Your values are the signposts on your path. The footpath markers of life.
If you are dissatisfied in an area of your life the chances are that it is because you are living out of alignment with your core values.
But…most of us never learn to identify our values. You might have a good feel for the things that society tells you should have as your values.
But your values are unique, they belong to you. You have a unique blend of values, and what a value means to you will be different to what it means to someone else.
You can identify your values by looking at what you need to feel satisfied, looking at what makes you feel peaceful and content. Think about the times you’ve felt most satisfied, happy, fulfilled. Those experiences will have your values held within them.
For example: Freedom, Pleasure, Connection, Learning.
Whatever it is that makes you feel fulfilled and in alignment, those are your values. These are the priorities and preferences that should inform how you choose to live your life. The problem comes when you don’t listen to them. Or when you’ve spent so long living by other people’s values that you are no longer sure what yours are.
I like to think about two different types of value.
- Foundational values, the ones that you just can’t live without. These are the ones that are most important to you, the ones you would give almost anything to have. The ones you absolutely must honour or a part of you dies. These are like the soil a tree grows in, you could put it in any old soil but it will only flourish if it’s the right type of soil in the right climate. What do you absolutely need in your soil?
2)Inspirational values, the ones you like to have more of, that add flourish on top. The things that light you up, that you move towards, that give you something extra in your life. Like fairy lights on the Christmas tree.
If we don’t have a map, chances are we are going to get lost. If you don’t know your values how can you possibly get incorporate more of them into your life?
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