Most of the time when we feel lost, unhappy, unbalanced or unfulfilled, it is because we feel that something is missing in our lives. More so, this is usually because our values have not been met or they are simply missing.
Your values are your Life Compass
Our values guide our decisions, they motivate us, they make us happy, and they play a fundamental role in our level of satisfaction, in everything we do and live by.
For instance, if fun, freedom, communication, growth, love and work are your key values, and if any one of these are somehow missing, you might feel stagnant, bored, detached, where nothing seems good. You could have a certain level of freedom because perhaps you work from home or maybe in an office environment, you have excellent relationships with your colleagues and managers. Even if you love what you are doing in your career, you simply will not be happy or feel fulfilled if one of your top five values are missing.
These important values play the same roles in your relationships. You need fun, freedom, communication, growth, and a lot of love in order to feel complete. Your values play a role in your physical environment, and in the relationships you have with your friends and family. They also play a role in the activities that you do in your free time as well as in your personal growth.
Our values guide our behaviours too, for example, let’s consider someone who travels often. Through my professional life coaching career, I have worked with many clients, and one client I had, told me that since graduating from school, she travelled constantly. She would work 4-5 months a year, and the rest of the time she spent travelling. When we did the Value Elicitation exercise, I found out that she was constantly seeking freedom when she travelled, because that value was missing in her life when she wasn’t travelling. Freedom was missing in her relationship with her boyfriend, and in the city where she lived, she didn’t feel “herself”. She felt trapped and felt she didn’t have the freedom to be who she wanted to be, in fear that she would be judged. She had to behave in a certain way to fit in. She felt she didn’t have the freedom of choice, and that she would be judged if she didn’t wear makeup or didn’t wear expected outfits in particular environments around her. At work, she was no longer mentally stimulated. So through travelling, she found her own sense of freedom, fun, communication and understanding from other travellers.
Another client of mine had growth as one of his top five values. He was no longer satisfied at work because he wasn’t moving up the career ladder and had not received a promotion in years. It was a revelation for him to understand that growth was a core value of his and so his priority was to chase that growth in his career. He learned new skills, became specialised in his job, and saw great results, and was promoted to a new position in the company. As his life coach, we worked out which values were most important to him and we worked through his understanding of the following:
1) What his core values were and;
2) Knowing which values were missing in his life.
3) Finally, how he had to start working toward meeting these values so he could be happier.
Our emotional well-being, our ambitions, motivation and overall happiness are guided by our core values
When our values are met, we feel great. When they are missing, we feel lost. This is why it is so important for us to be aware of what our core values are and to work towards meeting these in every aspect of our life.
So, what are your values? Do you know what they are?
Here is how you can bring them from a subconscious level to a conscious level:
1. Ask yourself “what is important for me in a relationship?”
Start by asking yourself what you need in a relationship and what is important to you. What can you compromise on and what is non-negotiable. Your mind will immediately lead to a value that is important, such as “Trust” for example. And you might agree that yes, trust is important in a relationship.
Great, so we have established that, so what is next?
2. What is more important than trust or is trust what you value most?
Here you would need to think a little deeper and potentially come up with another value that is greater than trust in your relationship, for example, passion!
3. Repeat step 2
Keep on collecting words that you feel are important to you in your relationship until you find your core value. So how do you know which is your core value? Your core value is the value that is greater than any other value. It’s the ultimate VIP value! The one where you feel that there is nothing more important than this value, such as peace, love, happiness, limitless fulfilment.
4. Select your top 5 values, including your core value and list them in order of importance
Once you will have come up with key values in step 2 and 3, go through a selection of your five most important values while keeping your core value at number one. Check if these values exist in your life or whether you still need to acquire these. These are now your top five values that you should keep and use in your everyday life in order to be happy, to feel fulfilled, to feel at peace and balanced.
5. Every time you feel uncomfortable, unhappy or unbalanced
Check if one of your values are missing and ask yourself what you can do to change your environment or how to meet this value.
We must be aware that there are things that can hold us from meeting our values. We call these limiting or disempowering beliefs. Beliefs can be like road blocks, you can stumble across them, and they can prevent you from reaching your goals and can even block you from meeting your values. You need to be aware of these roadblocks as well as your values and work consciously to change these from limiting beliefs to empowering beliefs in order to bring limitless happiness into your life.