Self Awareness – Get to Know Your Values
Values are an incredibly important part of our human existence. Self Awareness is all about getting to know your deeper self which involves knowing your values, principles, triggers, passions, desires, needs, flaws and purpose. People tend to learn and become aware of themselves as they grow up, do things, meet people, build relationships, break relationships, build more, create businesses, deal with bosses or fight with strangers on the road.
You are going to get to know yourself more and more every passing day if you pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Being Self Aware does two things.
1. It makes you realize your thoughts, behaviors, actions, patterns, and personality at large.
2. It helps you become more aware of your emotional triggers which leads you to take hasty decisions and thus, helps you protect yourself from unwanted negative feelings.
Self Awareness will lead you to ‘self-knowledge’ which gives you the power to get to look into your heart and make you see what you truly want to achieve in your life. It allows you to look at your flaws, insecurities and hidden fears which actually is the first step to understand the root cause of any problem. Currently, if you are experiencing any turbulent situation where you feel disconnected with yourself or feel stuck in a negative mindset or are unable to solve a relationship problem, do know that being self-aware is the first thing you need to focus on.
Now, let’s talk about the components of a human life which are important to understand and become Self Aware.
Today, we will cover the values in this particular blog.
Your values define your core thinking process and the meaning you give to the things in your life. Values can also be linked to the principles one follows in his life. Our core values express our true nature and align us towards things and activities in life. Values play an extremely important role when we are trying to figure out the purpose of our life.
Some of the values that successful and happier people exhibit are honesty, integrity, kindness, generosity, and tolerance. Values may vary in degree in each person and each value can come out explicitly in one situation whereas other remains inactive. We increase the integration of each value in our life by being more aware of it and practicing it consciously. For eg., if you are looking to become more compassionate, you might want to take steps to build that by visiting old home care center once a week or giving out meals to homeless people or volunteering for organizations working for human welfare. Once you start to act towards a certain value, it gets a deeper place in your heart and life.
Here is what you need to know about the values
1. Values are interlinked
If you are an ‘honest’ person, then you will also have ‘trust’ as your important value which when get compromised would certainly make you feel off and disengaged with the person or the situation where it has occurred. Similarly, if you are a creative person and your prime value is creativity then you will automatically build up other supporting values like open-mindedness or patience. So values are interlinked with other supporting values and it builds up the person’s core personality, character and behavior patterns.
2. Compromising your values causes mental and emotional conflict
It’s the one hell of a truth. Once, when I was 20 years old back in India, I happen to get some extra money in a transaction at a medical store. I kept the extra money with me and felt excited to spend that on food or fun activities in the university. But, after an hour or so, I started to feel very restless and guilty. Why was that so? Why the thrill of spending money on junk food and clothes was transformed into fear and disgust? Simply because our subconscious mind has the information stored about our core feelings, principles we believe in and our thinking process and It will signal the brain to produce weird physical sensations if we are doing something which is in conflict with the truth.
3. Values are a deal maker or breaker – both in personal and professional Life
Value is a person’s principles or standards of behavior and understanding of one’s judgment of what is important in life. When our values are matched with another person, it is very easy to develop the relationship especially in partnerships and marriage which are relatively long-term commitments. Many people get into relationships and don’t connect at a deeper level and wonder why. Many partnerships break down in the very first year of starting out leaving people more frustrated and challenged. The reason for this is because people are not used to looking at other person’s deeper values before committing themselves to bigger things.
Since values are the triggers of a person’s behavior, it’s imperative for us to put emphasis on it and get to understand the person’s core alignments before jumping into a marriage, intimate relationships or business associations. In the past, I myself had been stuck in business partnerships where I felt my one of the core values i.e. freedom, was being compromised. I need the freedom to operate but my partner was always trying to dictate his style of working over me which became suffocating for me and I ended the business deal between us. In your life, if there is any such situation where you feel disconnected from people around, values may be one of the major reasons. Think about it. It might help you reassess your decisions and help you align with your own goals and visions.
So, you can use the values to make important decisions in your life such as :
1. Do I want to be in this relationship? Am I happy about it?
2. Is this job resonating with my top 5 values?
3. Should I start my new business and leave my full-time job?
4. Am I happy and satisfied or I need to figure out something else to get there?
Another thing as we learned about values is that they keep on changing as we grow in our life and shift from my perspective to another. It is suggested to revisit your values a few times in a couple of years to really stay aligned with your own self. The more you operate close to your values, the better you perform and the happier you feel.
How to identify the core values?
Identifying and understanding your values is a challenging exercise. By becoming more aware of these important factors in your life, you can use them as a guide to make the best choice in any given situation. Your personal values are a central part of who you are and who you want to become.
- Identify the times when you felt joyful and excited
Think about that moment in your head and write down the reasons you felt that way. Was that any activity that made you so full of life and excited? Who were the people you were interacting with if you were? What type of activity, moment or situation was that about? Would like to repeat that again?
- Identify the situation when you felt connected and fully engaged
Go to the flashback and repeat that moment in your head. What was so special about that moment? What were your doing? What made you so engaged and absorbed in that activity? What type of connections you created and with whom? How would you describe your feelings? Write this all down on a piece of paper.
- Identify the time when you felt aligned with life and fully satisfied
Again, repeat the specific moment and think about it deeply. Feel it in your bones. What was so special about that, which made you feel so contented? What other emotions you were experiencing at that time? Who was around you and what type of conversations were you engaged in? What type of activity led you to this experiencing of contentment?
Now, when you have written all this information, you go through your answers one by one and connect them with the values they represent. For example, if playing with your kids made you excited and joyful, then, ‘family’ is in your top five value list.
Another example is, if you felt fully aligned and satisfied while mentoring your subordinates or your clients on a topic of interest, then you certainly have ‘contribution’ as your top value. By doing this exercise, you will build a list of values that you hold currently. You can go further and find your top five core values by comparing each of them based on how often you want to feel in a certain way or how often do you use a certain value more than the other in your experience.
Key Point – When you consider your values in decision making, you can be sure of your natural alignments and sense of integrity and make decisions with more confidence and clarity. You’ll also know that what you’re doing is best for your current and future happiness and satisfaction. Making value-based choices may be getting a lot of resistance in the beginning, however, making a choice that you know is appropriate is a lot less difficult in the long run.
Now, it’s your turn. Comment below and let me know about your top 5 values. Do you recognize them? Which method would you use to identify your top values?