Values are an essential part of living with integrity. When you take time to define your values, you may find that the impact is farther reaching than just feeling confident about how you show up in the world. Clear values benefit you both personally and professionally. Values act as the compass that guides you towards your mission, and makes all your decision-making easier.
Research has shown that 71% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that share similar values with them. Many of these companies communicate their values in the form of a mission statement. This lets the world know their greater purpose and helps keep them accountable. The best thing you can do to keep yourself on the path to your mission is to define your truest values.
Where Do Values Come From?
To begin identifying your values, you need to understand their origin. Individuals develop values from different sources and experiences and incorporate them into their lives; some of these values hold more weight than others.
Here are several sources of values:
- Role models
The sources that stand out to you can help you determine which values are the most important. It’s also helpful to understand Basic and Spiritual needs when determining your values.
- Certainty (Safety)
- Uncertainty (Risk)
- Significance (Importance)
- Love (Connection)
Everyone also has the same two Spiritual Needs:
Though it’s true that every human shares these needs, the priority they take in one’s life will vary from person to person, and even from one season of life to the next. In this season of life, one individual may value certainty above all else, but someone with a similar background could just as easily value significance above all else.
It’s important to be continuously curious about where your values come from and which ones are most important to you. You should assess how you develop values to determine how best to use them in your life.
How Do You Discover Your True Values?
After uncovering the sources of your values, it’s important to uncover the values that hold the most weight in your life. Asking yourself informative questions is an excellent way to uncover these values.
Use questions like these in your process:
- What are you passionate about?
- What habits do you want to instill or eradicate from your life?
- How do other people describe you?
- Who are your heroes, and what do you admire about them?
- When were the happiest times of your life, how did you feel during them, and why?
You may ask yourself these questions and discover that you don’t like some of the answers you come up with; now you have an incredible opportunity to change them. After determining your true values, you are able to see the gap in how you’re showing up in the world, versus how you want to show up in the world.
Dr. Russ Harris, the author of The Confidence Gap, created a list of shared values to which many people aspire.
Challenge Your Values Over Time
It’s important to assess and reprioritize your values over time. In many people’s lives, values often change from one decade to the next, and that’s perfectly fine. For others, the values remain the same, but these individuals might later determine they want to improve how they show up in their lives.
For instance, if an individual values calm but realizes they just aren’t having much fun in their life, they may decide to swap that one out for adventure and see if that brings them more fulfillment. They may want to start booking spontaneous trips or spending their weekends out of town rather than staying at home.
Other people may swap values due to negative circumstances. If a person who has always valued loyalty in their professional life determines that someone else has used their loyalty to overextend their workload, it’s possible that that loyal person will need to swap out loyalty for self-preservation.
Be vigilant of how your values are stacking up against one another. Some values may carry more weight than others so you’ll want to align your actions to best serve those most important values.
“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”
– Roy Disney
The Bottom Line
The best thing you can do to keep yourself on the path to your mission is to define your truest values. By putting your values into the form of a mission statement, you solidify what is already clear by the way you live your life. When you take the time to define your values, you can positively impact all parts of your life for the long haul.
Taking the time to work on your values can save you a lot of time and heartache later on in life. It’s hard to work on it alone though, which is why coaching can be such a valuable resource. A coach can help you determine exactly what it is you want in life.
If you want to dive deeper into values, pick up a digital copy of our free ebook, The 10 Step Arootah Success Formula.
What values are most important to you? Do you ever feel overwhelmed determining what it is you want in life? Let us know in the comments below!