How to Identify Your Values

(And why you really should).

By Rob Archer – Director, Bloom Psychology Ltd

Contents:
• Values Definition – slide 3 • Why Bother with Values? – slide 4 • The Epitaph Exercise – slide 5 • Identifying Values from Your Epitaph
– slides 6‐7

• Checklist! – slides 8 • Life Values Exercise (work, growth, leisure, relationships) – slides 9‐13
• Values‐directed actions: work values • Values‐directed actions: relationships Values directed values • Values‐directed actions: leisure values • Values directed actions: growth values Values‐directed actions

Values definition
• • What do you want your life to be about? Values are the things that are most important to you. Acting in accordance with one’s values feels good, and acting g g against them tends to bring guilt. However, values are not emotions. ‘Feeling good’ is not enough; a deep seated belief that ‘ h is the real me’ ‘this h l ’ is closer to it. Values can be thought of as preferences. For F example, I could say that I prefer i l ld h f it when I experience ‘achievement’ and ‘creativity’ in my work. But your ‘core’ values are priority core preferences. For example, if ‘health’ is my priority value, I’ll be likely to try and keep fit and eat well. But if it’s 12th on my list, I’ll be far less likely to do that. Values are therefore defined by Bloom as priorities x preferences.

Why bother with values?
• • If you don’t think about what you want out of life, you run the risk of not getting it. This isn’t about airy fairy dreaming – it’s about conscious isn t it s living. By having a strong sense of self and of purpose, we are better able to recall our most valued directions at critical moments of our lives. In practical terms this means that if we know our values and keep them top of mind, we’ll be more likely to act in accordance with them. If you d ’t k don’t know what’s important you’ll probably b h t’ i t t ’ll b bl become what others want you to be. This may provide rewards but you are paying a price for it...yourself! Therefore if there is no ‘self’ in your decisions there will be self little meaning in them. You run the risk of your life drifting away, in directions you don’t really want to go. Defining your values allows you to stop drifting and start navigating. Surely, life’s too short to live unconsciously?

• • •

Exercise: Write Your Own Epitaph
Values are what you want your life to stand for. Funnily enough, we find that thinking about your death is a good way for enough of bringing your life into perspective. This exercise will help you think about this.

How to do it
1. 2. 2 3. 4. 4 5. 6. 7. 7 Start off with your name and a manner of death you’d be happy with (if you see what we mean..!) Reference a li of your main accomplishments R f list f i li h Describe in detail your greatest achievement of all List the people you will be leaving behind and those behind, who will miss you the most. Mention the people you helped Identify the main questions that life asked you, and how you responded. Write it in a style that reflects the type of person you were – let go! After all, you’re already dead!

Here Lies... Name … Born in...
Start typing here…

Make a note of the values y you identified f f from the epitaph exercise in this space e.g. Freedom, courage, respect. (If you struggle to identify a value ask yourself: what is this in the service of?)

Checklist!
1. Is this value authentic?
A value doesn’t feel like a ‘should’, or a ‘must’ it’s ‘should’ ‘must’, more a feeling of ‘this is the real me’.

2. Is this what you want your time on earth to be about?
Look at the picture of the earth, right. Think of all the possible lives you could live in your short time here. Is this value something you want to stand for?

3. Is this your voice speaking?
The final test is to ask yourself whether each value is y really yours. If not, who else’s could it be? Don’t try and please anyone else with your value.

Relationships Relationship values

Instructions: think of 4 major parts of your life and the values you hold in each. What’s important to you in each of these areas? Write some key values in each section? What’s most important to you in each What s section?

Work Work values

Your values

Growth, G th development, wellbeing Growth values

Leisure L i Leisure values

It’s what you choose with your feet, not your mind, that shows what you value.
Instructions: Consider what you actually do when you are honouring your relationship values. List these actions in the box on the right.

Relationships Relationship values:
(list your relationship values here)

Value directed Value‐directed actions for

Relationships

What do you do when you honour this value?
(List the actions you take)

It’s what you choose with your feet, not your mind, that shows what you value.
Instructions: Consider what you actually do when you are honouring your relationship values. List these actions in the box on the right.

Work Work values:
(list your relationship values here)

Value directed Value‐directed actions for

Work

What do you do when you honour this value?
(List the actions you take)

It’s what you choose with your feet, not your mind, that shows what you value.
Instructions: Consider what you actually do when you are honouring your relationship values. List these actions in the box on the right.

Leisure Leisure values:
(list your relationship values here)

Value directed Value‐directed actions for

Leisure

What do you do when you honour this value?
(List the actions you take)

It’s what you choose with your feet, not your mind, that shows what you value.
Instructions: Consider what you actually do when you are honouring your relationship values. List these actions in the box on the right.

Growth Growth values:
(list your relationship values here)

Value directed Value‐directed actions for

Growth

What do you do when you honour this value?
(List the actions you take)

Bloom Psychology
is an independent occupational psychology consultancy based in London. We offer coaching, consultancy, training, training measurement and assessment to individuals and businesses looking to make a

change for the better.

www.bloompsychology.com

www.linkedin.com/robarcher

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