Have you ever been in a situation where someone said something you strongly disagreed with but you held your tongue? When you were unable to speak up and regretted it later?
There are certain things in life we value and prioritize. These things even define the way we lead or want to lead our lives. When we live by these personal values, we feel better about ourselves as we focus on things that matter to us most.
Why is it that personal values hold such significance in our lives? Let’s find out.
Meaning Of Personal Values
Before we look at the definition of personal values, let’s take some time to understand what the word ‘value’ stands for. At its simplest, value is a quality that’s desirable, something of worth. Our values are important as they help us grow and create the future we want to experience. They guide our behavior, attitudes and beliefs and our motivation.
Personal values are those beliefs we hold most dear. They can be desirable goals that motivate our actions and guide us through our lives. Values often weave into our personalities and define who we are. They become a part of us and influence our decisions and actions. Personal values differ from person to person and are often affected by one’s culture, upbringing and life experiences—among other factors.
The simplest way to identify your personal values is to reflect on your personality and behaviors. Some of these values are recognized as universal rules of conduct and morality. Our lives are shaped by what values we choose to prioritize and adapt. Values aren’t always visible to others; they’re expressed through actions, words and behaviors.
Why Are Personal Values Important?
Knowing your values can help you lead a more authentic and fulfilling life. After all, they’re the primary drivers behind our personality and actions. When we tap into our principles and beliefs, it gives us a chance to reinvent ourselves and aim for a better life. With increased self-assurance and confidence, it’s easier to find our purpose, make decisions with greater efficiency and navigate challenging situations. Discovering our own important personal values has the following advantages:
Self-awareness has gained a lot of attention, along with the concept of self-love, in recent times. Awareness of your own personality, strengths, weaknesses, faults and skills is an invaluable trait. It’s linked to creating meaningful interpersonal relationships and personal development. Understanding who you are, what you stand for and what drives you starts with identifying our personal values.
Influences Our Outcomes
Knowing yourself is important, but what do you do with that self-knowledge? When you understand yourself and prioritize the things you value in life, you know how to play to your strengths. The path to personal reinvention is through change and you can exercise greater control over outcomes when you know how to embrace change. This type of change starts from changing our actions and mindset; it’s possible only when we understand our personal values.
Improves Quality Of Life
Gaining clarity about who you are is fundamental to leading your best and most fulfilling life. Personal values provide the groundwork to create your most authentic and purposeful life. It can help you identify your motivations, set healthy boundaries and make important life decisions. Life can become so much more fun and satisfying when you have clarity about your needs and expectations.
Personal values aren’t limited only to your personal life. Even your professional life can benefit from a deeper understanding of such values.
The Role Of Personal Values In The Workplace
Recognizing, understanding and staying true to your personal values are some of the most admirable qualities of a professional. The people, their culture and the underlying values drive a workplace. When your values align with the organization, it helps you guide your choices and actions. Values become the crux of better understanding and can help you avoid misunderstandings and conflict. In short, personal values in the workplace inform our behavior and set us up for greater job satisfaction. Here are some of its other benefits:
Helps You Gain Self-Respect
Standing up for what you believe and sticking to your guns is a guaranteed way to gain self-respect. When you don’t believe in the things you value most, it’s difficult for others to respect you. Communicating your values is a great way to build self-respect. For example, if you feel unheard in meetings, speak up or find ways to do so.
Helps You Be Clear About Your Expectations
Identifying your personal values can inform your job searches and career trajectory. By having a clear sense of what values matter most, you can seek roles and industries that help you work on those values. When your personal values align with an organization’s values, it’s a match made in heaven. You’ll find purpose in your job when the organization values the same things as you do.
Helps You In Decision-Making
The modern job market can often be intimidating as there is a sea of opportunities available. It can confuse you and make it difficult to make an informed decision. Being confident about your values can fast-track the process and help you identify opportunities that are right up your alley. Your career path can get much-needed direction with the help of your core values.
Helps You Stay Motivated, Focused And Engaged
Values keep us happy and motivated across all areas of life, including the workplace. However, there will be times when we don’t agree with the process, vision or mission of an organization. Productivity and efficiency are automatically going to suffer. To avoid this, it’s important to remind ourselves of our values and the goals we want to achieve in the long term. This way, we stay focused, engaged and driven.
Helps You Enjoy Your Life
There are some core values we hold dear throughout our lives. However, there are some values that keep changing according to current needs and situations. Values help us prioritize what we need and expect from our professional life and we keep revisiting this list from time to time. Being in touch with our inner selves is a great way to reach fulfillment in our experience at work.
Therefore, clarity about values creates a strong foundation—setting us up for happiness in both life and at work.
How To Find And Strengthen Your Values
There are several questions and tactics you can use to discover what exactly your list of most important personal values looks like. These tips will help you get started:
Get To Know Yourself Better
You can’t define your personal values unless you know yourself well. To get a 360-degree picture of you, start being honest with yourself. Consider asking yourself the following questions:
What’s important to me in my life?
What am I most proud of?
When was I the happiest?
What sort of behavior and actions make me angry?
If I didn’t have to worry about money, what career would I pursue?
You can answer these questions by brainstorming answers and writing them down. Revisiting these answers from time to time is a good exercise.
Identify Your Priorities
Not everything we value holds the same amount of importance in our minds. Some values are more important than others. Finding your core, defining values isn’t always easy. However, you can focus on your priorities by creating your own list of values. Consider these examples of personal values when creating your list:
This isn’t an exhaustive list. Come up with values that align with your goals and are grounded in your experiences and personality.
Conduct A Values Audit
A values audit may sound like an intimidating concept, but it’s extremely helpful in understanding what you do or don’t consider important. To go about the process, create your values list, rank them by importance and reassess them from time to time. You may undergo changes in your personal or professional life and it’s helpful when you revisit and revise your values list. This exercise will also allow you to add new values and make them a part of your life moving forward. Once you feel confident about adopting a new value, it’s time to own it.
Identifying, prioritizing and pursuing values can help you get closer to defining what’s important to you. You can use these values to set goals and achieve the things you’ve always dreamt about.
The path to self-improvement and growth is understanding where your priorities lie and what changes you want to make. If you want to take action and turn your life around, start by strengthening your self-knowledge. Harappa’s Interpreting Self course is equipped with powerful frameworks that’ll help you foster self-awareness, identify strengths and progress towards professional goals and aspirations. The River of Life framework, in particular, will help you look back on life-shaping experiences. Join this self-knowledge course today to discover your best possible self!
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