Why Knowing Your Values Can Change Your Life?

What Are Your ValuesMany people are born, live and die without finding themselves, because we live busy lives stuck between trying to make living, making mistakes, worries and regrets.  I mean, really, unless we were born and raised under perfect or ideal circumstances, this is the story of most of us, isn’t it?

That’s why some of us, at one point, do finally wake up, and decide to improve our lives. 

We get involved with personal development, we learn about ways to better ourselves and better our personal and professional lives, and when we’re ready, we even seek life coaching.

In today’s post I wanted to discuss something that will help you organize your life tremendously. As a matter of fact, it will help you clean up the mess and help you see much more clearly where you’re going.

What I’m talking about, here, are what we call values.

Over a week ago, I’ve written an article about values which I posted on LinkedIn as a marketing tool for my Coaching Business.  To my surprise, just a little over a week I’ve got 480 followers on this article, so I decided to write another article about values for my own blog. 

Note: If you want to read the other article you’ll be able to learn even more about values. Once you do, please vote up it up for me if you would.

Why is it Important to Know your Values?

To tell you the truth, it wasn’t until I got involved with personal development that I’ve learned about values. Not only I didn’t know what my values were, but I had no idea that it was important for me to find out either. 

Why is it important that we know our values?  Because our values mean what’s most important in life for us.  Basically, whether you know or not what your values are; they are the very things that make you act and react in life.

The rules about values are as followed: When your life style matches your values, you’re happy. When your life style goes against your values you’re not happy.  When your 3 to 5 most important values conflict with one another you’re not happy either.

Knowing your values will help you to know and pursue what you love to do, and be firm about it.  It will help you not to let anything get in the way. It will help you with indecision and procrastination. Knowing and sticking to your values will help you endure and persevere more than anything else could.

In this article I am going to explain what values are, what does it mean when values conflict with each other, and how to find your own values.  Now, keep in mind that values are not set in stones, your values may change over the course of your life, especially depending on how old you are.  For example, 20 year old may not have the same values 20 years later.

What are Values?

If you are brand new to the concept of values, the best way you’ll understand what values are is by me giving you a short list. You can find a shorter list slightly different on my linkedIn article, as well if you want to read it once you’re done here.

  • Achievement
  • Adventure
  • Ambition
  • Being the Best
  • Capability
  • Commitment
  • Control
  • Determination
  • Discipline
  • Efficiency
  • Expertise
  • Family
  • Freedom
  • Generosity
  • Happiness
  • Health
  • Leadership
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Positivity
  • Professionalism
  • perseverance
  • Reliability
  • Self-Control
  • Success
  • Tolerance
  • Trustworthiness

How to Find your Main Values

Now, look at that list and see if some of those qualities are not only important to you, but maybe even define you. Pick the 10 values that you feel are the most related to your personality and who you really are. If you can’t find 10 in this list, take a moment and think of the top qualities that fit you best.

Either from the list above, or a totally different list of yours, it’s every important that you define your 10 most important values in life, because they are the influence behind everything you do.

However, you need to know that if your 3 to 5 most important values happen to conflict with one another, you may be facing some challenges in life that you might not been able to put your finger on, but once you understand what you values do to you, you’ll finally see the light.

Once you have your list of 10, narrow it down to the 5 most important values that you live by, put them from the very most important the least important of the five.

While you do this, it’s very important that you do not judge yourself. Just be true to yourself and list your 5 most vital values.

What Happens when Values Conflict?

Once you have your 5 most true to yourself values, look for any conflict that they may have with the another.

Let’s say that your 5 main values are freedom, success, security, adventure and family. You might have a conflict there.  While freedom, success and adventure might go well together, security and family might tie you down a little. 

On one hand you want to be adventurous which will expose you to challenges and taking risks, while on the other hand you want security and family that will make you refrain from taking such risks and challenges.

 This is just an example, but I’m sure you see what I mean!

These are a values conflict, which means that you probably won’t be able to have them all at once. You are going to have to figure out what’s most important to you, by asking yourself what truly makes you the happiest, more whole and satisfied.

Another conflicting value situation would be if your main values are freedom and success, for example, and you’re stuck in an underpaid job.

If you find yourself in such situation, which I know well about myself, you will find it very hard to keep on going this way and be happy at the same time.  Your body will be in one place while your heart and soul will go the opposite way.  You will have a very hard time to be fully happy, and a lot of times you will just feel empty and/or frustrated.

If you find yourself in such situation, that’s when you know that you need help to get out of this hole, unless you get out of it on your own.

But believe it or not, there are situations even worse than that…

To give you one of my own example, here, while my own most important value is freedom, but because I was also looking for guidance, security and love, in the early 1990’s I decided to join a religion which was a great part of my life for 10 years.  Their, I did find some guidance, security and somewhat love. The problem with that is that religion and freedom tend to go the opposite way, and unless you practice a religion only when you feel like it or half way, you quickly realize that it takes your freedom away.

