Following is an extract of my first book, Ta Reelle Victoire. Knowing your values is a very important step for knowing yourself and what’s important for you (this, in fact, is the definition of a value).
If you are interested in reading the book, follow this link.
First Step: Harmony with your core values:
What is a value? Simply said, this is what, personally, is very important for you, what you find inside the most important.
Is it to be generous, committed, perfectionist, loving, rich? Or is it to have deep meaningful relatonships, respectful of others, of your body, being honest and bring something positive into this world?
Before going any further with these explanations, let me share a short story with you.
The first time I did this exercise and did a hierarchy of my most important values, my coach then asked me:
“So what do you think of such a guy with these values?”
“Well, he’s a good guy!”
“And how is it compared to being a tennis player?”
“Well…on this note, it looks rather impossible to be a great tennis player”, I responded anxiously.
My first 3 values were indeed respect, generosity and sharing…how is this related to the life of a tennis player, most of the time being on his own, determined to win no matter who he was facing?!
Not easy to honour these particular values on a tennis court, isn’t it?!…except if I “helped” my opponents. I had indeed started an unconscious (and annoying ) pattern: I was willing to fight, but to win when the opponent seemed very eager to win, no! A part of me was preferred to be a victim and let the other guy wins rather than the disapointment to see him lose. Yes, this seems crazy, and we all have conflicting values inside.
Once I became aware of my core values, I made a few adjustments i my life, and step by step I got interested in other areas in which I could be more in harmony with myself.
Professionally, this translated into becoming a coach, and in my social life I decided to spend more time with friends (and especially girlfriends!).
I also understood that respecting my opponents and being generous it waas, in fact, to give them a great example of being the best you can be, letting go my shots and really wining if I was better! In this manner I abandoned my old pattern to let opponents win by “sympathy”.
Our values are anchored inside of us. And when we are unwell, this means one of our core values is not honored. Life, no matter the signs it gives us- through an event, a dis-ease, a sensation- informs us that we are not aligned with ourselves and our core values.
Techniques to find out your core values
Several techniques exist :
- Close your eyes. Breathe deeply and with calm for 5 breathes. While you breathe, ask yourself what has been the most precious memory in you life, one that fully satisfied you, when you felt particularly happy. .
Re-experience this moment now.
Then, while you describe the scene, ask yourself: what is really important for me in this moment? Is it the place I am? The people I am with? Is it the achievement of something in particular? Write down your answers, and discern the values that were honored at that particlular moment.
These are your core values, the ones you are seeking to satisfy in priority in your life, with more or less success.
You can repeat the exercise with 2 or 3 different events that brought you a special satisfaction. You then will obtain a list of your different values.
- Another method, more direct:
Simply ask yourself: “what is really important in my life?”
You can think about yourself, or your heroes, these people you truly admire. What you like in them is the projection of what you like or would like to develop in you. Write down what comes to mind!
Then, whatever the chose method, once you got at least 10 values, time for you to put them in order.
Start with the 1st one you wrote, and compare it to the 2nd one: if you had to chooe or the other, which one would you choose? The one who wins got one point. Then do the same between the 1st and 3rd one, …then 1st to 10th one. Start again between the 2nd and 3rd, 2nd and 4th,…til 2nd and 10th, then 3rd with the 4th…until your compare the 9th and 10th ones.
Add up the number of total points given to each value, and rank them in order of importance.
To help you, here is a non-exhaustive list of values: freedom, determination, ownership, honesty, generosity, self-esteem, friendship, tolerance, efficiency, ecology…etc.
Your turn to play!
Then report what you found out in the spreadsheet thereafter, and take a time to contemplate your values.
Your Values Spreadsheet
The most important for me in my life is to honour the following values (in this order):
So, how does it feel to read these values?
Paul Éluard« You whispered to me perfection, and I answered to you: harmony.”
So, if you played this game, you now know your core values.
Congratulations! You now have a good basis. Sure, there will need some adjustments to do on your personal path. You might want to insist on a relationship side, or generosity, or courage, maybe…I don’t know, this is your life and you are the hero of it!
What is certain is that with these key values, you now have a solid base to follow your path with your harmony. Enjoy!