Your core values provide you with your blueprint for life and shape your thought processes and decisions. Many of us go through life without consciously identifying our values, but without this consciousness, we may find ourselves trapped in cycles of behaviour and life patterns.
To help you identify your values, I have devised this simple exercise which asks individuals to identify and prioritise the top 3 to 5 values statements that resonate most with them. Simple explanations and questions are included to help you decide.
Truth and honesty – Do you value knowing the truth at whatever cost. Are you direct or prefer having direct conversations rather than “beating about the bush”? Have you ever been told that you see the world as black and white rather than in shades of grey?
Rules and structure – Do ambiguity, uncertainty, and change bother you. Do you prefer clear processes and structure with an obvious set of rules to follow?
Ambiguity and change – are you comfortable with ambiguity? Do you like developing the rules as you go? Do you enjoy beginning each day without a set agenda?
Tradition and security – Do you prefer working in well-established organisations or are you thrilled by new challenges and the opportunities that start-ups can provide? Do you believe there is already an established way of doing things?
Innovation – Are you a creative thinker always looking for solutions or even looking for problems to solve? Do you enjoy blue sky thinking and the ability to think beyond the realms of the usual and every day?
Personal fulfillment – do you need to feel a personal connection with what you do? Whether business or career do, you need to feel connected to your values in every aspect of your life?
Authenticity – is it important to you to be known for who you are? Do you value people who appear to be exactly who they say? Do you find yourself irritated by “fake” people?
Achievement and recognition – do you crave recognition for your achievements? Do you enjoy winning awards, receiving certificates and winning prizes? Is it important that other people know what you have achieved?
Autonomy and control – do you enjoy being in control? Do you find it difficult being micro-managed or having to file progress reports regularly? Do you prefer to take decisions alone rather than consulting with people?
Physical beauty – does the way something or someone looks have an impact on how you relate to them? Do you admire physical beauty and aesthetics?
Ongoing development – are you continuously striving to improve yourself and the people and things around you? Do you enjoy home improvements or are you always engaged in some form of personal or professional development?
Love, loyalty, and belonging – is it vital for you I feel loved by those around you? Do you crave a sense of belonging? Is loyalty important to you? Have you ever felt betrayed by someone or something? Do you enjoy teamwork?
Wealth and financial stability – is money important to you? Do you seek financial reward for your efforts and actions? Do you believe that your life is improved in direct relation to the amount of money that you can and do earn?
Fairness and equality – do you believe that everyone has the right to fair and equal treatment? Do you believe that no one person is superior or more valuable than any other? Have you ever observed and fought against injustice?
Respect and acceptance – is it essential that you feel respected and valued by the people around you. Is “fitting in” important to you?
Now write down between 3 and 5 values that mean the most to you and consider how they affect your life. They are likely to impact your personal and professional life and are likely the cause of any friction or conflict in your life. Are you being true to your values?
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