And that’s not talking bad about religions here, that’s talking about the true nature of religions by definition.

So what this bad mixed value combination created for me was depression, because I fell stuck while guilty of wanting more at the same time.  The guilt I was bringing upon myself was tremendous.  I felt bad for thinking different, bad for not being satisfied, and bad even for being unhappy.

I didn’t even see that depression crawling on me, because it was subtle, but I ended up crying a lot, watching TV a lot (not living), sad a lot, and overall miserable all the time.  I was even putting a good front while all of that was happening.

However, one day, it all collapsed.  I was getting older but certainly not better, and I decided that it was time for me to live up to my own values more.  That decision cost me more than most people would want to pay for, but one thing did happen almost instantly.  The depression went away.

While some so called religious friends were encouraging me to take depression drugs, all I needed is to take my invisible chains off of me.

Values Conflict is Serious Business

Values conflict is a very sneaky thing that can affect your every emotion and feeling without you even knowing why. Thus, the importance of knowing your values, and knowing if they are conflicting with one another, o with your life situation.

Values conflict can be responsible for negative feelings such as anger, sadness, unhappiness, confusion, frustration, and worst of all, depression.

So take a moment, looking inside and find out what your true most important values are. Once you do, look for any eventual conflict.  If you find some, evaluate what’s most important to you, and go from there.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please, leave your feedback in the comments down below.

                                    Sylviane Nuccio, CPC Life Coach from Sylviane Nuccio

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23 Comments

  • Ali Davies says:

    So vitally important but often overlooked. Like you, I help my clients get clear on their core values and stress how this is the foundations to a fulfilling life, work, relationships etc. Love seeing the difference just this piece alone makes in people’s lives once they get it.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Thanks for dropping by, Ali,

      I’ve been thinking about you lately and been reminded by my own thoughts to drop by your place.

      Core values are vital for success, indeed, and they really guide us to understand where we’re going. Many people are not even aware of their values at all yet, so we’ve got some work to do 🙂
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  • donna merrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I can see what you mean here. I looked at the list carefully, picked out 10…they did conflict. Then I narrowed it down to five…more conflicting. I love this stuff so I got it down to the one most important thing and it is Happiness!
    I think that encompasses just about everything. I like to be happy with my husband, family, and business.
    I think with a happy heart and mindset I can eliminate family which I chose first. Then I thought about all the drama that comes with it. Does it make me happy? Hmm…Not really when there is some work to do like putting up boundaries, etc.
    So, Happiness is my core value.
    Thanks for this post. It helped me define my one best value of who I am and what I want to be.

    -Donna
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Donna,

      Knowing you some, I think that happiness defines you pretty well. You laugh all the time 🙂 so to me you seem to have a “happy nature” so I’m not surprised that happiness is your core value. Not too many values will conflict with that one, for sure.

      My 3 most important values are freedom, happiness and success. Those are my 3 favorite.
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  • Krithika Rangarajan says:

    Hey Sylviane

    I was led to your article by Donna Merrill on Facebook! 😀 This was a wonderful read. I thought I knew my values, but ‘value conflict’ is an entirely new concept.

    *sigh* Back to the drawing board for me 😀

    Thank you so much
    Kitto

  • AdrienneTwitter: adriennesmith40 says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    You won’t be surprised at all by what mine are. Care to guess? Yep, happiness and positivity. They do NOT conflict and this really is who I am to my core. We all have our moments as you very well know but that really is who I am deep down in side as well and there isn’t anyone who is going to change my way of thinking where that is concerned.

    I did like this post though and I never really thought about it like that, having conflicting values. I’m sure at some point along the way I definitely did now that I look back on my life.

    I’m just happy to be where I am today.

    Great share my friend, thanks again. Hope you’re having a great week and Sophie is still doing well. You’re in my prayers.

    ~Adrienne
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      Definitely not surprised one bit by your two most important core values, because I feel that by now I know you well enough for that.

      Conflicting values are more common than people think. Often when people are stuck in life it’s due to conflicting values.

      Thank you for asking about Sophie. Well, the biopsy results are not what I wanted to hear to say the least. But we keep doing the healing sessions, and I send her all the love that I have every day. We are living one day at the time gathering the most positive energy I can. Purposely I’ve not spread anything about that to anyone, because that’s how I can manage the whole thing better.

      Thank you for your prayers 🙂 Very much needed.
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  • Sherman SmithTwitter: shermanksmith75 says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    Great topic on value’s here. You know lately I’ve been evaluating my values, trying to figure out what’s important to me and what’s not. And yes some of the values I already had would give me those negative feelings like depression, so I focused more of what I want and what I like. I use to listen to a lot of Abraham Hicks and they were my main influences in regards to this. I remember they pointed out that everyone is selfish and from this, to a point, being selfish isn’t bad at all as long as you focus on being aligned with who you really are. This is where our values step into place. Once we know this and practice this, then we become a lot more happier! Thanks for sharing!
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sherman,

      I’m so glad you brought out this very interesting point. Everyone is selfish. What a lot of people don’t understand is that even people who want to help others, even people who want to have and raise children, even people who want to save the planet …etc… are all doing it to serve some “self” desires. This is also called “being selfish” when people are talking about something negative. But it’s because this word has been twisted in many ways.

