WHY IDENTIFY YOUR VALUES?
By knowing what is important to us we can make choices and decisions, plan and create a life that is in-line with what is most meaningful to us and this can help to shape a more fulfilled and joyful life.
Our Values change throughout our life. 20 year old me had quite different values compared to 50 year old me. Some of them may travel with you throughout your life but others may come and go.
My preferred way of coming up with a list of values is to get a few people together and brainstorm as many as we can think of and write them down. Spend 10 minutes and see how many we can come up with when under time pressure. They might not be values that I hold as relevant but that doesn’t matter because they might lead me to ones that are.
You can also do this activity alone or you can use some of the resources listed below.
Start with choosing as many as you like of your most important values, the ones you hold dear and really resonate with. You might notice that you can group some. For example, Freedom, Independence, Travel and Adventure. When this happens see if you can find a value or the word that most encompasses this idea for you and select that then eliminate the others. The aim is to try and select 5 Values and then if possible, and this takes some sacrifice, whittle your Values list down to three. Sometimes it will be really hard to let go of some. That does not mean that you no longer value but they are just not in your top 3-5 now.
Once you have selected your Values I like to expand upon what they mean for me. For example, Creativity is one of my current values. For me, it means that I continue to make time for my arts practice and work creatively with my clients. That I infuse creativity into my life from how I cook dinner to the photos I take on my daily walks to how I decorate my home.
I have also chosen a list of values for my business and Creativity has a different focus there: To access our innate creativity to create the life we want to lead through unique and creative means.
For each Value take some time to express your version of what that Value means for you. See if you can really hone the essence of how you want to express value in your life.
Convert to goals/actions:
One of Peta’s values might be Autonomy and they struggle with working for someone else so a goal might be to start their own business. That is a big goal that needs lots of little stepping stones. A first step might be to talk to someone who is successfully doing what Peta wants to do and asking if they’ll mentor them or registering a business name. If the goals are too big they won’t happen. How can you make your goals SMART?-Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Framed. Peta might refine their goal to be … In 3 years I will have put in place all the necessary steps to be able to start my own, in peoples homes hairdressing business.
Sometimes when we feel conflicted it can be because our Values aren’t being met. For example; Jo has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime…or so it seems…to travel to Seychelles on a luxury yacht that her new boyfriend works on. All her friends are telling her what an amazing opportunity it is and even though she has Adventure as one of her values she also has Independence and Freedom and she is scared that as a guest of her new boyfriend she will be beholden to him and stuck on a boat where she can’t get away. When she explored her values she was able to see where the conflict was and even though it looked like an amazing opportunity it wasn’t right for her. She said no and never regretted it.
Sometimes there is a discrepancy between our values and how we live our lives. For example One of Linda’s values is Family, but she is a workaholic and spends 12 hours a day in the office and often brings home work to do on the weekend. Even though her family is so important to her, she hardly spends time with them. Upon recognising this Linda was able to set some goals for herself to create a more even work and family balance. She decided that she would work late twice a week only when her kids had sports activities and that she would no longer bring work home on the weekend. She also decided to get help from a therapist to address her workaholic habits and beliefs.
Working with your Values can be a tool to create goals, make decisions that align to your truth and help you make choices and decisions in your life. It doesn’t mean that you need to have the exact same values as another party, for example, a workplace, an organisation, a partner, a health care worker etc… but if they are in line with your values it generally will work out better for you in creating a value-driven life.
At My Way Therapy we want to work with clients who feel like they align with our values so we make them accessible.
My Way Therapy’s Values:
GROWTH: Our life mission is to grow, learn and evolve. To make changes in our lives to live how we choose for a healthy and meaningful existence.
CREATIVITY: To access our innate creativity to create the life we want to lead through unique and creative means.
PERSONAL: We are all individuals and it’s important to be treated as such. All offerings are tailored specifically for each person’s specific needs.
Before you sign up for a session you might want to discuss these values further and see if they align with what’s important to you.