Values are underrated.
Underrated and underused, even in the world of personal development.
You might find people talking about them, but do they give you practical ways to use them in your day-to-day life?
The key is to work with your values often, not just as a once-through exercise, but as an ongoing practice to impact the quality of your life.
Not satisfied? ==> Check in with your values.
Work not fulfilling? ==> Check in with your values.
Relationship in a rut? ==> Check in with your values.
But it’s not enough to know what they are; like any knowledge or tool, you have to use your values to get the full benefit.
Like an internal compass, your values keep you aligned with what you say is important in your life, and can boost any goal or intention you have, making it much more effective and way more enjoyable.
“One must give value to their existence by behaving as if ones very existence were a work of art.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
Values help you stand out from the crowd, and make your life and business hum with an inner confidence that is compelling.
Why? Because knowing and honouring your values gives you clarity on:
- what’s truly important to you
- how to share your gifts
- and what actions will help you thrive!
Like them, maybe you think you already know all you need to know about your values, but also like them, you might be pleasantly surprised!
How do you use your values to thrive?
Step 1: Know your values
Maybe like some of our cohorts, you’ve done values work before. But are your values alive and real in your day-to-day life? Do you even remember what they are?
Here’s the Values Alignment Exercise I use with clients to help keep them focused on what’s important.
“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ‘em all over everything you do.” – Elvis Presley
Step 2: Use your values
Einstein said, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
Now that you know what your values are, do you understand how to use them in your life and business?
Consider your top 3 values. How can they guide your business decisions?
Example: My top 3 values are integrity, freedom and play. I’ve come up with 3 key questions to help me remember them as I make choices for my business.
Integrity: Does this choice align with my integrity and will it help me make a difference?
Freedom: Will this choice generate income and free me up to be, do and have what’s important?
Play: Will this choice lead to fun, play and laughter?
To fully honour my values, I need to have 2 of those 3 answers be YES.
Decision making just got a whole lot easier, right?
“There are four questions of value in life… What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living ‘for’, and what is worth dying for?” – Johnny Depp
Step 3: Live your values
If you’re suffering in any part of your life and business, it’s a sign that you’ve gone off track and you’re not living your values.
Not a problem though when you create a practice, using your values as an ongoing guide. Go back to the exercise and review the behaviour column. You’ll see very clearly where there’s a disconnect.
“You need to find a way to live your life, that it doesn’t make a mockery of your values.” – Bill Ayers
There was a time when I questioned creativity, which I’d uncovered as one of my core values. In doing the exercise I realized it wasn’t that it was no longer a value, but rather I’d become disconnected from how important it was to me.
There’s a saying, “When you know better, you do better.”
Knowing (and remembering) how important creativity was helped me make better choices; choices that created a new more fulfilling feeling of alignment in my life that rippled out into every area.
When you remember what’s important you’ll make wiser choices that lead, not only to feeling good, but also to producing results.
Knowing isn’t enough, but when you combine knowing, using and living your values you’ve got a formula for thriving in life and business.
And really, isn’t that what we’re here for?