Why is Living Within Your Values So Important? by Jo Robertson
Values help us to navigate change more easily, to connect more fully with what’s around us, and to grow more surely into who, or what we want to become. Values are a reflection of our beliefs and what we hold as important. Having clarity about our values empowers us to make the right choices and decisions, to take action, to focus and move toward our specific purpose and the life that we intend for ourselves.
Values are not goals, they are choices that we feel right with. They are not rules, they are qualities we choose freely. Values describe what you want to do and how you want to do it.
Being in touch with our values really helps to give our life meaning. They are like our guiding stars. If we can align our life with our values we feel more like ourselves, we feel more excited, energized, at peace and effortless. They can make a significant impact on our performance and achievement.
Personal values come under headings like adventure, creativity, spiritual leadership, wellbeing and contribution. They are qualities such as fun, beauty, inspiration, ingenuity, being energized. They don’t drive us to achieve, rather we are attracted to these qualities and they give our daily lives more meaning when we integrate them into our lifestyle.
Values elicitation is a valuable part of my coaching work with clients. I like to align with the work of Russ Harris – ACT mindfully. Russ provides a framework to establish your values in the key areas of life, and this is a helpful guide for when we are making mindful choices and decisions. You will find this in his book The Happiness Trap or tap into a simple values resource (link provided at the end of this article) to help you get started.
“Values are your heart’s deepest desires for how you want to behave as a human being. Values are not about what you want to get or achieve; they are about how you want to behave or act on an ongoing basis; how you want to treat yourself, others, the world around you.” – Russ Harris
How do you know if it’s a value? It attracts you, it resonates and draws you forward, it comes from within, for what you truly want to be doing. There’s no right or wrong with a value, most importantly it feels right for you. If you find yourself saying ‘I should’ or ‘I have to’, or ‘I must’ – check-in with yourself, as you may be trying to inject someone else’s, or society’s expectations and values upon yourself. There is no ‘should’ ‘must’, or ‘have to’ with values.
In the past, you may have set goals and found it hard work striving to make them happen. If you’re not achieving your goals, you probably think you’ve failed. You may even beat yourself up, and this can lower your feelings of self-worth when you think that you’re not able to complete your goals or do what you say.
Rather than purely striving to achieve goals, when we live a values-focused life we are working toward an end result while staying in touch with values and bringing them to play in our life. This means appreciating the journey as well as working toward the goal. Aligning with values fulfils you right now. When you set goals aligned with your values you are much more likely to achieve them. They give you focus and priority and can help inform your decisions and actions. They are the key to your empowerment and fulfilment.
By aligning each area of your life with your values, you can find more fulfilment and satisfaction right where you are, as well as working toward wonderful new intentions for your future.
“Success in life means living by your values” – Russ Harris
You can find out more about Jo Robertson – Transformation Coach & Certified Martha Beck Life Coach at http://jorobertson.co.nz/
She has provided a free resource you can access to help you implement the guidance in this article. You can download it here: Values Resource https://www.dropbox.com/s/zqlfnf5ohjduw45/values.pdf?dl=0