Top 5 Challenges in Getting to Know Your Values
(podcast episode on this topic)
1. Emotional Connection: It can be very difficult to connect to your emotions and we know that emotions are a pathway to values.
Tangible tip: Develop your emotional vocabulary, and practice using emotion words.
Mindset: Seeing emotions as signals instead of annoyances/barriers/distractions.
2. Perfectionism: Trying to be perfect leads to stagnation in values exploration, and unhealthy self talk in the process.
Tangible tip: Take on something you know you’ll be bad at (perfectionism will be impossible).
Mindset: Instead of saying ‘I made a mistake’, say ‘I learned something’. Practice makes better – not perfect.
3. Self-trust: When you know the answer in your heart but you turn to others or borrow other people’s values instead of trusting that you know best.
Tangible tip: When you have a moment of uncertainty, ask yourself, “If I knew the answer, what would it probably be?”
Mindset: Come up with a self-trust mantra for yourself. Try this one out: “I decide”.
4. Community: You make progress to get to know your values, and then your environment drags you back into old patterns. E.g. I don’t like going to clubs, but many of my friends do so I keep going even though I don’t enjoy it.
Tangible tip: Share your values with your community, and that you’re going to be making attempts to live more in alignment with them.
Mindset: Notice how you feel when you go against the crowd. See if you can give yourself permission to withstand that discomfort, and see what comes into your life once you’ve made a bit of room. Often the new thing won’t come until we’ve kicked out the old thing.
5. Instant Gratification: You live in a culture of constant stimulation and distraction, you are encouraged to grind, hustle, stay busy and fall asleep to yourself. Values work is slow work, so distractions can be intoxicating and knock us off track.
Tangible tip: If you’re looking to cut out a habit that you’ve decided isn’t in line with your values like scrolling on social media as soon as you wake up, make sure you replace it with something else. Brainstorm what practices you can do first thing in the morning that reflects your top values.
Mindset: Get knocked off track! It’s fine. You’ll come back. Go easy on yourself. If you’re working on the previous 4 tips you’ll slowly chip away at this one. Self compassion is KEY to getting to know your values.
BONUS CHALLENGE to Knowing Your Values:
Values are unconscious motivators that want to stay unconscious. They can be slippery little suckers that are hard to notice and track.
Tangible tip:Be an observer of your thoughts, feelings and actions and give names to the values that are being satisfied and frustrated as you go about your day.
Mindset: Identify a value that is connected to WHY you want to know your values. Perhaps Love is the value that motivates you to want to know yourself better. Prioritize that value and the self-observation practices that fulfill your value of self-love.
Ali and Coreen dive further into this topic, along with Gavin, a member of the VBL family in the Values Based Living Podcast. Join us there for more on this topic and other great conversations about values!