Friday, September 10, 2010

What are your values?

What is most important to you?

Are you able to answer the question easily? Or did you have to think about it a bit?

Your values are those things that guide your decisions and behaviour.

They are deeply ingrained in you and speak to the core of who you are.

They are not your morals though.

Why is it a good idea to know what your values are?

It helps with your decision-making.

When I had to make the decision about the job offer, I eventually turned it down because I felt my number 1 value, freedom, would be compromised.

Let's have another example from one of my coaching clients.

She's a consultant whose highest value is security. Constantly stressed and overwhelmed trying to make a consistent income and wondering why she's not enjoying what she always wanted - her own company. Well, it's because the nature of the work is that some months are good, some months are bad and there's no security.

One more example... a lady whose highest value was family moved away from Durban to Joburg for better, higher-paying jobs for her and her husband. She was dreadfully unhappy here for about 3 years until she eventually decided to move back to be near her family. Is now earning less in Durban but is BLISSFULLY happy because she's living her values.

If you can't decide about your values, something that helps is to ask, "when something significant happens in my life, what's the first thing I think of?"

Once you have your top 5, prioritise them 1 - 5.

Get your hubby to do the same and discuss the results on your next date night :) It sounds boring but it is so insightful. When D and I first did this exercise together (I used to run relationship workshops and this was one of the most powerful exercises the couples did), we spent about two hours talking about our results. Your relationship improves as you understand what makes them tick.

I can't give you the values assessment I use with my clients since they do pay for this but I found a free one for you on the web. If you don't see words on here that resonate with you, add your own. The words provided are just a guideline.

My top values are:
  1. freedom
  2. integrity
  3. authenticity
  4. connection
  5. achievement
  6. courage
  7. excellence
  8. action
  9. fairness
  10. order
What are your values?


  1. I don't have a values list, but I do have a priority list, which serves the same purpose.

    To me, values are pretty set through time, while priorities change. Now, my children are the priority, but as they grow up and finally leave the nest, they will be less so. Lucas' career is the priority, but once he retires from the army, mine will be.

  2. Mine are, in no order:


    I feel like they make me sound so boring. I'm sure my answers would have been different before I was a mom. I bet Success and Independence would have been on the list in my single days :)


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