As a coach, I understand the significance of values as whenever I work with someone who is working outside of them; they struggle.

So why do we sometimes struggle to find clarity over this area?

One of the common barriers to understanding our values is the “should” factor.

All too often, I work with people who are living their lives how they believe they “should’ be rather than in ways which makes their hearts sing. 

We all know people who become Doctors, Lawyers or other professions because they are following their parents or family path rather than their own. Other times, it’s because they feel a sense of duty to help others.

When we don’t follow the path towards our own values, our emotional and mental well-being suffers.

If you want to test the authenticity of your Vision & Mission Statements, your values will provide confirmation that you’re on the right track.

There are many models and profile tests, which will help you towards clarity, but as a beginning, undertake a simple audit of your day. How much time do you spend doing things you love? What do you procrastinate over? How much time do you spend on tasks you hate or take longer than expected? If the activity comes naturally and is enjoyable, it’s a good bet that you are in sync with your values. 

We all have a hierarchy of values and will find fulfilment when our work and daily activities align to those values. If an area of your life isn’t working, it could be it’s an area you don’t value highly. 

For a simple way to begin the process of determining your core values, check out the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Choose the one that jumps out at you. It will set you on the road of discovery.

Next time, I’ll take a deeper dive into finding your values.