When we consider big topics like who we are and what we want to accomplish in life, we frequently consider personality traits and ambitions. We try to figure out whether we're introverted or extroverted if we're amiable, and how many of our New Year's resolutions we have completed.
We rarely consider our moral standards and how they shape our personalities and lives. But what if I told you that our personal values existed long before goal-setting. Myers-Briggs personality testing and self-awareness were popular methods for figuring out what makes us tick.
So, let us dig further and better understand personal values.
What are personal values?
Personal values are an element of the moral code that governs our behaviors and determines our identity. They are the things that we value and affect our well-being and happiness.
Thinking in terms of your personality and habits is the simplest approach to expressing what personal values are. Your decision-making, objectives, and connections with loved ones are all influenced by your values. Your values eventually integrate into your personality and become a part of you.
Personal values can be learned from others or developed on your own through personal development. Children often adopt most of their values from their family members, but as they grow older, they begin to form their value systems.
Over time, people's personal values tend to change. What you valued most in high school is likely different from what you value when you retire. And, because your values evolve due to your experiences, each person's personal values are unique to their journey.
Examples of personal values
Here's a good place to start when trying to figure out what your personal values are. You may notice something crucial to you isn't on this list, which is great. Use this list to figure out what your top priorities are.\
This is not an exhaustive list. The goal is to create your own list based on your own experiences and personality rather than selecting items from a list. So, take these as examples of personal values, but do not let them limit you. Allow your imagination to run wild! I am sure you can come up with a few more.
When you are done thinking, you might have a half-dozen values or a long list of dozens. If you're in the second camp, try condensing the list to a manageable number—perhaps the five values most important to you. If you're having trouble, try giving each one a score and then sorting the list.
How to find your personal values
Here is a guide to help you identify personal values that resonate with you:
i. Research the different types of personal values: Review lists of personal values available online and shortlist the ones that align with your personality. During this stage, concentrate on learning as many personal values as possible.
ii. Consider where you are and who you know: Your previous life experiences have influenced your personal values in some way. Some of your life decisions were most likely influenced by your values. Consider the instances when you triumphed against adversity, excelled, and felt the most fulfilled. Look for the values that led you to where you are now.
Looking at other people's lives can help you realize what is important to you, just like looking at your own life. Who do you aspire to be like? What are the values that they uphold that are important to you?
iii. Identify your goals: Consider your professional and personal goals and use this to guide you in selecting values that will help you achieve your aspirations.
iv. Select the values you resonate with: It is easy to become overwhelmed by a long list of values. There is also a tendency to want to prioritize everything. Choosing ten to fifteen of the most significant values will help you to be focused.
v. Bucket values complement each other: You may see patterns after choosing your top personal values. Maybe you value art, creativity, and craftsmanship. All of these can be combined as a single high-priority value. By grouping your values, you'll be able to determine which ones are essential to you.
vi. Order them by priority: It is important to rank your values in order of priority. It isn't easy to focus on all values at the same time. Ranking them will help you to focus on values with the highest priority.
Benefits of knowing your personal values
Being aware of your personal values helps you to be more intentional. Listed below is a list of some of the benefits of living according to your values.
- More reliability
Taking action based on your values allows you to live more honestly. Workmates will most likely count on you if you follow through with commitments that align with your personal values.
- Increased self-confidence
Making decisions that are in line with your principles can boost your confidence. You may be confident that you're on the appropriate track for where you are now and where you want to go.
You will not be easily affected by other people's opinions when you know what you value as an individual. This will naturally boost your self-confidence.
- Better decision-making abilities
Decision-making is easier when you have enough data. Being aware of your personal values when you want to make a decision can be of great use. You can use your values as a basis for the decisions you want to make, which will make you a fast decision-maker.
Emotions often get in the way of making good decisions, but if you ask yourself, "What would someone who values X do in this situation?" you might be able to make a more rational, less emotionally-affected decision.
- Better reaction to difficult situations
Values are principles that guide one's actions. They can assist you in behaving in a way that is consistent with who you wish to be at your core. People frequently respond fast in tough situations and do not always take the time to think about what they are doing before they do it. You can also use your values to reflect on situations, such as deciding whether or not you need to apologize.
- Guide you in choosing the right career
We all know that every job choice has its advantages and disadvantages. You may be sure you have chosen the appropriate career path if you know what matters most to you. A work-at-home job may not be suitable for you if you value connection, interaction, and friendship, for example. On the other hand, a traveling sales job can be ideal for you if you value travel, money, and conversation. Knowing your values can sometimes even help you decide if a promotion is a right option for you. Who knew declining a promotion might be beneficial?
Personal values in the professional world
At this stage, you now know what personal values are, their importance and how to identify your own. In the professional world, we have a 'Personal Values Statement'.
A personal purpose statement is a summary that describes what you aim to achieve in life. It guides you toward achieving your goals because it reflects who you are, your ambitions, and your underlying values. A personal value statement can range in length from one sentence to a number of sentences.
Examples of a Personal Values Statement
Some of these examples can be universal. Feel free to change a word or two to meet your needs. "To provide legal services...," for example, might be changed to, "to provide social services, educational services, or healthcare services." Below is a list of personal values statement examples:
1. To encourage and motivate others to live a life of mental and physical well-being, peace, and contentment.
2. I am committed to advocating for children and providing them with the resources they require for a healthy and prosperous present and future.
3. To improve the world's quality of life by bringing more convenient and functional technologies.
4. To offer joy to the world through inspiring music and poetry.
5. I want to teach others the self-love and confidence that allows them to achieve their goals and realize their ambitions.
6. To play a key role in fostering a company culture that values all employees and encourages them to see their time with the company as an investment in themselves, their families, and their future.
7. To use my culinary skills to provide healthful and flavourful food options for families and individuals.
8. Design communication devices that allow people to spend quality time with their loved ones. I would like to create devices that promote a better work-life balance.
9. To gain the knowledge needed to teach others how to become financially self-sufficient and empower them with that knowledge.
10. Educate children on nutrition, the short and long-term benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, and how to begin and sustain one.
Final thoughts on Personal Values
This article was written to motivate you to pursue your goals in life. These suggestions are intended to give you an idea of how to discover your personal values and draft your personal values statement.
Do not be worried if you fail to find values that align with who you are since the list of values in this article is not exhaustive. It is also fine if you want to express your personal values in more than one sentence. You have a unique reason for existing, and you can have more than one! You are defining yourself and your journey on this planet.
Nicole Chimwamafuku is Finance, Strategy and Performance Management Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
Phone: +263 242 481946-48/481950
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Email: [email protected]
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