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Values - how and why to work them out

Updated: May 11, 2023

Your values hold power. How and why to work them out.

Your values hold power

I talk a lot about values as working them out is so powerful. They link in with every area of your life. When you know your values you have a deep sense of who you are. When you live in alignment with your values you feel a sense of contentment, a sense of ease, a sense of joy and an ease with life. You might hear them referred to as core values, core needs, or personal values.

When you’re living out of alignment with them you can feel easily triggered, have relationship issues and things can just feel wrong but you can’t always put your finger on why. Something you’re doing or not doing doesn’t match up with how you want to live. This can lead to unhappiness and affect your wellbeing.

We can be so far away from our values that we’re not really living a life true to ourselves. We can get so caught up in living as we think we should, and living as we believe we’re expected to. But people suffer when they pursue a life or chase a dream that doesn’t belong to them. Working out your values can act as a guiding light back to your authentic self.

What are values?

Put simply it’s the things you believe are the most important in the way you live your life, how you act and how you treat others. They’re key to understanding what fulfils and motivates you and what you need to live an enriching life.

For example you might value honesty so it's really important you say what you really think. If you value kindness you jump at the chance to help other people and you're generous with your time and resources.

I get all of my coaching clients to work out theirs and they always have a “lightbulb

moment” when they do.

Your values help:

  • guide you through life

  • keep you on the right path

  • make decisions

  • work out what’s important

  • prioritise where you spend your time and effort

  • minimise internal conflict

  • set healthy boundaries

  • attract the right people

  • release patterns, beliefs and people that no longer align with our values

On a more serious note you can use them to decide how to move forward if your world suddenly changes and you don’t know how to go on.

How do I work out my values?

1) write a long list of:

  • things you value

  • what brings you joy

  • what lights you up

  • what’s really important to you

  • what you live by

  • what you value in other people

For example love, achievement, trust, compassion, financial security, appreciation, connection, integrity, time alone, nature connection, honesty, ambition, adventure etc. Try to write from the heart but if you’re stuck you’ll find 100’s of values with a quick google search for inspiration. I like this one by Brene Brown.

2) keep going, when you run out of things to add ask yourself what else. Ask this 3 times 3) review the list and circle those that you feel the most connection with - these are the things that are most important to you. 4) put a star against your top 5-10. The fewer you have the easier it will be to make values based decisions 5) ask yourself if you had all of those things in your life whether you’d feel truly happy and content. If so brilliant, if not play around until you’re happy with your list.

Those are your core values! You can take this one step further by asking yourself (I find journaling this out really helpful)

Am I living in alignment with or away from my values?

How much of my time do I currently spend living my values?

What takes me away from my values?

How can I find balance so I can lean more into my values?

You can do this to assess life in general, work, relationships, well-being, time spent, anything!

Give it a try and see how you get on.

I've created a free worksheet you can download if you'd like to use it to work out your values. You can find it here:

Free Values Worksheet

In case you're wondering what mine are, they are:

My business Grow with Solis is built around these values. Some of my other values are:

Curiosity, friendship, love, compassion, balance, autonomy, making a difference, creativity, kindness, joy, wonder and financial freedom.

Need a hand working out your values?

Working out your values can be a challenge. Talking it through with someone trained to ask the right questions, listen to you deeply and reflect things back to you can be hugely beneficial. Get in touch if you'd like a coaching session to help you with this.

PS if you found this blog interesting, you'll LOVE my emails! Subscribe to receive my emails here. I'll send you one every few weeks and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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