Tool 4/10 Find your values
What matters to you?
It is easy to lose your sense of meaning when going through a stressful or busy period. When these moments seem to drag on for long periods of time, we don’t see the bigger picture and feel disconnected from what is important to us.
That is where values come into place.
What are the values?
Values are chosen directions in life. These represent what is important for you in your life, and what you care about.
They are different for everybody and can change over time.
They are actions or qualities that you want to live your life by. Usually expressed by: “being kind” or “being curious” They are ongoing actions.
For example, for some people living a healthy life is a value, so their actions and decisions will take that into consideration: they will make an effort to eat healthily, sleep well, to exercise regularly. It doesn’t mean that they do this all the time, but that this is a guiding principle.
Values are different than goals. While values are actions or qualities, goals are the specific actions that you do on a regular basis to live to what is important to you.
Values are like the compass that guides you, while goals are the particular steps or milestones that you take to go in a certain direction.
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If your value is having a healthy lifestyle, you will never get to the point where you say: ‘That’s it - I am as healthy I can get, now I can start smoking and it will not affect me.’
You will continue to do actions that support this. Goals in this situation might involve: eating something green at every meal, exercising 3 times per week, or getting 7-8h of sleep per day.
Finding your values
There are various areas in your life where you can find your values but let’s start with work.
For this tool, spend some time answering the questions below. You can take as much time as you need, maybe talk the answers over with someone that you value, and try to be as open and honest as possible.
Once you have answers to these questions, think about how many of these values you live by right now in your life. You may want to talk to a dear person about what you can do to make a plan to start living more of your values.
Remember that living with your values is a process that you might need to start more than once. So be compassionate and take one step at a time.
What personal qualities do you want to bring to my work?
Ex. Loyalty, curiosity; hard work, etc
How do these values look in practice - What does loyalty look like in your next meeting?
For example, maybe in your next meeting, you want to help your colleagues by offering help on a project. Or you might want to support a colleague going through a tough time.
What kind of relationships do I want to build at the workplace?
Think about a quality that is within your power to achieve. If it’s a relationship based on respect, then what can you do to build respect? Maybe you can ask if a person is free before asking for help or a favor.
What are the skills that I want to develop in living this value?
For example, if respect is a value, then you should look to build your assertiveness skills, to learn how to better get your opinion across with respect and compassion.
Use the worksheet here to practice this tool. See you next time!