Have you ever felt unfulfilled no matter how hard you were trying to feel differently? It often happens when our life is not aligned with our core values. Are you living by yours?
Personal values are essential to a fulfilling life and to keeping our integrity. They are our internal reference for what we value most in our lives. We can use them as a standard for our behaviour and a way of doing things in our personal and work-life. If we live by them, we feel satisfied, calmer, more balanced and in alignment with our purpose. That sounds quite tempting, and probably you would wonder why we are not all doing that already. The fact is that many of us don’t even know what the references we should follow are. Do you know your top 5 personal values?
If I claim (and I am not the only one) that knowing your values is so important, why has nobody taken the time to teach us? Why are so many not taking time to discover, honour, review and question it? It is because we were taught SOME values, but not our PERSONAL values. The values we learn are very often misinterpreted, and we accept the definition given by society and family.
When we don’t question these values and simply accept them, they are likely to become beliefs we hold in our lives – and these either serve us or limit us. For example, imagine you learned that success means hard work and having a high-paid job or a highly profitable business. The educational system and your family encourage you to follow this definition of success as something desirable. But the main question is: what does success mean to you? How important is being successful to you? How do you know you are successful?
This is just one of many examples of values defined by society but not questioned by individuals. Let’s stick to the example of success. Imagine you’ve reached your goal, expecting this would make you feel fulfilled, but nothing has changed. You still feel like you’re missing out on something. This might feel very frustrating and disappointing. It is very natural as you might have achieved something that you didn’t define yourself and wasn’t actually important to you.
The fact is that you have your personal values no matter if you are aware of them or not. Choosing them consciously is what sets you in the right direction.
I hope you already see the benefits of knowing your values. It allows you to make decisions with clarity by keeping in mind the bigger picture. It empowers you to live a unique and honest life with integrity. It saves you a lot of energy as you honour what you believe in. You no longer waste energy victimising yourself or blaming the world around you as you take responsibility for your choices. And believe it or not, this saved energy is what you need to create the life you want! You are no longer the effect of your life but its creator!