What does it mean to you when I say: “Live life from your values”? What are values, exactly? And why are they so darn important? In a nutshell, living life from your values means living life from the inside, out. Which is the best way to say Hurray! Need more convincing? Below are a few reasons you may want to consider reevaluating and living by your values.
What are values?
Values as a concept can seem pretty far out there, right? So let’s get to the point. In the book, Being Boss, authors Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson describe values as, “…the guiding principles that direct you through life, helping you prioritize what’s important to you and stay to who you are.” They go on to say that values “are the personal truths and principles you hold most near and dear — they’re the things you would be willing to go to battle for. What you value often motivates the ‘why’ behind the decisions you make and actions you take.”
Values are an “inside” aspect of who you are. That means they are part of your inner life, your emotions, your ideals, your beliefs, your faith. I always teach to live from the inside, out. Meaning start with the inside work first, then translate it underneath (into your body), and then outside into the world. If you have been living your life from the outside, in you are not alone. Often we learn what we value from others. But it’s when we take on what’s important to other people and then worry about what they’ll think if we choose to live by our own true values that gets us into trouble. You have a big, beautiful opportunity to start living your life from the inside, out. Hurray! Want more? Keep reading.
Why are Values So Important?
Values create our grounding principles.
In my Hurray House Method, and in my Business Tree method (two methods I teach for clients and coming soon for you!), we always start with the ground on which you build your life and business. Always. The ground (or soil, in my analogy) represents your values, mission, and purpose in life. These help you know where you stand. They keep you “grounded”. They keep you true to who you are. And mostly, they are the floor on which all other aspects of your life, work in the world, and all relationships are built.
“I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.”
Values guide us.
Creating goals aligned with your values = hurray! Not sure if you’re on the right path with something? Check-in with your values. Unclear if the direction in which you’re heading will end with happiness, joy, and fulfillment? Check-in with your values. When you clearly identify what’s really important to you and what you really believe in, you can easily see if the steps you are taking and the life you are building are in alignment or if you’ve accidentally detoured or let outside influences take you off course. Course correcting is not always easy, but it’s important. And only those with a clear moral compass know when they’re heading in the right direction or lost at sea.
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
― Roy Disney
Values help us make decisions.
When you are clear on your values it’s like standing on solid ground. I often use this analogy in my Hurray House Method (coming soon to you!) when I coach and teach. And when you know where you stand you can make confident decisions. If you’re at a fork in the road or unclear on how to proceed, use your “Values Vision”. We’ve all heard of beer goggles or rose-colored glasses, right? Well, what if you viewed your life and your decisions with your Values Vision™. I love to help people see the decisions before them as being color-coded with options that are in alignment with their values as one color, and out of alignment as another. Most decisions will have a blend of the two colors where they overlap (it’s hard for every single decision to uphold every one of our values) but the idea is to get more and more and more of your values to show up in your decisions. In essence, you can color your whole life with the color of your values.
“Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.”
― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
Values reveal our truth.
Have you ever met someone who says they’re all about freedom or justice or some other value, but their life doesn’t show that to be true? Our actions align with what we are truly called to. Our values reveal what’s really important to us. It shows our priorities and what we’re really willing to do, endure, or change. In other words: our values reveal the truth. Personally, I value truth and authenticity. So I welcome the opportunity for values to reveal the truth about myself and others. It excites me to see the truth of who someone is revealed in what really matters to them.
“The best part about identifying, understanding, and practicing your values is becoming more at home with who you are. When you are unclear on what matters the most to you, you might find yourself feeling apologetic, scattered, and vulnerable to other people defining who you are and what you like or don’t like.”
Values help us feel at home in who we are.
When you’re clear on your truth you can feel truly at home in who you are. This is the most amazing reason to start uncovering your values, in my opinion. In my own life, getting clear on my values means that I can be true to me and … like myself. Being out of alignment or living from someone else’s values made me feel off. Even if I was “succeeding” in their eyes, I felt like a failure on the inside. Getting clear on who I am, what matters to me, and where I want to go meant I could firmly take actions that felt like ME. And that, friends, is a huge hurray.
Your turn: What are your values? How do you honor and work with them? How do you know when you’re out of alignment? When do you lean into your values the most and when do you find it difficult?
Credits: Photos in this post of yours truly were taken by Whitney Green. No airbrushing my face or body, ever. Hurray! This was my goodbye to NYC photoshoot, it was bittersweet AND I loved every second of it!
Also, I’m wearing a red dress from Shein which is SUPER comfortable and sexy. You can find a similar one in black, or a big longer in burgundy and pink. Shop them here: Twist Front Slit Hem Glitter Kimono Dress and Twist Front Split Midi Kimono Dress. Enjoy! PS: this link is an affiliate link. I only share brands or items that make me say hurray!