Your values help guide you through life. Each one is like a little teacher. They help you make choices based on the circumstances.
When I was a teenager I valued acceptance more than being kind. I went along with friends to throw eggs at a teacher’s home. The whole time my inner voice kept saying “Don’t go!”, “Don’t do this!” and I didn’t listen. I wanted to be cool more than anything. I remember my friend throwing the first egg and hearing it crack on the side of the house. I got an adrenaline rush and threw an egg. I heard the egg smash against the side of the house and I paused.
“What was I doing?” I asked myself.
This wasn’t me, but it felt too late.
I stood off to the side and let my friends throw more eggs at the house. I'm ashamed to tell you this, but I also want to be honest with you.
We of course got busted. As we should have. It was a valuable learning lesson as a teenager and I haven’t strayed far from my values since this incident.
My values have changed. I no longer care as much about being popular or accepted. I want my peers to like me, but I wouldn’t throw eggs at someone’s home to be liked. I value kindness too much.
When you start digging into your thoughts and emotions you should understand what you value to help make choices. If your top value is honor then you won’t gossip about a co-worker. If you value respect then you won’t show up late to meetings if you can avoid it.
One of my top values is curiosity. I value people who ask good questions. I value people who want to explore and learn more. I value myself when I’m curious instead of not digging into a topic or situation.
I would like you to list your top 5 values.
Here is a list of values to help you:
These values cover most areas of life. There are plenty more values, but these are the values that most of my clients pick. The idea is to pick your top 5 values.
List them here:
Now add your why to each one. The why will help you deepen the value. It’s this feeling that will help you understand its importance to you and how it can help guide your future decisions.
Why is this value important to you?
Then take a break. Go and do something else and let your subconscious do it’s work. Allow yourself to process them. Then come back and pick your top one.
Which one stuck with you? Which ones really pinged your gut?
You may want to help you remind yourself of this value when you are struggling or dealing with an issue. You can put this value on your bathroom mirror or create an alert on your phone. When you use this word to ground you then you are more likely to slow down, take a breath and ask yourself the first question to create an emotional space that you need to process the situation.
This will help you understand what drives you each day. Once you understand your values you can connect with your mission. When you understand why you wake up everyday it makes those mental bruises a little easier to handle. You’ll be more likely to learn from them because you’ll find creative ways to use your life experiences to help guide your future choices.
You can use your spotlight value as a lens to make wiser choices based on what you truly care about instead of basing your choices on what other people want. It's this power that you can grow to do the work that you are passionate about. It's this passion that will make a bigger impact on others.
Are you struggling with choosing your spotlight value. Then reach out and we'll set-up some time, so we can talk through this process.
Image courtesy of Photo by Rebecca Orlov on Unsplash