A value is a belief, mission or philosophy that is meaningful to you. Whether we know it or not, we all live by a set of values. That is how powerful values are. We do not even have to be conscious of them! Values can include things as everyday as believing in hard work or being on time. They can also be things like spirituality, concern for others, or self-sufficiency.
The power of acting through your values can determine how you treat people every day to the kind of career you have. It could be the driver to how you eat, or what causes you take up. The value of values can be seen in businesses and organizations as well. In every successful venture, a set of values will be one of the main drivers.
The value of customer satisfaction is the driver of things such as good return policies, pricing, customer assistance, and other basic perks. Values such as helping the poor, protecting the environment, and preserving our privacy is the driver of political parties and individual politicians. Delivering free health care, clean drinking water and building schools are values that many international organizations have.
Being conscious of our values
When we are conscious of our values, then we can implement effective methods and strategies for carrying them out. The more we understand what our values are, the more successful we will become. When we consciously live through our values, good things will come easier, and we will attract others that share in those values.
Values serve as a check on us as people. They give our lives direction and discipline. A person who does not follow strong values will bounce and drift along in life. They may act on impulse, and fall for anything. We wouldn’t want that, now would we?
How values are formed
Where do values come from? How do we get them? Do they grow on trees? Can they be made in the oven? Do they need more oregano?
The first set of values come from the home. The values of your parents or care givers are often where many of us get most of our values. What did your mammy teach you? What kind of things were stressed in the home? How did your parents or care givers lived their lives? How were you rewarded or punished? All these things factor into why you have some values but not others.
The world around us also has a role in promoting certain values. What kind of people were you around, and what kind of messages did you get from them? What kind of things did you see in the media? What were you shown and told?
Values seen through choices
One of the ways to see your own values clearer is to look at the way you currently live. The things that we choose to do shows what we value. From what we choose to do for work to where we decide to live. For example, I live in New York City. While I was born here, it is still a choice to continue to live here. I live here because of the convenience, the unlimited access, the opportunities, the diversity and other things that come with being here. For me this shows that I value independence, flexibility, and networking. Another person may very well have different values that keep them in New York.
The fact that I chose to be a coach and speaker shows that I value helping and supporting people. Even the type of coach I am shows a particular set of values. Why am I a Confidence coach instead of a financial coach or a Job Coach? The Personal Development angle shows that I value working with a person from a holistic standpoint. I value self-actualization.
Making a list
In order to become and stay conscious of our values, it is good to write them down. Take some time and write down all the things you value. You can see your values through all the methods we spoke about. Take some time to yourself with a paper or a keyboard and write and write. If you download the Finding Your Values Mini Course, you can use it to go even deeper.