The Power of Knowing Your Values

By Misti Patrella

Do you know what your values are? Do you even care?

Have you ever struggled with something, wondering why you invested time, energy and possibly money in something that turned out not to pay off? How about that gym membership where the only time they see your name is when they send your bill? How about those unsuccessful relationships with significant others? Or that job you don’t enjoy?

Here’s the little-realized piece of knowledge: most of the time, when things aren’t working out, it is because in some way you could not commit yourself fully – because what was happening was out of alignment with your true values.

Huh? (I said the same thing at first too.)

Values are ideas we hold to be important. They are the filters by which we behave and make decisions.

What do you feel is important to you? Creativity, spirituality/religion, physical fitness, humor, balance, honesty, kindness, financial responsibility, romance, hope, curiosity…there are a million words. It’s most helpful to choose 5 or 6 that fit you the closest.

How do you pick?

Well, that can be the tricky part. This list of options is loooong. Sometimes, we don’t realize what our values really are. It may even be difficult to determine our true values under layers of other peoples’ values we’ve taken on throughout our life. It’s not just you – we all do it. But we don’t have to keep doing it.

A GREAT place to start uncovering your values is by working with a life coach who can help you then apply them to your life. Or if you feel moved to action on you own, simply take a values test. One example of an quick, easy and free values test is at the University of Pennsylvania – Authentic Happiness website. Under Questionnaires, go to the Brief Strengths Test. It is a fun validation for those values you did know about yourself, and interesting to see the ones you weren’t as aware of. You should also check out the rest of the site. There is a lot of great happiness info.

Why go through this in the first place? Who cares?

Well don’t forget that your ability to manifest what you want in your life works best, and is most successful and fulfilling, when it is in line with what you truly value.

I want my adventures, experiences and work in life to be victories – don’t you?

Did you like the Brief Strengths Test? Tell me all about it in the comments below. Enjoy!

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