What is the value in living my values?
In my last blog post I spoke of Game of Thrones and football, but the underlining theme was about human behavior and how we choose to behave in the face of adversity. What we know about our behaviors is that they are largely driven by our values. So if our values drive our behaviors, what does that mean and why is it important?
How many times have you heard the term “company values”? Many of us have worked for companies that superficially showcase their values on their company websites but little else. Some companies however do a brilliant job at living their values. They incorporate them into everyday business life ensuring strategic goals, policies and procedures are aligned with their values. When values are fully embedded, it creates and maintains a high performing culture and a sense of shared passion for the company’s objectives.
As individuals we can learn a lot from how the best companies engage with and live their values. Every one of us have our own personal values and many of us don’t even realize it. Knowing and living our values is the foundation of our success and fulfillment. We all know deep down what is important to us and we know the things that we are passionate about. But do we use this knowledge when making life decisions? Not always. By knowing and living our values we create a high performing and supportive environment in our own lives.
So what are values? Your values are the things that you hold dear, that make you tick, that shape who you are. Living and honoring your values is fulfilling, even when it’s hard to do. For example, let’s say you value honesty and integrity and you’ve made a mistake that you could get away with if you said nothing but admitting it would lead to consequences. Because dishonoring your values is inherently unfulfilling, the act of staying quiet with no consequences would actually lead to more internal conflict than coming clean. Living a life that is in conflict with your personal values often leads to discord in your life.
How will knowing my values help me? Identifying your personal values will have a remarkable impact on your self-awareness. It will help you understand feelings of conflict or discontent. Your motivations or lack thereof become clearer and can motivate you to make positive changes in your personal and professional life that are aligned with your core self.
How do I figure out what my values are? I invite you all to take some time to ponder the following questions to support you in your quest to identify your personal values:
When am I most fulfilled and satisfied?
What are the things that I feel strongly about?
What is important to me?
What is the best decisions I've made and why?