With so many questions about what is happening in the world right now, I have struggled with what to write. But whenever I question what my ideal role should be during uncertain times, I always return my core beliefs and foundation. In other words, I return to my values.
Now, I fully recognize that it might feel superficial, at a time like this, to focus on our values, but I would counter that argument: I believe it’s more important than ever.
During times of unease or discomfort, if we don’t act according to our personal values, we risk feeling even more disjointed and lost. Our values are what keep us grounded and present. Eventually, they will lead us to feelings of happiness and fulfillment. The word might be overused and sound cliché, but understanding our values is essential to our wellbeing.
- Are the elements that we think are worthwhile and important in life.
- Guide us on who we are and how we need to show up.
- Are intensely personal. As individuals, we have our own unique set, but our relationships also have their own set.
- Can change over time as we change and our surroundings change.
We might be consciously aware of some, or all, of our values or, we may not be able to articulate what they are. And without proper reflection and thought, we may lose sight of what our values at this present time truly are.
As I reflect on my own, I encourage you to also set aside some time to reflect on yours. Dig deep and ask:
- What is truly important to you today? (Not what “should be” important, but what truly is.)
- What makes you choose to act in a certain way?
- What were you last doing when you felt most at peace and/or had a smile on your face?
For me, without overthinking it too much, I landed on: Integrity, family, being present, health, and being in action (doing versus overthinking).
We may share a few values in common, or our lists could be completely different. And that is absolutely okay. Once we have a clear sense of what our values are, we can then reflect on how these values are evident in:
- Our choices
- Our relationships
And if our values are not showing up, what do we need to modify in order to honour them appropriately?
This is where we find our integrity and can understand what it means in our actions.
For me, I am making sure that I enjoy small moments with my kids this summer in our garden. I am refocusing on my health and eating better. I want to continue to put myself out in the world—even when I’m outside of my comfort zone—to ensure that I stay in an active, not passive, role in my own life.
It is our responsibility to know what is important to us and to choose and act in accordance with our values.
If you are struggling to identify your values, let me know. I will send you an exercise that I regularly use with clients to help them become more intentional with their choices.