Utilizing the Power of Your Values

I was reminded in a recent coaching session of the power of our values. If you are feeling stuck, unmotivated and not feeling jazzed about your day to day, chances are you are not honouring a key value of yours. Values can be a good place to (re)ignite motivation, confront obstacles and gain fulfillment.

Values also interact with strengths (Strengths Tilt) and influence how the same strength is exhibited differently in individuals. Strengths tilt is how someone uses their strengths to live their values. This is a great place to delve into further to help you find your niche in the world (will expand on this in another note), and therefore really important to have a good awareness of your values.

Let’s look at motivation a bit more. Motivation is the psychological driving force behind goal attainment. Motivation is either intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation comes from the benefits of the process of pursuing a goal, versus extrinsic which is the linked to the benefits from achieving the goal. Intrinsic motivation is linked to greater happiness – a key point for those that think getting the promotion or super fly beach bod will make them happier.

Take home point: if we are more aware of our values represented in our goals, we are better able to modify our behaviour to achieve our goals.

So, what are your values?

Why do this now? Because identifying your values is part of your foundation, and also an easy place to start. Here are some ways to go about identifying your values.

Ways to identify your values:

  • You could look at your life, and ask, why is xxxx so important to me?
  • Look at a time you get upset and ask yourself what it is that makes you so angry. There is likely a value that is getting trodden on.
  • Who do you respect/admire and why?
  • This one requires a friend. Tell a friend a short story of when you were at your peak and get them to identify values they hear being lived.
  • Use this ListofValues (not exhaustive), and narrow it down to 30, then 15, top 10, 5, and finally top 3.

Now you have a list of values, right? Good work!

Now it’s important to identify what these actually mean for you. A value of security could mean one thing for one person and something totally different for another. Take the time to write out what these values mean for you. You can use the blank sheet following the list of values.

I’ll give you an example of how bringing an awareness of values to my life has had a positive impact and helped me move from struggling to energized. One of my strongest values is exploration. This has clearly been lived in the last year. I’ve moved to two different towns where I had visited often but never lived. On the whole, this has been great, and I am much happier since the move from my original home in the big city.

Recently, in the change between the winter and summer town, I’ve had a few weeks of geographic instability and lack of personal space. I have now landed in my new home. However, I seem to be struggling in the transition?! – I’m not rocking it (as i expected – ooh, the danger of expectations!). Instead of waking up excited every morning, there’s a bit of uncertainty and hesitation.

I have been stuck in fear and anxiousness, and I have not been approaching this change through a lens of exploration. In recognizing this, I can now consciously choose my approach. So, I am now asking myself this question: how can I approach this new home from a place of exploration? This question lit an energy inside me and an excitement for being here. It prompts follow up questions: What new bike trails can I ride? What new coffee shops are there for me to check out? What parts of town can I check out on a walk or run? With these questions, approaching this geographic change becomes interesting and leads to action.

Back to you…

How are you going to live your values? How are you going to use them to empower action?