Defining Personal Values To Get In Touch With The Real You

 

When you think about your own health, probably the first things that jump to mind are your diet and how much you exercise, right? Interestingly, even scientists will tell you that spiritual health is also an important component in your overall well-being.

But how do you get in touch with your spiritual self? And what does that even mean? Is being a member of organized religion enough, or is there more to it? My reading and understanding tells me there are many components to your spiritual health. Yes, organized religion (or any belief in a higher being) might be a part of that for you. But I think there are other parts to your spirituality as well, including making an ongoing effort to find your meaning and purpose, defining your values and living your life by them, figuring out what feeds your soul and acting on that, and also engaging in practices that reach into your spiritual realm (not strictly physical or mental) such as prayer, meditation, and yoga – just to name a few.

Today I want to focus on defining your personal values and then behaving in ways that are reflective of those values. The reason it’s important to clearly identify your values is because it helps you further define and understand yourself. In yesterday’s post about self-esteem, I talked about the importance of gaining confidence in yourself, thus being able to better make decisions that are true to the real you. And you want to clearly identify your values for the same reason – the more in touch you are with the true you, the closer you move to peace.

In an effort to continually define the true you, think about your values. Make a list of them (choose around 10), and then try to rank them in terms of your biggest priorities. Below is a list of some values, but it’s not exhaustive, so be sure to include your own in your list:

Abundance
Accomplishment
Accountability
Acknowledgement
Activeness
Adaptability
Adoration
Adventure
Affection
Affluence
Altruism
Appreciation
Approachability
Approval
Art
Assertiveness
Attentiveness
Attractiveness
Being the best
Belonging
Benevolence
Bliss
Boldness
Bravery
Calmness
Camaraderie
Candor
Certainty
Challenge
Charity
Chastity
Cheerfulness
Cleanliness
Closeness
Commitment
Community
Composure
Confidence
Conformity
Conservation
Courage
Courtesy
Credibility
Decisiveness
Dependability
Devoutness
Diligence
Discipline
Education
Ethics
Exploration
Fairness
Family
Financial independence
Fitness
Frankness
Freedom
Friendliness
Friendship
Generosity
Gratitude
Growth
Harmony
Health
Honesty
Humility
Humor
Independence
Integrity
Intimacy
Joy
Kindness
Love
Nature
Open-mindedness
Optimism
Patience
Passion
Peace
Popularity
Power
Responsibility
Selflessness
Sensitivity
Silence
Silliness
Simplicity
Sincerity
Spirituality
Spontaneity
Stability
Thankfulness
Tidiness
Trust
Trustworthiness
Vitality
Volunteering
Wisdom
Zeal

And just like that, you’ve already done most of the hard work! You’ve created your own bible to live by. When you know your most important priorities, you use them to make informed decisions in your life, both big and small. If, for instance, one of your top priorities is nurturing your child, and he is asking you to stop watching TV and instead play trucks with him, your decision is easy. The action itself (turning off the TV and missing the end of your show) might not be easy, but the decision to do so is. And if your high priority value really is time spent with your kids, when you make the decision to do so, ultimately that will be the most gratifying decision because that is what feeds the real you.

The biggest benefit in knowing and understanding your values is that it will lead you to clarity and focus. When you use your new prioritized values list when making decisions, it will inspire you to do the things that really matter to you. In other words, the whole point of discovering your values is to improve the results you get in those areas that are truly most important to you.

Make sense? I hope so. It really all is a process. I would recommend that you try the entire exercise a few times and see how you feel in the end. Make your list of 10 values and prioritize them. Review your list a few times and really think about whether that is what you want or if that is what you think you should want. Revise your list if needed. Once you are sure you have a list of prioritized values that reflect the true you, commit them to memory if you can.

Then start using your values to make informed decisions – how you treat others, how you spend your time, your attitude, how you handle adversity, where you spend your money – everything! And, over a period of time, see how you end up feeling. If your values list is reflective of the real you, and if you’re making decisions and acting in ways that reflect those values, I’d bet your core self will start to move toward inner peace – and a little more spiritual wellness.

I’d love to know how this works for you! Let me know in the comments, or you can also reach me on Twitter at @onemoveforward. I look forward to hearing from you!

Posted on March 14, 2012, in Spiritual Balance, Wellness - Life Balance and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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