A question I’m sure you’ve seen many times, from school papers to job interviews, is this:
What are your values?
For many, it can be something as simple as ‘being happy’. I’m sure that’s one we can all agree with! But for some that is a really tough question to answer with a seeming myriad of potential answers. It can be like asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’
In many cases, values can be different in different scenarios, and can sometimes be affected by the people you surround yourself with, and the environments you end up in. For example, you might have a certain value for work such as ‘being punctual’. You don’t want to be late for that meeting you’ve got scheduled, or that important phone call planned!
But compared to other scenarios, you might find punctuality is a lesser value. For example, in your personal time at home, do you have your whole evening planned out with a certain time for everything, or do you let things happen more naturally? Values can shift depending on the environment.
They can also shift depending on the relationship. So for example, you might hold dear the value of positivity, and choose to surround yourself with only positive colleagues, friends and clients. However, your dearly loved family member might not have that same value, perhaps they are a glass half empty person. You might choose to still spend time with them because you love them, despite the differing values.
Where Do Values Come From?
Values are usually distilled into us from childhood. At a young age, most likely from being in the playground, you learn the value of sharing, of being good to others, and communication skills. Some say that playtime is the highest form of education.
Not all values might stay with us too, and that’s OK. Maybe as a child you were taught to excel at everything you were taught at school, only later in life you discovered that it’s better to prioritise what you enjoy, and what gives you that WHY feeling.
Perhaps at an older age you discover new values too, such as gratitude or self-purpose. Values are often redefined when something happens to make you re-evaluate your life – an illness, a death, children leaving home, being made redundant or any kind of (mid-) life crisis!
What Happens When Values are Broken?
Think of a time where you’ve felt particularly upset or angry. Why did it happen? Who, what, and how did it happen?
I believe that these moments of unhappiness are often as a result of a dearly held value being broken.
Imagine being with someone who looks down on you, and/or what you’re doing. They ask you to stop doing something/talking about something that you are passionate about or tell you to just, ‘be more normal’. If that upsets you then you value self expression.
Or envisage meeting up with someone who is constantly late, and never seems apologetic over it. If that angers you, then time and respect for others time is a value of yours.
It’s times like this where you might notice your values. And it’s also times like these where you need to consider the people around you.
Who broke the value in the first place?
Was it a stranger? No need to worry, amongst the 8 billion other people on Earth, you may not ever see them again.
Was it a friend or a family member? Ask yourself, what value was affected? Is it beyond reconciliation? Or is there another way to protect your values?
You can’t always choose who to surround yourself with. But when you can, you should consider the ‘being happy’ value I mentioned at the start. Because deep down, your values are all about what matters to you, and what makes you happy.
A Supportive Environment
Speaking of surroundings, if there’s one place that WILL respect you and your values, as well as bringing support, it’s our Strictly Come Speaking events. Not only will you learn new skills, but you may even discover new values, and new friends to support you in those.
Our next event takes place on the 3rd of June, and we’d love to see you there! Reserve your spot by clicking here.
PS – If you liked this blog and want to read more blogs surrounding female empowerment, you can find last week’s here: ‘A New Era‘
“I’m on a global mission to help 10 million disheartened souls, who are at a crossroads, to STOP asking why me? And START saying why not me!”