How to Discover your Values


Life is crazy.  Life is overwhelming.  Life is exhausting.

Life is…

Life is a lot of things, but you can reign that all in so that your life the you want without all the chaos and overwhelm.

One of the main reasons life is so crazy, and overwhelming is because there is confusion about which decisions to make and directions to go.

This is true about your business as well.

The best thing you can do is discover your core values and begin making decisions based on those.  You need to discover the values for your personal life as well as your business.

How do you discover your core values?

First, you need to reflect on the life you have already created and take responsibility for it now matter how it has turned out.  You have been making the decisions about which direction to go and what to do next.

If your values and vision are not in alignment, you will have resistance from yourself.  You will find that it takes too much willpower, effort and time.  You may even feel like you run out of those things.  However, once you have aligned your values with your vision, the opposite will be true.

You will find that you enjoy work, tasks seem effortless, and you always seem to have the time you need.

Next, you need to figure out what is truly important to you.  The things that you feel life is empty without.  Once you know what those are you can align your vision with your values.

The 3-step process for discovering core values

There are three simple steps to discovering your core values.

  1. Ask yourself “What is most important to me?”  List everything that comes to mind.  Do not filter at this point, list everything that pops into your head. You may find money, family, your religion, being happy, or working from home on your list. Anything that is important to you, put on your list.
  2. Ask yourself, “What else has been important to me?”  Add everything that comes to your mind to the list.  Do not filter at this point, list everything that pops into your head.  While you do this, write down all the emotions you are having too.  Be honest with yourself, no one else is going to see this.  When you think you are done, ask yourself the question again.  Repeat this question 3-5 times until you feel your list is complete.
  3. Now that you have a complete list, it is time to reflect upon it.  Determine which item on that list has had the most value to you.  Then, ask yourself, “Which item do I value most next?”  This will give you the beginning of your hierarchy of values, which is needed to help you decide what to give the most focus to when completing tasks. 

You will not put everything on your list into your hierarchy.  Some items on your list may be able to be grouped together to make one value.  Once you are done reflecting on your list, you should have a new list of 7 core values: one for each life area.

As an example, my top 3 are God, family, and freedom.  These things are the driving forces in my life.  All the decisions I make related to my business and day-to-day living are a reflection of these values.

Everyone is different, and there are no right or wrong answers.

Next Steps

What are you to do with that list?  The first thing you need to do is ask yourself what your vision is and reflect on how each value relates to that vision.

Each of your values should help take you one step closer to seeing that vision become a reality.  Some of your values may cause obstacles with your vision.  In this case, you may need to rethink your vision so that it correlates with your values.

Here is an example from my own life:  I had a vision to travel the world and country with my business and the opportunities that may arise.  I wanted to give workshops around the world. 

When I looked at my values, my number two is family.  I want to spend as much time with them as possible and not be away from them for an extended period of time. 

My vision and core value did not align.  I needed to revamp my vision.  Now, my vision is to give workshops closer to home with a few around the country and the world.

As you work through this process you will discover things about yourself.  You will uncover your core values, strengthen your vision, and be on the path to success.

You will be able to see which areas you need to alter and what you need to change to be clear about the direction you want to go.

I encourage you to schedule a time (and put it on your calendar) to sit down with a piece of paper and pen to complete this activity.

Keep in mind that your values and vision may change over time as your life changes.  This is 100% okay.  Nobody is the same person they were yesterday.  When it is time to make the changes, take the time to go through this activity again and again.  Enjoy the experience and enjoy the journey.

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