Our values form the foundation of our lives and determine whether we are happy with the direction of our lives or not. They highlight what we stand for and what we believe in.
Have you ever found yourself having a hard time making a decision about something? The reason is that you were not clear about what you valued the most in that situation and experienced inner conflict. When our decisions aren’t in alignment with our true values we feel like moving forward in life takes a lot of effort and willpower. We may experience emptiness, anger and frustration we cannot pinpoint. Often we try to fill this gap with unhealthy behaviour such as drinking, smoking, overthinking or self-sabotage. We desperately try to change our bad behaviours, just to find ourselves falling into the same patterns over and over again. Wondering why? Simply, because we focus on changing our bad behaviour rather than looking for the cause of the problem, which is not knowing our true values.
In order to consistently feel fulfilled and happy, we must live in accordance with our true values. When we honour our values consistently, making decisions becomes easy and life feels more peaceful. In this article, I will help to discover your true core value. Are you ready for the next step towards your freedom? Then, let’s get right into it!
1.Understand what true values really are
You might be wondering what ‘true values’ even mean? Everybody talks about these two magical words but no one really explains them in plain English. I’m here to reveal that secret to you right now.
The true values are simply the hierarchy of the most important feelings we desire to experience while interacting with people and the outer world. They represent our unique individual preferences about pretty much everything in our life.
2. Learn the difference between values and means.
Means are physical resources which trigger the feelings we desire and values are the actual feelings. We often attribute feelings to certain means based on what our society, culture and media thought us. Unfortunately, many commonly known means has actually nothing to do with feelings they are associated with. Many times this misunderstanding leads to one big problem. People begin to chase means instead of values, not realizing they are not chasing what they are really after. That results in living life which isn’t fulfilling and brings lots of disappointment.
To better understand the difference between means and values I will give you some common example:
Money. The mean, many people chase in order to get values such as freedom, power, security and happiness. Let’s say John is someone who really values freedom and happiness and because he thinks money will give him those feelings he decides to accumulate lots of money. He works long hours in the job, sometimes he even works at home. He has no time for his family and hobbies he likes. He feels unhappy but he must keep chasing his freedom, right? But then after a few years of stressful job, his health starts to give in and his relationships suffer too. He is left with a feeling of unfulfillment.
But what if John learnt that what he really wants is freedom and not money? Suddenly he would realize that he can quit the boring job and start an online business, work remotely if he wants to and also have more time for his loved ones and hobbies. He would finally feel happy and content.
If money equalled happiness and freedom then there would be virtually no rich people who would feel miserable, lonely, stressed or commit suicide.
Now you can see why chasing means instead of values can result in disappointment and pain. Means will always be just material things and going after values is the right way to go around.
3. Realize what is really important to YOU.
Not to anybody else. Most of us don’t know our true values, because we focus what our society and media value and we often don’t question it and accept it as our own. But I have good news for you. We all intuitively know what we like and what we don’t. We just need to be patient honest with ourselves and determined.
So now try to relax, take a deep breath and without any distractions try to imagine feelings you truly desire to feel on daily basis? Think of the situation you felt really happy and lost in time. Don’t overthink it, nobody is judging. If you are new to self-discovery process get inspired by this numerous lists of values on google.
4. Write down values which resonate with you.
Most people come up with 20-40 values. As you may havr noticed some of the values have a similar theme so try to look for 5-7 values which seems the most relevant to your life. Then put them in order from the most important to the least. It might be a bit challenging as all of the top values seem very important :-).
Once you find your true values, you probably get the idea why you are struggling in some areas of your life while feeling great in others. Knowing your core values gives you the flexibility to take a different approach to achieve what you really want. You need to take responsibility for the life you have created so far and make sure to align all your decisions to meet your true values on a daily basis. If your top value is for example happiness you might stop chasing money and people to love you and learn more about what happiness actually is. The Internet is full of resources which can teach strategies such as self-love and mindfulness to you help you feel happy anytime you want.
6. Also, don’t forget to find out about the values of your loved ones.
You will better understand their behaviour and make your relationship stronger.
My true values:
1. rest and health
2. personal growth