      Our very core nature is to be happy “when we do what we love.” We can’t be happy doing what other people love or need. If you want to save the world and help the poor, for example, it’s because it brings something to YOU in the process. Let’s say, it a healthy selfish desire, but it’s still is one – it makes you FEEL GOOD!

      That’s exactly what Ester Hicks and Tony Robbins explain. Thanks for binging this up and for coming.
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  • Nanda RahmaniusTwitter: NandaRahmanius says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I have decided my own 5 values: Family, Success, Freedom, Health and Happiness.
    All started from the Family, and for my family, I will achieve Success, because I think to be able to get Freedom is to Success as soon as possible. However, all the Success and Freedom is nothing if I do not have Health, right?
    All of that will end on Happiness!

    It’s like a fairy tale, I think. LOL
    But with this, I have not found a conflict 🙂

    Regards,
    Nanda
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Nanda,

      I don’t see any conflict with your choice either. It seems like a pretty good list to me. If you have any questions as you analyze and live through your core values, I’m just an email away.

      Thank you for coming and have a wonderful happy day!
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  • Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Ah…I liked your article on LinkedIn and gave it a thumbs up too – love the new feature they’ve come up with where you can write what you like there and share it with those you like 🙂

    Just like Donna, I tried the little experiment too, and I think I’d always choose to be happy, it’s a state of mind, and all comes down to the choices we make in life isn’t it? It isn’t easy because what you think, feel, and believe might be in conflict with the reality or the values that you might have been taught otherwise or the ones you follow now.

    We are just in that phase of teaching the right values to our kids, but how and what they learn, pick up, and eventually follow in their lives, would really depend on them, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Harleena,

      Ah I’m so glad you hopped over the article at Linkedin and gave it a thumb up. Thank you so much for that 🙂

      Yes, core values are not something we can fully teach, however, depending on how we raise our children, at least we can direct them towards good values, but in the end whether their core value is achievement, success, freedom, happiness or family, and etc… really depends on the person himself or herself.

      Thank you for your input and have a great weekend!
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  • Ryan BiddulphTwitter: RyanBiddulph says:

    Great point Sylviane! When we proceed according to what we value, we can free ourselves from what we don’t value. I enjoy living the internet lifestyle and traveling like a fool 😉 Knowing this I build my day around what I value, and do the online bit in a secondary manner. This has helped me set up a more passive element to my campaign.
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Ryan,

      That’s great Ryan, you seem to be really living the life of your dream that still so many people only dream of. Congratulations on your accomplishments and being able to live true to your values.

      Thank you for taking some of your good time to come here 🙂

  • LisaTwitter: Lisapatb says:

    Hi Sylviane, Very interesting as many are in the rat race and may wonder why they are not happy whether it be their work or relationships. Once you realize that you can really change your life. Some people take much longer than others to come to that realization or others keep on blaming others for that unhappiness. I like Adrienne focus on happiness and positivity and I will add health to that as well. We can’t do much without our health. I may follow it with freedom as we need freedom to make choices for ourselves and not be controlled by anyone.
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Lisa,

      I have to agree that without health there’s nothing, and as a matter of fact, it should be on every body top 5 of the list. Without health even freedom doesn’t really mean anything anymore.

      Of course, being happy is so, so important. Those who can’t manage to be happy in life can’t possibly live their dream life.

      Thank you for your input 🙂

  • GladysTwitter: coachgladys says:

    Hello Ms. Sylviane
    I trust you are well!
    This is a tremendous post and as Life Coaches our values are foundational in our life and in our coaching our clients.

    In our value system we are to find ourselves by determining our values. Our values become our standard and like you stated they influence who we are and what we do.

    All the values you listed are important, but I took a look at myself and I know that all of them are important, but LOVE AND HAPPINESS, are my anchors.
    I will go over to your other article and read that one as well.

    Thank you for this awesome post that is our very foundation,

    Gladys
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Gladys,

      Indeed, we need to know our values to find ourselves. Love and Happiness are important indeed. I am not surprised that love is one of your top values, Gladys.
      The way to go.

      Thank you so much for reading the other article on Linkedin as well.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

  • John Addison says:

    HI Sylviane,
    I read this article and i found the value of myself.Its amazing thought and it really change my life style.
    Thanks for sharing the great thoughts.

  • Dr. Diana says:

    Hello,

    We should keeping our life in balance. Because if our life is unbalanced then we can not concentrate on our work or do any other thing.

    Take care of your beautiful life. Because its a precious gift by God. Respect God’s gift and enjoy it magnificently.

    ~Diana

  • Ikechi says:

    Your explanation of value is very simple and easy to grasp and like the part that your values can conflict with each other. Most experts make you feel that once you pick your values, you are good to go. Thanks for sharing

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