If someone asked you what your values are, how would you answer? This time last year, I would have been stumped. Because the truth is, values are deep down within us, and it takes time to self-reflect and gets to the core of what really matters to us. As we move into a new year, I urge all of you to do some soul-searching.
Values are what guide us to make difficult decisions – they help us focus on the horizon and on doing the right thing. Values help you to work towards a big vision. When you’re aware of your values, you can align what you do personally and professionally to maximise being your best self, on your own terms.
But how do you even begin to define a value? Well, think about this: have you ever done something and then felt ashamed to tell others about it? It is probably because those actions contradicted your values. Annoyed when no-one at work steps up to handle a task? You likely value accountability. Angry when bae is late, again? Timeliness is an important value for you (and he’s maybe not the right guy for you!).
Often ingrained in our sub-conscious, values teach us (sometimes unknowingly), how to behave and react while we do our daily tasks. Like a compass that gives us direction, as we change our path in life, our values change too. For example, while you might value money and discipline early on in your career when you have something to prove, later on in life, if you decide to have kids or get married, balance and time may become more valuable to you. That’s why it’s always a good idea to reassess your values on an annual basis.
So where are you now? Here are some tips to get you started: think back to when you felt happiest, most proud and fulfilled. What were you doing? Who were you with? What influenced your feelings? Once you’ve figured this out, determine your top five values (just Google ‘list of values’ to help you) based on these past standout moments.
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