Values, whether we are aware of them or not, are an important guide in our lives. They are involved in every decision-making process. For example what kind of job we pursue, how we get on with people and what type of person we relate to. So it’s advisable to take a bit of time to find out what our values are or reevaluate them! This is especially important if we feel stuck, confused or unhappy in our current situation.
We had a closer look at three value-finding methods and compared them!
What all methods have in common and why:
- 1. Putting together a list of values
Find values that are or have been important to you in the past and make a list! Either by brainstorming, going through a list (job sites) online or by a sophrological meditation which we will talk about later. Since this is an exercise in making our lives better, it is important to take a look at experiences that made us happy, proud and content. Ask yourself: where was I in this particularly happy moment? Who was I with? What did I do? What was it exactly that made me happy? Don’t censor yourself when you are doing this! Just let it flow!
- 2. Prioritizing your values and putting them in order
Once you have your list of values, they need to be prioritized!
It’s important to put just a few on top of your priority list, so they don’t contradict or cancel each other out, which can cause inner and outer conflict and unhappiness. Think of your values as friends who are competing to be your personal no. 1 or BFF in EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME! You like your friends (values) and want to treat them well. But if they are competing inside you in an area of your life, then it can turn into one hell of a battle! This can get really ugly, creating an exhausting chaos that causes confusion and finally unhappiness, right? So you see why it’s important to give each of your values a dedicated spot in the right area of your life over a certain period of time.
Here’s a simple example: Imagine we find two values that are important to us, freedom and stability. But since we haven’t prioritized them or put them in the right area of our life, these values are competing in the area of partnerships. Both freedom and stability are doing their best! But we repeatedly get stuck in unstable, unhappy on/off relationships, having neither freedom nor stability.
One possible solution would be putting the freedom value into the job area. We could work in different projects or travel, allowing us to feel free and independent. We could then put the stability value into our relationship to feel safe and anchored.
OR the other way round. We decide to put stability into our job and career, moving steadily up the career ladder and making money. We then put freedom into our private life, allowing us to be a happy carefree single for the time being.
AND since we are super aware of ourselves now and know the importance of our values, we can revisit our decisions and reevalutate them at any time but not too often because…
- 3. Anchoring your values
Anchoring the values and confirming their place! Our values are like seeds that we plant in our lives. And seeds need time to grow to come to full fruition. That’s why we have to commit to them for a certain period of time and not push them off the podium every time they seem inconvenient.
So do some more soul searching and check once again with yourself why you chose your values, if you like where you put them and how you have prioritized them. How do they make you feel and what do you want to achieve with them in the future?
Three different but simple methods to find your values:
- 1. The Sophrology exercise: Living Values!
This is one of the most beautiful exercises in Sophrology! It takes about 10 minutes and includes all three of the above-mentioned steps. It is meditational, so instead of looking for your values, your values come to find you! Plus, it includes movement which allows you to physically engage with your newly found values immediately.
- 2. Going through a list of values on job sites!
Many job sites offer lists of values to help you find the right job. (The values you choose for your job can also be applied for other areas of life.) If going through lists is your thing, we found a great site that includes all three of the above-mentioned steps. It is also focused on your personal positive life experiences, like moments of happiness, pride and fulfillment. At Planet Sophro we value this approach, so here is the link: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm
- 3. Life-coaching ‘guru’ Tony Robbins’ method
His method includes all the previously mentioned steps, from brainstorming values to prioritizing them to anchoring them. Plus, he includes the pain and pleasure question. Example: how does value X help you move towards pleasure? Does value Y help you avoid pain? It is interesting (and a bit scary) to examine our values from that point of view and find out what drives us and what we are afraid of!
For example: we have chosen harmony as one of our values. The question to ask here could be: have we chosen this value to avoid conflict? Is there a fear of conflict due to bad experiences (avoiding pain)? Does my desire for harmony sometimes stand in the way of getting closer to people? etc.
We hope we have given you some idea about the importance of finding your values and giving each the right priority. You will find your values with all three methods. It is up to you if you prefer the more kinesthetic approach of Sophrology, the sober one of a job site or the hedonic (pleasure/pain) approach from Psychology. Maybe you would like to try all three of them, find out more about your preferred one and with that learn about yourself once again!
Let us know which one you like best and why in the comment section below! This blog is moderated and will only show topic related comments!