This week we’re taking note of our values as we move through January, our month of exploring Passion + Purpose!
It’s a common question I ask when I’m working with individuals: “What values do you live by?” Most people look at me quite perplexed, not knowing how to respond or where to even begin. Let’s face it…it’s not something that’s constantly on our minds. Most of us move through our days being directed by some kind of moral compass but not necessarily aware of where it’s pointing or how it got there.
The truth is that our values are forever-changing. Your values at 16 years old are likely prioritized differently than they are at 46 years old. Consider the following:
These are just a few examples of the hundreds of values that people could potentially live by. So many, right?!
Keep in mind that as we move through life, it is perfectly normal for our values to shift. So the values you identify with this year could be different from the ones you identify with in 5 years. After all, they are shaped by different developmental stages of life, events, people and environments.
This is why it is important to identify your core value and regularly checking in on them to ensure you living a life aligned with your inner compass. Experience suggests that when we are not living in line with our values we may feel out-of-whack, like something just isn’t quite right.
Consider the eight pillars of holistic health and wellness for the Be Your Best Self Lifestyle:
- Balanced Health + Diet
- Nurturing Relationship
- Passion + Purpose
- Goals + Dreams
How might these areas of wellness be affected by not checking in with your values?
Are you engaging in your relationships in a way that aligns with who you are and what you want?
Does your professional work align with your sense of purpose and meaning?
These are good questions to ask yourself when evaluating different areas of your life and determining what changes you may need to make.
Checking in with your values can also help with indecisiveness!
After all, we live in a world full of options. It’s not surprising that it can be so difficult to make a decision and stick with it. We get stuck in the back-and forth of questions like: What if I end up picking the less desirable option? Is the grass greener with option B? Without a good sense of your values these decisions may seem near impossible. Our values, therefore, in many cases provide us with a sense of direction when we’re uncertain of our options.
Here is an example: Consider yourself at a fork in the road. You’ve just been offered two jobs, one of which gives you more flexibility and autonomy, while the other provides you with structure and security. Which is more important to you? Which job do your choose? If you are not sure, this is the perfect time to check-in with your values – they will help determine which qualities are most important to you right now, which will help you make the right decision.
So, I challenge you to take an inventory of which values are guiding you at this stage of life. Write them down and keep them in plain sight. Set a weekly reminder on your phone or in a calendar to check-in with yourself and adjust accordingly. I promise this will help you feel more aligned, more at peace, and feeling like your best self!
**This is a guest post! Kate is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, who works as a therapist at Jamie’s clinical practice, bybs+thrive Counseling. She enjoys exploring local hot spots and is a huge foodie. Her clinical experience ranges from trauma and grief to individuals struggling to manage life transitions and maintaining work-life balance. Kate also loves working with couples striving to make their relationships healthier. Learn more about her here: https://www.bybsandthrive.com/about