What are my personal values and how can I find them on my own?
Personal values are what you use to decide what is “good” and what is “not good” in your community. Things that you view as ideals, how people ought to behave, like patience and honesty. Your overall disposition is guided by these principles, even the goals you set need to be in line with your personal values.
According to Physiopedia:
“Personal Values are broad desirable goals that motivate people’s actions and serve as guiding principles in their lives”.
If you’re looking to make a change, to choose differently, to go another route, you’ll need to know what your personal values are and how to stay in alignment with them. There are all kinds of great value words, conscientious, trustworthy, kindness, intelligence. But the ones that matter the most to you can be hard to pin with so many to choose from.
Below you’ll find directions for an activity I used with my own Life Coach. It can help you narrow down what some of your key personal values and beliefs are.
(Take a moment and browse through this comprehensive values list or Google for your own copy of words that relate to values and beliefs.)
A Personal Values Journey:
Begin with the words you connect with, what values are important to you? List them.
Next look at 3 positive highlighted moments in your life, what values can you pull from these?
(example: parenthood, a significant birthday, a moment in time truly connecting with someone)
Then look at 3 heaviest moments of life, what wasn’t present — what values were missing?
(example: didn’t go out for that job/position you wanted, end of a relationship, experience of loss)
When you are done you will have a huge list of values. This is good, this is okay. More is better here!!
Now you want to group them together things like joy, happy, bliss are similar or safety, security, well-being, personal strength might all connect in your mind. There are no right or wrong answers here. If you think they go together, group them that way.
And then, from these groups, pick the one word that embodies all of them, that you feel highly connected with.
You should get down to a list of 10 or under.
My last 2 steps looked something like this, and I was left with 9 key values:
Sharing a meal
Some possible next steps to take:
Make an action plan to build more of these values into your daily routine.
Schedule more opportunities to feel these values with others in your life.
Now that you know what your values are, you can reflect on issues that may have upset you recently and see how they likely did not align with your values. This can help you discuss with others how your needs weren’t being met and what you might need going forward.
Our key values are like a dowsing rod pointing us in the right direction. We won’t always find water, as in, we may not have our values met in every situation — but knowing where things have gone awry can allow us an opportunity to recenter and try again.