Life Values are our code of honour to ourselves. When we live in congruence with our values, life seems balanced and somehow easier and happier. This is called living with integrity. Life Values give our life meaning and make our sense of self measurable – am I living ‘for’ or ‘against’ my personal barometer of what is right or wrong for me?
Choosing to act on your Life Values breaks the negative patterns of reacting to recurring conflict within our self and with others. If you find yourself struggling with a decision, it’s probably because your thinking or behaviour is out of sync with your values.
By discovering and then using your Life Values as a guide, you will be astonished at how much more clarity and peace you will have in ever y area of your life. It will increase your personal power and happiness.
A client explains how her Life Values work changed her life immeasurably :
Before I worked with Sian, I had never contemplated what my values were. I didn’t even really understand what a value was. Making important life decisions was based on trial and error. Often I was confused about what I really wanted; professionally and personally. Decisions seemed hard, and I was
never fully convinced that I was going in the right direction. Understanding what made me tick, what was
important to me and what my core values were was life changing. The realisation that I had found a tool to know myself inside out helped me understand why some things didn’t feel right and others felt great. The things that felt wrong were out of sync with my Life Values. I was swimming against the tide.
After working with Sian on my values, I went on an amazing journey to explore what parts of my life fitted with my core values; getting more and more in tune with what felt right. Each change I made (job, home, friends) felt more and more right. It helped me to tune into the natural instinct that I already had,
but had been ignoring. I now use this tool to
It helped me to tune into the natural instinctthat I already had, but had been ignoring. make the right choices in life and no longer fear change. Simply put, if the something isn’t aligned with my Life Values, I don’t do it! Since then, every change I have made has made me happier. It’s probably the biggest and best learning that I’ve done in my life so far...”
What are life values?
Before we work out what your Life Values are, let’s clarify what we mean. Initially, I found the concept challenging: when I first looked at a list of values, I wanted them all! In actual fact, up to six core LifeValues are probably the most anyone can meaningfully concentrate on at one time.
What we do, how we behave and how we think are all directed by our core values. You have been developing them throughout your whole life, knowingly or otherwise (for most of us, it is unknowingly!). The environment that you were born into, your upbringing and every life experience you have had to date has created your Life Values – your foundations.
Our Life Values are our own special code of conduct for ourselves; rather than our morals (how we chose to judge the world) or our ethics (the professional andpersonal standards that we hold.)
If you want to do some extra reading about the meaning and role of values, I recommend Roy Posner’s The Power of Personal Values and Finding True North By Michael Henderson.
Discovering your life values
This workbook will enable you to find and live by your core values. It may take a few hours or even months to find your unique set. I cannot give you an exact time frame as everyone is different.
The people I work with who embrace this and ‘get it’ are the clients who seem to have the ability to move their lives on more quickly and with significant success.
By the end of this workbook you will know who you are and what you stand for. Once completed, your core values will be the unique filter you use to make choices in your life. Knowing and living in congruence with your Life Values will
As I write this, I am working with six core value sin my life. My Life Values have changed over time. A recent addition is BRAVERY. I am going to explain to you how I came to add this to help you to understand your own values.
I began to see a pattern in how I felt around people who I believed were brave. I wanted to be around brave people, they inspired me and the response I got from brave people when I shared my hopes and dreams was so incredibly positive. I was attracted to bravery because it helped me be braver, as well as better able to recognise my own bravery. It strengthened my power of purpose and made me a better and more effective person.
I developed my thinking more when I was reviewing my Life Achievement story (you’ll learn more about this in Workbook Three). Completing my Life Achievement story helped me recognise my own bravery.
At 10 years of age, I was left one afternoon with a trunkof clothes and a pencil case, knowing that I would notsee anyone I knew for six weeks in an all girls boardingschool best described as Hogwarts!I looked back and saw how brave that little girl was, and how brave I’ve been since during other challenging times.
I had no real life experience to speak of and was to live away from my parents, siblings and everything that was familiar. I had no idea of what was expected of me. The terror of not knowing what to do comes back to me clearly as I write this.
When I review this significant life experience now as an adult, I am able to acknowledge what a very BRAVE child I was to survive that experience. I looked back and saw how brave that little girl was, and how brave I’ve been since during other challenging times.
I live on the other side of the world from where I was born, far away from my family and old friends. I arrived in New Zealand ten years ago having just completed cancer treatment. Four weeks after my last radiotherapy session, I followed my husband’s job, uprooting our children to a country, culture and future I knew absolutely nothing about.
These two stories are my evidence for my choice of bravery as a core value. Ten years on, I identify and draw great strength from recognising how brave I was to make that leap of faith. I found myself for the first time ever acknowledging that I had been brave in the past and was living bravely now. I also had a passionate desire to be brave in my future.
It’s the same for you – you have life experiences that you have not reflected back on and not seen the positive values you already have displayed and how significant and useful they are to you today. For example, it would be easy to look at that little girl at boarding school and think that she should have known what to do. My mental picture was of a little girl completely lost and mute with terror. But in actual fact, I didn’t have a breakdown, I didn’t end up running away or setting fire to the school (though both options occurred to me!), I made it through -
my bravery enabled me to deal with the situation without making it worse.
Bravery is now a value I ingrain into my daily life choices. I surround myself with people I see as brave. Feeling brave means I make choices more easily, can create my own confidence, recover more
quickly from setbacks and means I set the bar higher and go out into the world with my head held high.
Later in this book, I have used my value of bravery to illustrate how you can think about your Life Values.
At this point, I can’t overstate how important it is for you to find and live your life using your values as your guide. What you value in yourself will be the starting point.Indeed, it is the easiest way to develop a life that you value. It is who you are, what you are good at, and for me the very best bit… you get to consciously identify for yourself exactly who you are. Knowing who you are and what you stand for gives you great strength. Clarity of purpose achieves great results – if you are clear about who you are and what you want, you are many many more times likely to get it.
Ok... enough said.
Let’s get started on the single most important piece of self learning you will EVER do (no pressure then!)