Re-Evaluating your values

Let’s get right down to the core of your being and seeing where you stand on life!
My main interests in the personal development field are core values and beliefs and how they are formed. They are closely related and they form the very person we are today and will shape your life in the future, that’s how important knowing this is.

What is a value?

Simply put your values are psychological constructs which determine the way we act, the way we dress, who our friends are, our self confidence, our beliefs; in essence our very being.
An example of values could be when you meet someone new in the workplace and have befriended them. You find out they have started to lie about silly little things and slowly your original opinion of them begins to change if one of your core values is to always be honest and transparent. If you find out this person lies all the time then chances are you will never be good friends as their values differ dramatically from yours. This is a simple example and obviously if that person has other values which match yours then there will be a play off as to which values win out.
Values provide valuable filters for us to live our lives and to a degree control the way we think about something or someone, control the way we behave and control how we act emotionally to the world around us.
When we see the most successful people around the world we can quickly see what their values are how they have managed to get where they are today. people like Oprah Winfrey , Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Eben Pagan, Richard Branson, and Martha Stewart to name only a few. Their values obviously include; self-reliance, hard work, commitment, discipline and more if we were to dig a little deeper.

How are values formed?

Your values are formed from a very early age through a process called imprinting and mostly influenced by your primary and secondary caregivers. As you get older your values can be aligned with the teachers who work with you, your friends, and role models you associate with.
The power of values is what makes our society tick, laws are based around values, wars are waged because of cultural values, groups are formed through a shared set of values. Almost everybody we are friends will have shared values.
When we keep digging we will find that values affect every aspect of our lives and that is why I believe it is so important to know your values and change and adapt your values.

Different types of values

There are three main types of values which we can simplify;
* Physical values – This is the value you strive to achieve to physical objects, work and one’s environment
* Interpersonal values – This is the value you seek to express in relationships with other people
* Psychological values – This is the value you aspire to realize in your own personality & inner being

How to know your values?

A simple exercise in finding out what your values are is to look at what you don’t like either about yourself or someone else. For example ask the questions;
Do you like people who are lazy?
Do you like people who are dishonest?
Do you like people who are pessimistic?
Do you like people who rely on you to get things done?
Do you like people who are closed minded?
Do you like people who are unfaithful?
By looking at the questions above you will discover what some of your values are. More digging will uncover a list of values you would like to have or like to strengthen about yourself. A lot of people say I wish I was more like ‘her’ or ‘him’. This is you really saying that you wish you could acquire their values.
An example of this would be assertive people. They are admired a lot because they can stand up for themselves and seem to say the right thing at the right time. A lot of people would like to have their values of; honesty, respect for others, self-reliance, independence, integrity etc. So if you admire a trait about someone, dig out the core values of that trait and align it with your own and work on the values that make up that particular trait.
You will find that everyone you admire and the qualities you like about them can be traced back to their core values and it is often transparent. so there’s no need to run up to Bill Gates and say ‘Excuse me Mr Gates, I know you’re a busy man, but could you possibly tell me what your core values are?’ This is not necessary because a little observation on your part can uncover their core values. NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is based upon finding the good traits of others and modeling yourself on them. Steve Andreas in his book ‘NLP – The technology of achievement’ states that “If one person can do something, anyone can learn to do it.”

Deciding what values you want

It’s now time to look at some values and decide what ones you would like to have:
below is a list of core values. Go through the list and decide what ones you would like to have, some of them overlap each but you will get the gist of the main ones.
Value, Virtue, AttributeValue, Virtue, Attribute
Ability to see another’s perspectiveDetermined
Ability to work in teamsDevelops reciprocal relationships
Appreciate beautyDiscerning
Appreciate excellenceDisplays commitment
AttentiveEloquent speaker
CommittedFamily valuing
ConfidentFreedom from prejudice
ConscientiousFreedom of conscience and expression
CourteousGood citizenship
Culturally literateHard-working
DeliberateHigh self-esteem
Desires harmony and unityHopeful
Desires justiceHumble
Value, Virtue, AttributeValue, Virtue, Attribute
Independently investigate truth and realityResolute
IntegrityRespect and accept authority
Intellectually perceptiveRespect for own rights
InterestedRespect for physical health
IntuitiveRespect for self
JoyfulRespect for the Creator
KindRespect for the natural environment
KnowledgeableRespect the rights of others
Knowledgeable of scientific discoveriesRespectful
Love of learningRule-following
ObedientServes others
ObjectiveServes the community
PatientSocially intelligence
PersistentStrives for excellence
Positive, encouraging attitudeTeachable
Prompt & punctualTrustworthy
ReceptiveUses consultation to reduce conflict
Developed by; W. Huitt, Valdosta State University; Last modified; October 2003
With the list above just tick the ones you like and then whittle it down to a list of 10 or so core values.

Start living your core values

You will most likely have some of the values you have ticked from the above list and are already living them however there will be other ones which you are not living but would like to start living. Start putting them into practice immediately and start aligning yourself with your new values.
An example of this could be the value of Hard-working; if you’ve previously been a lazy so and so and not too bothered about your quality of work start telling yourself that you are hard working and care about your work and take actions that show this. The more you do this the more hard working you will become and the more your new core value is imprinted in your mind. Does that sound too easy? that’s because it is easy. The hard part is uncovering a value you would like to become aligned to.

What are your core values?

It would be great to know your stories about your core values and how you have managed to change them or just leave a comment and let us know what your core values are. you never know how much your story could change someone else’s life.