fact sometimes punishes you for having strong values. Still, developing strong values is the foundation of lifelong happiness and fulfillment. Which is why you should take the time to question each value that you hold true.
Why Should You Know Your Values?
When you’re not aware or have defined values, you’ll most likely find yourself drifting around in life, pulled in any direction where external validation is available to you. People who lack personal values tend to complain more, blame others and overall, they are unhappy and unsatisfied with life.
Now tell me, is that the kind of life you want to lead?
Probably not, that’s why we’re here interacting. You want to become more self-aware and in tune with your inner world, so you can consciously create the life and relationships you desire. So let’s look at what these personal values are, that we keep talking about.
What are “Personal Values”?
Your Personal Values is what influences and helps you navigate through daily interactions, personal choices, business deals and the prerequisite for any healthy relationship. Simply put they are like categories for all your preferences in life. An expression of what is important to you. For example, I value freedom and growth which is why I am not afraid of change and why I seek it out. Its important for me to keep moving forward, progressing (evolving). And since I value freedom & growth; I move on from or reject any opportunities that don’t fit those qualities. As an example, I left my stability, security and a more ‘glamour’ filled life in exchange for the pursuit of my desire, for traveling solo. Even though it did not include any of the qualities I had before: stability, security nor glamour. But what it did have, was freedom and growth, the two most important things for me.
What Does Knowing Your Personal Values Do?
Values give you a sense of purpose in society and the world at large by it’s a map that shows you the way towards your life’s purpose. Values help you define who you are and the kind of life you want to lead. Values guide you with clarity showing you the way to your “life’s purpose”. It helps build self -awareness as you define your values. Most importantly, decision making becomes much easier, since the more aware you are the less you will compromise unnecessarily. It’s important to know that values can often change as you transition through different life stages and major life events can also change your values.
So now that you have more clarity on what personal values are, what they do and why you need to define them.
Can you take a pause, and notice right now, if your life is currently being bulldozed by your own poor values?
If the answer is yes, then the first step is for you to rediscover and redefine those values.
How to Rediscover and Redefine your Values
Start simply by assuming that all your current values are wrong. One must analyze the impact that our beliefs have had on our life thus far and how they controlled our actions and decision-making. Only if these questions are met with an open mind and complete dedication, can we turn our life around. However, know that identifying your values is still much easier than actually implementing them. If you have lived much of your life in the shadows of your peers or in utter under-confidence you might find it extremely difficult to suddenly change your values, and hence redefine your boundaries.
Start by implementing your values in small and simple steps and not allow yourself to be intimidated by others who try to bog you down. In fact, as you begin to clearly define your values and what’s important to you in creating healthy boundaries then you need to start communicating it with others up front.
What do I mean by that?
As an example, If you define that one of your relationship values is your time. Because you respect your time and expect others to respect it as well. Then the only way you will get others to respect your time is by YOU leading by example and not allowing others to waste your time. Meaning you will NOT make time for people who don’t make time for you.
That is YOU having a value, knowing your value, and honoring it and thereby others will respect you and honor it. And those who don’t will be removed from your experience quickly. And slowly, as your confidence grows, you’ll be able to lead an emotionally healthier life – romantically, professionally, socially, etc.
This is a crucial and essential step in the process of doing your inner work, that must not be overlooked. You need to know and define your values.
Remind yourself, that your values are like a compass that points you to your “true north,” when your values match the way you think, speak and act- you are what is called in alignment. And when you’re in alignment, life feels easy, you feel whole and content in your power. You will be able to manifest the things, experiences and people you prefer into your reality faster and with much more ease.
But when your values don’t match the way you think, speak and act- well, I think you already know what happens….
Yup, that right.
Life feels hard and things become more difficult, and, forget about manifesting the things you truly desire, when you’re out of alignment. Don’t get me wrong you’ll still manage to manifest, but it will be the opposite of what you are saying you want.
Alright, Stephanie, I get it, I got it. I need to know and define my personal values but how do I get started?
Well, then I think you know what time it is. Time for Self Reflection.
I’ve created a 10-page playbook to help and guide you through the process of discovering & defining what your personal values are. You can grab it below