What are values? Values are a compass. They are there to guide and inform our decisions. When you aren’t in alignment with your values you don’t live a life that serves you. When you live according to your values you are more relaxed and in alignment with your true self. Values are the things that are important to us. They are a strong motivation for us to act and make choices. This is why it’s so important to trust our choices and not be impacted by our environment. When we have a strong set of values we can make decisions faster.

Values are determined by our experiences and our goals. Values also have different meanings for different people – success could mean happiness and peace to one person whereas to someone else it may mean an abundance of wealth. Having a list of values can serve as a compass for us to refer to in times when we don’t know how to make a decision. In moments of doubt, values point us in the direction we need to go. Therefore we can conclude that having a set of values can lessen self doubt.

So how do we live in alignment with our values? Firstly, start by knowing your values. Questions you can ask to determine your values include:

What is important to me?

What qualities do you admire most in other people?

What are your strengths? What do you believe you are good at?

When do you feel most proud of yourself?

What beliefs do you uphold?

Secondly, you need to remember them. Write them down in a list. Examples of values include but aren’t limited to: Family, friends, integrity, love, spirituality, work, money, time.

Thirdly, the next time you make a decision see if it is aligned with your values. An exercise to try is to go into each decision you make, write down the decision, the outcome and the value attached to it. Then try the reverse the next time you make a decision. Choose a value, make a decision and see the outcome. This is called DOV and VDO. Decision, outcome, value and value, decision, outcome. The point is not to be attached to the outcome but rather to identify why we make the decisions we make. This is one of many ways to practise bringing values into our day to day lives.

Aligning with our values keeps us centred, removes self doubt and guides our decision making. It is the key to being in alignment with who we are and who we want to be. Everyone has values and everyone’s values are different. It’s about identifying and applying them that helps us grow and brings us greater inner peace.

⁃ Jess

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