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Updated: Jun 10

What are your values?

These days we see a lot of organisations talk about their values. They talk about integrity, transparency, honesty, just to name a few, but when we think about ourselves as individuals do we have well defined values?

What are values?

Values are defined as principles or standards of one’s behaviour, and of one's judgement of what is important in life.

If we follow the definition, values don’t only shape our behaviour but they also determine how we operate as a society.

Values can’t be just things you enjoy like travel, cinema, eating out. They are descriptive words that determine how you behave and can be anything from honesty, equality, personal growth, to love etc. For example, if you really dislike being lied to or people not being transparent, then you value honesty. This, in turn, means that when you interact with others you express yourself freely and honestly.

How to come up with a values list?

How often have you sat down to think about what is really important to you in your life and what your values are? From my experience, most of us haven’t spent enough time pondering and most parents haven’t overtly taught us values, the importance of them, and how to apply them.

To come up with a list of values, reflect on what is important to you, what makes you feel good and what behaviours in yourself and others you like or dislike.

For example, if you don’t like being lied to then honesty is your value. If you believe in social justice and all equal treatment of all individuals, them equality is your value.

After you have made a list, prioritise them by numbering. Remember that values can change over lifetime and shift in priorities.

How to apply values?

If we think of values in terms of the principles to live by, we can ask ourselves the following questions:

What shapes our decision-making process and our behaviours?

How do we decide what treatment of ourselves by other is acceptable or not?

Well, all of that should come from values.

Let’s take an example of values of honesty and equality. Each time you have to make a decision or respond to someone, before doing so do, check if that decision/action aligns with your values? Do you ask yourself if I do A or B will I be honest and treat the other person equally? Will I be treated equally? If not, don’t go ahead with the A or B plan and choose another option. If you went ahead, you would be breaching your values.

And lastly...

Imagine if each individual had a solid set of good values? Imagine if we all applied those values consistently in our daily lives? Imagine what that would do to our society and the world? How much easier would it be to navigate through life and find happiness?

If you need help working through your values and how to apply them, then values personal harmony coaching we offer here may be the answer. To find out more or to book an appointment contact us here.

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