Please welcome life coach Kirri White to home life simplified today.
Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.
Tell me your values and I’ll show you behaviour.
That’s a statement with a bit of swagger isn’t it? But it holds more truth than many of us realize.
Your values provide a blueprint for your behaviour, even if you are unaware of what your values are.
Understand your values and you will have greater insight into your behavior, your decision-making and the filters through which you decide whether something is ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
Your values are the rules and standards that guide your life. Most of us have an idea of what we value but often there is not much clarity behind it.
When I became unexpectedly pregnant eight years ago, I had just finished studying, working and travelling all over the world. I was seemingly hungry for success and financial security (the world was telling me so), and planned to start a life-coaching business, as soon as my daughter was six-months old.
However, as my baby-girl grew and our bond developed, I felt increasingly torn. While I longed for the stimulation of a purposeful career and improved financial security, deep down, I knew it was the wrong move for me to make at that time.
I understood that by holding the highest core values of ‘love’ and ‘connection’ – my relationships (both with myself and others) would always take precedence over career success. For someone whose highest values were wealth and success, that decision would have had entirely different consequences and meaning.
This was a salient reminder, to live in congruence with my own unique path, regardless of what others thought. It also illustrates that there are no right or wrong values, just the right ones for you and how you choose to design your life.
What does a deeper understanding of core values give us?
Understanding the importance of your values provides clarity as to who you are, what motivates you and what discourages or deters you.
Knowing your values can also provide insight into the nature of interpersonal relationships and assist in decision-making.
I recently worked with a client ‘Stacy’, whose primary goal was to get into a loving, committed relationship.
After months of speed dating, internet dating and being set up by friends, she finally met someone with whom she shared similar interests and a mutual attraction.
Things appeared to be going well for the first few dates, but I sensed some resistance on her behalf. Stacy revealed that while this guy was amazing, the fact that he was a real ‘home-body’ secretly bothered her.
She really wanted the relationship to work and was beating herself up for being picky and judgmental.
When we returned to Stacy’s’ list of values, she recalled that her highest core value was ‘fun’.
The significance of her core values finally dawned on her and she was able to comfortably make the decision not to pursue this relationship further.
(That is not to say that you cannot have a successful relationship with someone who holds different values, it’s just an example highlighting how values come into play).
Use your values as a basis to craft your best life
When you know and understand the importance and priority of your values, you are able to understand yourself, your relationships and your perception of the world at a whole new level.
You can also begin to observe and craft your experiences so that you are leading a life in congruence with your values, one that is bound to be more fulfilling.
We can trust in our core values, much like a compass. Living in accordance with our values means we are heading for our true north – the direction that is closest to our most ideal life.
This ‘ideal’ life is different and unique to each of us. Even if you never reach the ideal, you can effect small positive changes in the areas that are most important to you, allowing you to experience more of your ‘best’ life.
From Deb: I hope this helps take you all one step closer to clarifying your core values. Remember that they are unique to you and your “ideal life” so there is no right or wrong answer in this selection process.
Find your simple,
Kirri is a life coach, blogger and mummy to three little girls. She writes about the importance of developing self-knowledge and self-care, as a way to lead more present, fulfilling lives. You can connect with her at Happy Mums At Home, or follow her on facebook and twitter.
Image credits: Values quilled artwork is done by Yulia Brodskaya – click through to see a review of more of her beautiful work