I can’t tell how often this has come up in my life – if you do not know your top five values, you don’t know what you stand for in life and you don’t fully know who you truly are. Full stop.
This is the absolute first step in “personal development”, self-awareness and philosophy – what are your values? You can work them out and they will change throughout your life, so if you’re not sure about them, don’t panic! But acknowledge the fact that if you’re not sure about them, there are things about yourself you’re not sure about.
Why are values so important? Well, why is choosing option A instead of option B so important? Maybe not that important if you’re choosing which loaf of bread you will buy but when it comes to a decision about which job to take or where to live and who to spend the rest of your life with…you might wanna be certain you’re making the “right” decision. See my point? You base every single decision you make based on your values, whether your values are conscious to you or not. If you don’t know your values, how can you make solid and congruent decisions in life that align with who you are?
I revisited my values last week. I felt it was time because for some reason I found myself spending too much quality time with someone who didn’t make me feel the way I want to feel. I knew that either I had ignored my values or my values weren’t representing me anymore. After revisiting and rewriting them I felt good again and I could easily and confidently take a decision on how I wanted to spend my quality time and with whom. If someone or something doesn’t align with my values, I will not spend time with that someone or something because it does not align with who I am and what I stand for in life. It is very simple to understand, example: I would not hang out with someone with manipulative intentions because the intention behind that persons actions are not pure.
If you find yourself in situations where something doesn’t feel good or someone doesn’t make you feel good, rethink if it’s time to go back to basics and look at your values? Are you allowing something or someone to break your values? Or are you just not sure about what your values are? Either way…why are you allowing that to happen?
Knowing that…isn’t it interesting that how we feel is actually based on how well we, ourselves, can align our decisions to our values, it has nothing to do with anyone else. We’re alone responsible for the decisions we take and how those decisions make us feel.
Now, how can you best align your decisions to your values so you can feel the way you want to feel?
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
– Mahatma Gandhi