Being confident and self assured as an adult begins with knowing what you value and believe in.
This is not a subject to be casual about. If there is only one exercise you ever do in your entire life to assist you in making decisions and gaining self awareness – it’s the one below. Defining your values is like writing the first section of your own personal “operation manual”.
Your values are the things you believe are most important in the way you behave, make decisions, do your work and live your life.
You have values that you hold the highest above everything else. Whether you have taken the time to consciously define them or not, they drive your actions, your emotions and are the constant measures you use to determine if you believe your life is on track or not.
Your values are your own personal human code of conduct. You created it, you follow it and you believe in the justice of it.
Your values are indicators as to what you feel your purpose is. They are silently directing and motivating your behaviours – connecting you, warning you and triggering your “spidey senses” to go off at times..
When you do things that align with your values you generally feel positive about your life. When you do things that are not aligned, but also not opposed with your values, you feel disconnected.
When things somehow feel wrong – even anxiety may arrive or a feeling of being physically sick can occur, your actions or behaviours are probably violating your values.
It’s important that you take the time to define what they are.
Read through the following list of values and select the top 8 – 10 that are important to you.
Acceptance Accomplishment Acknowledgement Activeness
Adventure Affection Ambition Amusement
Art Assertiveness Attractiveness Balance
Being the best Belonging Bravery Celebrity
Certainty Challenge Change Cheerfulness
Clarity Cleanliness Comfort Community
Connection Conservation Courage Creativity
Decisiveness Dependability Determination Devotion
Discipline Discovery Education Empathy
Encouragement Energy Entertainment Enthusiasm
Environmentalism Ethics Experience Fairness
Faith Family Fearlessness Fidelity
Financial independence Fitness Freedom
Friendship Generosity Growth Happiness
Health Heart Helping other people Honesty
Hospitality Humility Humor Imagination
Independence Individuality Inner peace Inspiration
Integrity Intelligence Intimacy Justice
Kindness Leadership Learning Love
Loyalty Making a difference Meaningful work
Motivation Open-mindedness Optimism Organization
Patience Passion Perseverance Personal Development
Philanthropy Pleasure Popularity Power
Pride Privacy Professionalism Punctuality
Recognition Religion Resourcefulness Respect
Rest Security Self-control Selflessness
Spirituality Strength Success Teaching
Teamwork Temperance Thrift Trust
Truth Volunteering Winning Wisdom
Once you have your top 8 – 10 values reduce that list down to your top 4.
When you have your top 4, reduce your list again down to only your top two.
If this sounds hard, put them in pairs and ask yourself the direct question “If I could only select one of these – which would it be?” and just pick. Be quick about it.
Now reduce your list to just one.
“I can’t” is not an option. Go with your gut and pick one. This is what you value most above all else.
Your top four values are what drive most of your choices, it’s nice to get officially introduced.
It is necessary for you to go through this process because this is the truth behind everything you do.
Understanding what your highest values are and using them to map your future choices will ensure your internal compass is driving your life.
These are your guides, they will not let you down.
Some people say “fight for what you believe in”. I say “Live for what you believe in”.
You can… when you know what that is.