Think of values as your north star…your compass…your guide to decision-making and course-correcting. The ultimate in knowing yourself inside and out. That which brings joy, meaning, and fulfillment to your life.
Pretty fucking important, amiright?
That’s cool and all but what happens is, we’ve been defining and gathering our beliefs and values since we were born and never really stopped to think, “Huh – do I actually really value this OR is this a carryover from my parents/society/spouse/whathaveyou?”.
And that’s not good, bad, right, or wrong but it might mean you’re not living life on YOUR terms and actually, that mishmash of values, beliefs, thoughts, etc. may be working against you.
That’s when we have a problem which looks an awful lot like living life on auto-pilot, walking around wondering why we’re so damn unfulfilled and how the hell can we feel lonely in a room full of loved ones?
Not living your values – at least most of them – impacts your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. They are that important.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – at all.
You CAN gather awareness and with awareness comes possibilities and with possibilities comes intentional decisions and that’s when you stop living life just going through the motions.
With that, grab a sheet of paper (better yet, click here for a free workbook (no email required) which will help you take this work a step further and into action), and let’s dive in.
1. What do I personally value and hold near and dear to my heart? The more specific, the better.
For example. I deeply value new experiences, a few close sisterfriends (as opposed to a large group of acquaintances), spending time outside getting dusty and dirty – it makes me feel alive! I deeply value date nights with my husband, boundaries that feel good to enforce, solid relationships with my children, deep conversations, my humor, and being able to laugh at life’s sometimes fuckedupedness. I deeply value feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I value getting uncomfortable and having the hard conversations.
(I personally have about 10 in this section but jot down as many as you like)
2. What do I value in others (which means I also value it in myself)? Again – think specifics here.
Ex. I value curiosity and a willingness to dig deep…explore the places that hurt, the ability to stand their ground, strong opinions, and not taking life or themselves too seriously. I value the ability to sit in silence, irreverent humor, playfulness, and a love of being outdoors. I crave intimacy and dichotomies, emotional intelligence, and the ability to hold space for me and not let me bulldoze. I value a desire to grow as a human being. I value kindness + generosity.
(I personally have about 10 in this section but you do you!)
3. What do I value about the world at large?
Ex. I value a world where no one feels lonely, acceptance of fluidity in all things including gender and sexuality, and kindness except when it’s at the expense of another. I value diversity and inclusion and intersectionality. I value voices and stories, especially of those whose lived experiences are so different from mine. I value art and music and experiencing different cultures.
(I personally have about 5 in this section)
4. Think about times you’ve been really happy, lit up from within, heart bursting from your chest. What about those moments align with your values?
5. What makes you beyond furious? Angry over the unfairness of it? The unjustness of it? Where does your rage feel holy?
“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.”
― José Ortega y Gasset
Look, I know if you were to do a search on values, you’d get about a gazillion results back. There’s no one right way to do it but the way I’ve outlined here has you diving deep beneath the surface and not just circling a bunch of words that you think you should value.
This is about cutting through the fliff-flaff, getting to the core quickly, and taking action.
Don’t let this work sit and collect dust. Use it to motivate you into action. This work is exactly what will help you live your wildly fulfilling life – a life that feels as good as it looks.
Here’s to your wildly fulfilling life.