What Happens When We Don’t Live In Alignment With Our Values?
You may have heard about ‘Values’ and you may even have used the phrase, but do you really understand just how important our values are and the effects they can have on our lives: either through us working in alignment with them daily, or through us not experiencing them in our day to day lives?
Ten Signs We Might Not Be living In Alignment With Our Values:
When we are
- struggling with life
- feeling as though everything is an uphill struggle
- not happy at work
- experiencing conflict in relationships
- regularly getting angry or frustrated
- feeling the need to take action about something or against someone
- generally discontented and feeling as though something is missing or wrong
- lacking motivation
there’s a very real possibility that we aren’t living in alignment with our values
What Are Values?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines values as:
The principles that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations.
The Collins English Dictionary:
The moral principles and beliefs or accepted standards of a person or social group
- are what are important to us
- influence our actions, behaviours and motivations
- are one of many filters that influence how we perceive the actions and behaviours of others
- are our moral guidance
- effect how we feel about situations, people, and our own behaviours
- are our moral compass
They are who we are at our core
They’re not who we would like to be, or who we think we should be, but who we are in our lives, right now.
When we take risks, help others, fight for injustice, prioritise how we spend our time or money, get frustrated or angry….
…when we do anything, it is underpinned by our values.
But practically, in our daily lives, what are they to us?
Values are usually single words or very short phrases. They are not a thing you can put in a wheelbarrow! They are intangible but are absolutely effect and have very real consequences and results in the physical world. Examples include:
- Fairness / Equality
Our values move us toward or away from situations, people, experiences, options and opportunities, behaviours and actions.
When someone tramples on or disrespects one of our values it can upset or anger us.
Essentially, they are a deep unconscious belief system about what’s important to us that drive us in everything that we do.
We each have a hierarchy of values, arranged with our most important one being at the top, trumping all others. They will have been influenced by our upbringing, lifestyle, model of the world, life experiences, and the people we choose to surround ourselves with
What Happens When We Live In Alignment With Our Values?
When we live in alignment with our core values we feel content, fulfilled and aligned with the universe. We can make decisions more easily. We know who we are and we live congruently. We are essentially happier, and life feels easier.
Sometimes, we will be in alignment with our values by accident, or default. But when we consciously connect with our values and deliberately work in alignment with them, we can create a powerful way of being and bring our very own mixture of magic to the world.
Because we are being our truest self.
This sounds good doesn’t it?
How Do We Ensure We Are Living In Alignment With Our Values?
Firstly, we need to understand what our core values are.
We each have a hierarchy of values, arranged with our most important one being at the top, trumping all others.
They will have been influenced by our upbringing, lifestyle, model of the world, life experiences, and the people we choose to surround ourselves with.
We could simply create a list, or do an online values profile, but it’s also important that we dig down a bit deeper.
Our current values (yes, they can change) are observable, if we take the time to look; we demonstrate them by what we are willing to spend our time, energy and money on. We observe them by what is regularly showing up in our life.
If our core values aren’t being expressed in our lives everyday, we may need to do some personal work. And we may be suffering from some of the consequences we discussed earlier.
Very often, once we become aware of where we are spending our time energy and money, and what is showing up in our life, we are able to re-focus on our preferred values and, with work, adjust our deeply held beliefs to accommodate and embrace new values that will serve us more powerfully.
- Make a list of what’s important to you in life. (You can also explore values in the context of: Work/business, Relationships, Finances/money, and Family)
- Explore which are most important to you right now. Make a list of your top 6-8.
- Explore whether / how these are actually showing up for you right now. (It may be appropriate to also think about what the words you’ve used actually mean to you: Finding the right words matter. Each of us has our own unique idea of what our values are and the same ‘value’ word can mean different things to different people.)
- Explore how you could work to re-prioritise our values and how we could live them more. Sometimes this might be eliminating, changing, or re-defining something in your life)
- Next steps: Take action to start doing this 1 step at a time.
If you need some help with exploring you values and how they are (or aren’t) showing up in your life, do get in touch to discuss a coaching session. Especially if you’re considering a big change in your life. Big changes aren’t always necessary if we can re-align with our values.
Transformational Women's Coach, Trainer, Speaker & Author
Combining a spiritual outlook, a pragmatic approach, and a sense of humour I want to help you remember who YOU are and reveal YOUR path so you can step on to it empowered, energised, inspired and guided.
What are your thoughts or questions? Let me know below