Values are those things in our life that drive our decisions, plans, goals, and bring fulfillment. They really are the foundation that give our life meaning. It seems that they are one of the most underrated aspects of personal development and can seemingly have the biggest impact on how our life goes, what we allow into it, and who we become as a person. It's been said, If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for everything.
Knowing your values in life will help you create a plan based on incorporating what's important. During the execution of that plan, you will use those same values to help guide your decisions and set boundaries for yourself. An added benefit is that if you need to make difficult decisions based on what your value, such as ending a relationship that is pulling you off course, you will feel less shame or guilt because you are doing it based on who you are. Setting goals base in what's important to you has inherent "buy in" and you're more likely to meet those goals.
Understanding what you value is vital to success and your overall well being. These days it's nothing to see someone trading their values for popularity, love, fame or money. When that happens, there is an underlying unhappiness that can't be shaken. Imagine growing old and looking back on a life that stood for nothing and was taken with every change of the current because you believed the answer to a meaningful life was found outside of you.
Id'd like to mention one last thing before I close out. Our culture puts a premium on self esteem. Self esteem is how we feel about ourselves or our self worth. In all honesty, putting your energy into self esteem can be an endless task. Feelings change. We can never feel the same about a person or even ourselves day in and day out. We need to put our energy into something different, something more immovable. That's right! Self Respect...And self respect is rooted in your values. If you develop your values and in turn, self respect, you can have a bad day at work, bad hair day, break up or any other difficulty that you can image, but you will be able to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of that day and tell yourself you love yourself because your values are still in tact. In that case, a setback is still just a setback and not a personal attack on your life.
In closing, I encourage your to take the time you need to figure out what values drive your life. In my coaching practice, I work with people and develop these values into the foundation they can live and benefit from daily. The beautiful thing is this is available to anyone, whether you are in a good or bad place.