Your Values: Are They Successfully Supporting You?
Your personal values are the beliefs and/or principles that are of the utmost importance to you. They act as your compass. They guide you and keep you operating at your best.
Perhaps you’ve identified your Top 5 Values – if so – this post is for you! If the concept of personal values is brand new to you, then may find this post helpful!
Over time, your home, car, clothes, and so much more naturally drift towards deterioration. And it isn’t just “things” that deteriorate, relationships and skills do too if not maintained! Sadly, even our bodies drift in this direction. That’s why checkups are necessary – to assess how well our bodies are working.
Are They the Right Ones?
Maybe doing a values checkup has never occurred to you, but you are a dynamic individual that’s perpetually growing and changing. Over time, what’s most important to you may change and/or you may become aware of an important driving force in your life that you previously overlooked. Sometimes what’s most important to you is so much a part of you that you miss it. Or maybe something has shifted in importance to you recently. Those are great reasons to periodically do a “checkup” to ensure that your Top 5 Values are the right ones to support you in this season of your life.
Nearly ten years ago I identified my Top 5 for the very first time and they were…
- Relationships (God, Family & Friends)
Those things are still very important to me, but they weren’t as accurate as they needed to be. Today I define my Top 5 as…
- Relationships (God, Family & Friends)
- Stewardship – of my Mind, Health, Time, Resources, etc.
In the past, creativity was a runner up, but I’ve discovered that it actually plays greater role for me. And because practicality is deeply ingrained in me, I totally missed it!
Time for A Checkup?
Maybe it’s time to take a second (or maybe a third or fourth or…) look at your own values. What’s are REALLY guiding you – your decisions and actions? What have you overlooked?
In order to get the most benefit out of your Top 5 Values, I suggest establishing a rhythm for evaluating them – maybe it’s once a month or perhaps yearly is frequent enough for you.
What does a values checkup look like?
1. Identify Your Top Five
You can’t do a check-up if you have never identified your Top 5 Values. And if you have already identified them, then you may want to start from scratch and identify them again rather than assume that your Top 5 are still the best ones for you.
And don’t stop there. Consider identifying your business or work values.
Your values are uniquely yours. They are what you treasure most; what you believe in at the deepest level. They shape the way you do life, relationships, business, work, and more. They are worth fighting for.
2. The Inside Perspective
Your values are important to you for a reason. Have you taken the time to unpack what makes them valuable to you? Here are some questions worth exploring:
- How would you define each of your values in a sentence or short phrase?
- In light of your definition, are you living out your values today more than you were a year ago?
- What makes each value important to you?
- How do you see your Top 5 impacting your life or leadership in the future?
- Which of your values tend to get neglected?
- How are your values being walked out in these key areas of your life: Relational, Work, Leisure, Spiritual, Intellectual, Physical, Financial, and Emotional?
- Which values have faded in importance to you?
- How are your values impacting the people around you?
- What effect are your values having on the way you lead, work, or conduct business?
- Which, if any, of your Top 5 have become more important to you than they were previously?
- How are you feeling about your Top 5 right now? Do they inspire you? Challenge you? Induce anxiety?
- Which of your Top 5, if any, is it time to replace?
3. Get An Outside Perspective
If you were to ask three trusted people, would they see evidence of your Top 5 Values in your life? It’s often helpful to get an outside perspective by asking the following two questions:
- What five “values” do you see consistently in me?
- On a scale of 1-7 with 1 being weak and 7 being strong, how would you say I reflect these 5 values (your current Top 5)?
You must be open to whatever feedback they provide. It may mean making adjustments or better aligning with your life with your values.
Remember – your values are what YOU hold dear; things that are well worth the effort!
4. God’s Perspective
The most important perspective on your Top 5 and how you are executing them is God’s. Take time to seek God and confirm that your values align with His. Let Him show you how to walk your values out more effectively. They play a powerful role in how you fully walk in who God created you to be, and you will need His help!
5. Consider Setting Goals
It’s a fabulous step to identify your values and then evaluate how well you are integrating them into your life. The best next step is to set goals that will enable you to operate out of your values even more! For example, my first value above was relationships. I’m consistent in spending time with God, but at times life is full and I’ve not engaged with family and friends in the way I’d like to. My goal might be to connect on a deeper level with 1-2 family members or friends each week either by phone, video, or in person.
What goals might you set to live more fully from your Top 5?
6. Connect Your Check-Up to Something You Already Do
They recommend changing the batteries in your smoke alarm when it’s time to spring forward or fall back. In the same way, what’s something you are already doing regularly that you can piggy back your value checkup to? You may wish to connect your check-up to paying your quarterly taxes or getting your teeth cleaned – whatever works for you. Just do it!
By intentionally increasing your connection to your values, the less you will experience the rub that crops up when you are in conflict with them! From that place, not only will you be at your best, but you will feel more confident, relaxed, and purposeful too.
Be honest, are your Top 5 Values successfully supporting you? If you were to lean into them, what would be different?