In coaching circles, values are a hot topic. To be honest, prior to my coach training, I’d never given them much thought. I bet I’m not alone in that!
Come to find out, values are quite nifty! They serve as a filter for your life by screening out the “junk” – the stuff that is not important in your life. The problem is that without knowing your values or actually applying them, they won’t be all that valuable!
Think of it this way – you dump the appropriate number of scoops of ground coffee into your coffee maker or coffee press, add water, but you skip the filter. Five minutes later, you pour yourself a cup of coffee and the flavor is not too bad, but the texture leaves a lot to be desired.
Maybe you aren’t a coffee drinker – that’s a shame! Perhaps water is your drink of choice (just for the record I like that too!). Straight up tap water – it looks great, might even taste good, but a filter will ensure that you remove any unwanted impurities from your water, like zinc, chlorine, mercury, lead, rust, and cadmium that could be potentially harmful.
Sometimes it’s easy to spot the “junk” in your life because it’s obvious, like the grounds in unfiltered coffee. Other times the “junk” is hard to detect, or you would like to be preventative – play it safe like filtering out the impurities in your water. Either way, filtering your life through your values has a positive impact!
You can do life without identifying your values. Clearly I was able to do that for a good many years. So what’s the big deal? Identifying your values allows you to be considerably more intentional at whatever you do! That makes you more effective. And it makes it easy to pinpoint what’s in conflict with them so that you can eliminate or avoid those tasks.
By nature, your values are what’s most important to you, the stuff that’s non-negotiable. In fact, they are so much a part of you that it can be tricky to tease them out. They are unique to YOU – so when others don’t automatically operate by the same values it can be rather surprising.
If you’re serious about reaching a goal or a dream, walking in your purpose, or just ready to experience more peace in life, your values are a BIG deal! They serve you in key ways including being:
1. A Way to Filter & Focus
Life is brimming with possibilities! Chasing them all is exhausting, not to mention frustrating! Taking on too many tasks or tasks for the wrong reasons happens! When you allow your values to filter your options, knowing what to focus on becomes clear. And so does what might be potentially harmful to you.
What in your life is currently in conflict with your values?
2. An Alignment Tool
Not only are your values a filter that keeps the “junk” out of your life, they also help keep your life in alignment when it comes to making decisions, setting goals, and balancing life. That’s critical because when your decisions are out of whack with your values, it has a negative impact on your life. It causes frustration, confusion, and robs you of your zest for life!
Struggling to reach a goal? There’s a good chance that your goal is out of alignment with your values.
Does your life feel funky and out of balance? It’s probably time to do a values check up to find out if you are investing your time, money, and energy into what really matters to you. With that information, you can then make adjustments so that your life and values are in harmony. That’s not only energizing but it makes it possible for you to more effective.
How are your decisions and goals aligning with your values? Are you living day to day in a way that’s consistent with them?
What’s important to you motivates you! Your values naturally provide incentive!
4. A Confidence Booster
In all the noise – advertisers telling you what you should be like, comparing yourself to others on social media, or even what your place of work thinks you ought to be like–knowing your values provides clarity. The clearer you are on YOU, the more confidence you will have. Having clarity around your personality, thinking preference, desires, identity, Fear Monster, etc. all adds up to a more confident YOU. Being crystal clear on your top five values – that helps too!
5. A Source of Peace
The absence of conflict – that’s peace! When your life is out of sync with your values peace is elusive, but when your life is in sync with them you experience greater peace.
When your life is filled with things that just don’t matter to you, things that aren’t important, it’s draining! Your values give you purpose! When in live in a way that honors those values it is energizing!
Until your values are clear, and you intentionally apply them to your life, it’s impossible to reach your full potential! It makes sense; if you haven’t taken the time to identify them, what’s driving you is probably a little all over the place.
Skeptical that something as simple as identifying your values and applying them to your life could possibly have such far reaching affects? Why not check it out for yourself?
Just for the record, my top five values are:
Relationships (God, Family & Friends), Health, Communication, Learning, & Solitude with Creativity being a serious runner up!
What are your top five values & how are they serving YOU personally & professionally?