Three positive things happen when you honour your values:
1.You feel motivated to take action
Think about something you need to do that you might have been avoiding. For example, you might have a set of call notes that you need to enter into the database. If this isn’t something you enjoy it can get pushed to the bottom of your list. Your values can help you find the motivation to complete this task authentically. If you value connection, then you can think about entering the notes as a way to deepen the relationship between your organization and the donor. If you value fun, you can make the task into a game by timing yourself and having a reward for beating the clock.
2.You can quiet your saboteurs
We all have those voices that keep us stuck in the status quo. It might say you aren’t good enough or convince you that you don’t want to move outside your comfort zone. Truly connecting with your values can help you move forward despite these voices. Perhaps you want to apply for a promotion at work. Your saboteurs might ask if you are qualified enough to do that job. They may tell you that a promotion will mean more work and less time for family. Your values are always stronger than these voices. If you value purpose then you can approach the decision from that perspective. You can reflect on how this new position will help you have a greater impact on your organization and those it serves.
3.You have a more fulfilling life
Values serve as a compass and point you in the direction of what will be most fulfilling and meaningful to you. This isn’t always easy. If you value honesty then there will be times you need to speak your truth and risk offending others. If you value stillness there will be times you have to say no people and tasks to create that in your life. But in the end you will be living a life that truly reflects who you are and what you hold as most valuable. And that is the ultimate goal.
So what are your core values? Your values are there inside you and you express them every day. However you may not have articulated them to yourself.
The simplest way to unearth your core values is to explore this question:
“What must I have in my life for it to be fulfilling and meaningful?”
This is a wonderful and juicy question that can be explored in so many ways – in thought, in writing, in pictures, in conversation, etc. Brainstorm a list of all the possibilities. Make sure you explore fully each aspect of your life. For example you might say I value my career. Explore what values are represented in your work, such as connection, contribution, making a difference, achievement, etc.
Spend a few days creating a list of words and phrases that represent what is most important to you. Use your own words and be creative. Once you have a full list, choose the 5 or 10 that are most important to you.
Now you are ready for the most important part – using your values to guide your choices each and every day. What will you choose to do today?