When a person can uncover and discover their beliefs and values they will have a mental strength roadmap to where they’ve been, but more importantly…where they are going.
By identifying beliefs and values a person can take charge of their life by changing and adjusting those values and beliefs that don’t serve them in the reaching their peak personal performance, personal success and their life’s purpose.
Discovering Your Values
Aristotle believed there were a set of core values that should manifest themselves in the behavior of all human beings. These were courage, honesty, friendliness, wittiness, rationality in judgment, mutually beneficial friendships and the pursuit of knowledge and truth.
What do you value?
Is it honesty, integrity, happiness, empathy, compassion, vitality, power, flexibility, openness? The list goes on. There are hundreds of values but you currently will be living your life according to about 5-8 key values.
Stop for a moment and write down 5 things that you value or draw a picture of yourself in the centre of a page and fill your body with your values.
If you need some assistance there is a great online assessment that can help you, it’s the Value Preference Indicator
Now when you have your values in front of you ask, “What does this list mean in my life?” This list is the foundation of your life. It is the core or centre of everything you do. You make decisions in your life based on this list. You may not be aware that you make decisions based on this list but you do. Look at your life, everything that you have created has been built upon these values.
When you make decisions that are not based on your values then you either don’t achieve the outcome of a decision or you’ll feel intuitively not right. Some times you may try to ignore or suppress these feelings. You actually deny them!
When we do this we are out of alignment with who we are. It is a bit like the very foundation of which we are starts to shake. We are now on rocky ground and the energy around what we do is not strong and we feel very uncertain.
To live in a mentally strong and supported way we must live by our values. You cannot have a house without a foundation. If you think of your values as the core of who you are sitting deep within you, then your thoughts and beliefs are the products of these values.
Your values rise up into thoughts and you then play out these thoughts through your actions. This is sometimes done consciously and sometimes subconsciously. To build a stronger foundation it is essential that you know what your foundation is built on. Know your values, dig deep within you to uncover them if they don’t appear easily. Think about your actions, the life you are living, the decisions you make to get to where you are. What guiding principles do you live by that create the choices you make? These are all underpinned by your values.
Values Can Change
Once you have searched deep within you to uncover your values you may then make a decision as to whether these values work best for you or not or even whether they are the values you want. Sometimes we take on the values of our family or the community that we live in. If we don’t own the values then again we are living out of alignment with who we want to be and every step about which values are really important. Our values will strengthen over time. It’s critical to check in with your values regularly, a bit like doing an inventory. For some people it is a challenge trying to work out their values. A great way to start is to look around you and identify a role model that you admire. Write down or draw all the things you admire about them. This list is what you value; in turn it is what you want to live by.
Again, the Value Preference Indicator is a great tool to help uncover your values so that you are in a potion to make informed decisions.
Interesting thing about values, we will sacrifice all other values to ensure our number one value is met. This can mean that if your number one value is family you may make unsupportive and uninformed decisions to satisfy this value, i.e. don’t go to the gym because you want to be with your family, turn down a promotion because you believe it will take away time from family. Then a person would complain that they are overweight or don’t make enough money, never realizing that their values have come into play.
Now that you have your values the next step is to work out what your purpose is. You may want to think about this in terms of the reason for your existence, your determination in life or the idea about your life. Your purpose is very vital as it gives you a clear direction for your life and to reach your peak personal performance. Imagine having to go from point A to B without any directions.
You may turn left or right, go down several pathways to find they lead to no where, keep doing this for some time until eventually you find your way or you give up. You may have taken twice the amount of time to get somewhere or just never reached your destination. This creates all sorts of negative messages that we may start to believe about ourselves. Now imagine exercising your mental strength and knowing exactly the direction you are heading in, you may at times feel a little unsure about if this is the right pathway but you check in with your purpose and wham – you are back on track again. Your focus is crystal clear and you get to your destination faster than you thought and you feel fantastic.
Who wouldn’t want this?
You might want to begin by asking yourself what your purpose is in life and answering this question. Or you might change the language to most reflect this concept for you. You also might create a mind map to understand your purpose beginning in the middle with the words, “my reason for living is………….?.
Try and create your purpose into two words if possible, a verb and a noun. Some examples of a purpose might be; inspiring beauty, supporting women, challenging thoughts, creating value, valuing time, living passionately, building frameworks and so on. Once you have your purpose you will know as it will feel just right. Tell some trusted friends and colleagues your purpose and see what their response is. Again once you get this clarity of purpose everyone including yourself will see how perfectly it fits.
So now you have your purpose.
To achieve your purpose you need to write down some goals. If your purpose is inspiring beauty then your goals will reflect this. You might write a book or a selection of poetry. You can see that having a purpose around inspiring beauty can mean so much but you will know what it means to you. It will be created by the strengths that are unique to you.
Now that you have your goals the next step is to list a range of actions that you need to take to create the steps. These actions need to be very measurable as in specific. An example could be, draw up three designs by a particular date. The more specific then the easier they will be to achieve. You will have long and short term goals.