Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Why do we want the things we want? In this short article is an easy technique to identify your values, and ways to get these met.
We choose our goals because ultimately, they bring a certain feeling into our experience. For example if you want more abundance in your life in the form of material wealth, the feeling or emotion you are seeking might be security, or a sense of importance, or a reason to be loved (as crazy as that sounds!) So, in choosing your goals, start to become curious what desired state or emotion is driving that goal. These are what we call our values, the feelings and states of being we value most in life. A value is something that means something different to each person and is something that cannot be put into a box (even a large one!), for example if you asked yourself, “what do I really want?”, you might think “oh I’d like a car”. You can, however, put a car into a (large) box, so it can’t be a true value, in the exercise that follows you will get to find out the value that car might bring you.
Your self-questioning process might look something like this:
Step 1) Make a few columns on a piece of paper.
Step 2) In the left-hand column write down all the things that are really important to you. It might be things like family, money, a home, a car, a partner, meaningful work, friends and so on.
Step 3) For each item in column 1, ask yourself, “what will that give me?” until you have a true value (something that can’t be moved around physically). In case of the car example, what would that car bring you? Out your next answer, which might, be “the ability to get around easily”, in the next column and then ask again “what would that give me”, until you get to a single value, which in this case, might be freedom.
Step 4) Now that you have a list of values, start with the value at the top of your list and compare it with each of the other values. Whichever value is more important to you gets a star next to it. Sort them with the value with the most stars at the top.
It might look something like this (these are just a few examples, there are many values and yours might be something completely different):
Intimacy / connection *******
Excitement / adventure ****
Step 5) When we don’t get our top values met in a healthy way, we often find we might develop some unhelpful behaviours and habits which are, in effect, trying to meet those values. To get your top values met in a healthy way on a day to day basis will bring you a rich, full life and there are many ways you can do this. One way is to ask yourself the right kind of questions. These questions start with “WHAT”, “HOW”, “WHO” and ‘WHEN”. “Why” questions just keep you stuck! Here are some examples based on the above values hierarchy with Love being number 1 and Intimacy/Connection being number 2:
1. What has to happen on a day to day basis for me to experience love? Or, what am I going to do today to bring me into a space of love?
2. When I am experiencing love, how will I also create a connection with other people.
3. Who can I help today that will bring me a sense of contribution (to greater society/cause)
4. What conditions would make it impossible for me to experience love?
And so on…….
If you found this article interesting and feel you might need some help on establishing your values and goals, and in finding out what states you attempt to avoid and how these might clash with your values, get in touch for a coaching package uniquely designed for you and your desires.