All roads lead to our Values

Education, Experiences

How identifying our values can reduce stress, offer clarity, and empower decision making.

Our values are the connective thread for all of our choices. If communication is like a dance, then our values are the rhythm of the beat. But, what does it mean if we don’t know what they are? Chances are, if you know what you like and don’t like, you can already name a few.

For example: If you don’t like to be told what to do AND you do like having a day open and full of possibility -> Freedom is likely one of your values.

Or, say video games, watching football, and laughing with friends are some of your favorite activities. Serious TV dramas and long days at work make you feel tired or bored -> Play might be one of your values.

Knowing your values, and making choices that are in service to your values, is one of the most empowering things you can do for your mental health and overall wellbeing.

When we feel trapped, lost, or forced to make choices that aren’t aligned with what we value we’re more likely likely to experience exhaustion & burnout.

To help clarify your values, I want to invite you try the following exercise:

List 5 things you like & why. {*side note: I used the word “like,” not love or can’t live without. Try taking a lighter approach with this exercise for now.} I’ve listed some of my own answers as example below.

5 things you like:

  1. Pumpkin spice
  2. Ocean views
  3. Warm muffins
  4. Puppy snuggles
  5. Lemon water

Explore – why?

  1. It’s warm, cozy & delicious.
  2. It’s open, vast & offers powerful perspective.
  3. They’re yummy & I enjoy with them my hubby.
  4. They’re sweet & remind me to slow down.
  5. It’s fresh, tasty & clean.

Lastly, how does it make you feel?

  1. Warm & cozy -> Feel safe
  2. Open & vast -> Feel like possibility & freedom
  3. Enjoying with my hubby -> Feels like connection
  4. Slowing down -> Feels peaceful
  5. Fresh & clean -> Feels energizing

Values – Safety, Freedom, Connection, Peaceful, & Energized

There’s no limit to how far you can take this exercise. For now, I encourage you to take it slow, keep it simple and be gentle with yourself. Write your 5 values on a post-it and look at them from time to time. The ones that are 100% it, you’ll feel it. The ones that are close but need work…you’ll know that too.

Trust yourself. You’re worth this time and exploration.

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