So what’s the definition of Personal Values?
Well, there seems to be a lot of approaches in defining Personal Values, but my position is:
- Personal Values are the core principles that give meaning to your life
- Personal Values are the standards that help determine your purpose and direction
- Personal Values are the guideposts that assist you in evaluating choices in your life
Personal Values (or just “values”) can be fairly stable, yet they don’t necessarily have strict limits or defined boundaries.
Also, as you mature in life, your values may change and evolve as well.
For example, when you’re younger and first starting out in the working world, values such as success, drive and abundance – many times in the form of money and status – might be a top priority for you. You might be focused on making lots of money, buying lots of things, and climbing the status ladder to fame and fortune.
But perhaps in the years to come, you decide to settle down, get married and have a family.
When this happens, many times your values evolve as well.
You may start to redefine “success” as having a healthy family and a positive work-life balance. You may redefine “drive” as being extremely focused and dedicated to helping others succeed in building their businesses. And you may redefine “abundance” as having a strong sense of peace and relaxation in all areas of your life.
Values are the emotional currency of your life and they’re always evolving to reflect what’s important to you at any given moment.
This is why understanding your values and keeping in touch with them on an ongoing basis is an important lifelong exercise.
Personal Values Help Define You
One of the quickest ways to determine whether or not one (or several) of your Personal Values have been violated is to take notice what specific actions or circumstances make you feel angry or unhappy.
Think back – when was there a time when something just felt “wrong” to you and it greatly upset you?
Did someone cross an important line for you that did not mesh with your core Personal Values? Most likely, they did – and that’s exactly why you felt angry or upset.
In fact, this same approach applies to professional environments as well.
Many times, the reason people feel unhappy or unfulfilled at work is because their values no longer align with their work – and this can be the same when you run your own business as well.
Think about it, if your values as an entrepreneur include “freedom” and “adventure”, do you think you’ll be happy stuck in a windowless office all day doing things like cold-calling prospects, filling out expense reports and managing the accounting books?
Of course not. Your values are not aligned with that type of work.
Or how would you feel if “stability” and “family” were two of your main values, but you spent 3 weeks away from your family each month traveling as a commission-based salesperson.
That type of day-to-day work wouldn’t align with your Personal Values, would it? Definitely not.
So when you’re crafting your Personal Brand, you must know and understand your Personal Values, because they are the very heart and core of who you are.
Determine Your Personal Values
Now that you have an understanding of why Personal Values are so important in both your personal and professional life, it’s time to determine the Personal Values that are important to you.
Take a look at the List of Personal Values below (or click here to download the PDF version) to get a general feeling and understanding of the words you’re going to be reviewing.
Take your time and carefully think about each word, and think about if it holds a deeper meaning and/or impact for you. If so, it may possibly be a value that’s important to you and your life.
Now that you’ve had a chance to review the list, start by selecting the top (10) Personal Values that are most important to you. Don’t spend too much time overanalyzing them, just pick the top (10) that seem to strike a chord with you.
Once you have your top (10), review that list and reduce it to only the top (5) Personal Values that are most important to you.
How do those (5) words feel to you?
Do they feel like they hit home for you and create a bigger, stronger feeling and reaction for you?
Now, take those (5) values and reduce it to only the top (3) Personal Values that are most important to you.
I bet that’s starting to feel like you, and your personal core – am I right?
Once you have your top (3) Personal Values, think about what they mean to you, and how they play a part in your life.
Is it something that’s in your life every day? Or is it something that’s an important value to you, but you find that it’s missing from your life?
Whatever your answer, analyze these (3) Personal Values for deeper meaning, and determine how you can make sure they play a positive part in your life as much as possible.
List of Personal Values (PDF version)
Your Definition of Personal Values
So, how did you do?
As we’ve seen, the definition of Personal Values can be a bit different for everyone, but the most important thing to remember is to identify the Personal Values that are most important to you, and live your life according to those values.
This will bring great happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment in both your personal and professional life.
So leave me a comment below and let me know how you enjoyed this exercise in determining your Personal Values, and share your top (3) Personal Values with me too!
Want to discuss how your Personal Values can help shape your Personal and Professional Brand? Click the button below to request a FREE consultation.
I look forward to connecting with you!