First, let’s clarify the real meaning of values. The values are not your ethics or moral values and do not rely on your ethical dimension. Therefore, we shall not consider whether a particular behaviour appears to be wrong or right – morally speaking. Nevertheless, you may value living ethically. Also, you aren’t meant to judge your values, and your values won’t’ be judged. There is nothing wrong or good with your values. Moreover, your values are not your life principles nor personal rules, nor a code of moral standards.
Your values are those significant matters of your life that if you take away, then your life won’t make any sense. Actually, you can’t even imagine your life without them, and, sooner or later, if you don’t have them around, you would feel some kind of disharmony or even great unhappiness and sorrow. It is only when you live a life that is harmonized with your values that you really honour them.
Values aren’t tangible. And, values aren’t something that you possess or something that you do. Hence, for instance, money is not a value. Nevertheless, whatever you can achieve or realize thanks to money may be considered a value. Maybe it is important to you to earn money to feel more secure. It means you value security. Or perhaps you want to make more money to create a more significant impact or lead a prestigious life. Or you need more money to support your family. Then, it is family that you value. But, you may also want to earn more money to be able to entertain yourself more or to feel a sense of inner peace, or, to be able to help others. It is pretty probable that you just want more money to feel free to have the life you want. Then, it means that you value independence and freedom.
Values are not activities through which you get fulfilled. For instance, travelling is not by itself a value, but rather an activity that you cherish, and, as such, it honours specific values such as adventure, the discovery of new cultures, development of knowledge etc.
Why is it so important to acknowledge and accept your values?
- While exploring your values, you find your life purpose.
Have you already figured out the purpose of your life? If not, values can help answer the all-encompassing question «what is my life purpose?». By exploring what you want out of life and what is important to you, you come closer to your deeper intention and purpose in life.
- Values help you react to challenging situations harmoniously.
Values are the guiding directive principles of behaviour. Accepting your values will help you adapt your behaviours and actions in such a way to match with what and who you are at your core in an aligned manner. Often, you go on autopilot and in difficult situations, you don’t take the time to really think about what you are doing. Does this sound familiar? You can use your values to reflect on situations, to decide, for example, if you need to apologize for something. Your values can become a valuable tool in this respect
- Values encourage you to make the right decisions.
Don’t you often take a decision based on a fleeting feeling? If you make a pause and think, «What should I do based on this specific value of mine (for ex. Security)?» you will immediately realise that this is the right thing to do. By reacting this way, you make decisions not based on the feeling of the moment but rather on mature thinking.
- Values help clear out clutter and toxic influences
To eliminate excess baggage from your life, you should recognize and focus on what is essential and what you really want. Avoid consuming yourself in things, people and activities that waste your energy for no reason. You will leave more space for what really matters and what you really need to reach alignment.
- Values drive you to the right career choices.
Career decisions always have some pros and cons. This is obvious. But when you have discovered what is really important to you and what you value most, it becomes much easier to make the right decision in this sector. For instance, if you appreciate connecting with people, then a solo career working from home will probably not suit you. If you value travel and connection and like discovering new things, a job with lots of travelling and new acquaintances will make you feel more fulfilled. Sometimes, digging into your values can help you accept or refuse a promotion, understanding more quickly whether it is a good or bad decision for you!
- Values improve your self-confidence.
By knowing and accepting your values, you will have a solid ability to develop with agility and determination your opinion on important issues. You will stop believing what your parents have ingrained in you since you were a child. You will know with certitude your beliefs, and you will feel at ease to share with sincerity and certainty your opinion. You will also feel liberated from your limiting beliefs. And in the same way, you will naturally increase your levels of self-confidence.
To wrap up, the process of embracing your values will make you a happy and balanced being. You will develop a deeper meaning in your life, react better under challenging situations, find the right career, express your opinion freely, and you will increase your self-confidence! Through this self-exploration process, you will discover your values and live a harmonious and aligned life that will drive you to a more profound sense of happiness.
This article was originally written in Greek by Isabelle Razis and published in https://www.govastileto.gr/editors-blog/i-6-logi-gia-tous-opious-ine-simantiko-na-timas-tis-aksies-sou/