Do you know your life values? Maybe you do in a vague sense. But how intentional are you in guiding your life by them? Are you even sure they are your values? Have you done a life values inventory to check that they are still relevant? Or that they are just some romantic concept you think you should embrace?
Why is a current Life Values Inventory so Important?
Most of our values have been derived from our childhood and either the things our parents thought were important or not important. We carried them into our adult life as a way to either blend in with our family or to rebel against our family. As an adult, we often hold on to them without the knowledge of why they are important to us. By refreshing our life values inventory, we will be able to see if we are blindly following past beliefs, or if we truly want these values to dictate our life.
What happens if you are following outdated beliefs?
Inner conflict, that what. Inner conflict is made up of doing one thing but feeling the opposite. Often, inner conflict is what make achieving a goal so difficult, or making a decision just not feel right.
Let’s say you grew up going to church each Sunday. As an adult, you have a choice to go and still do. But, when Sunday morning comes, you are reluctant to get out of bed, kind of cranky, and just not excited to go. Now, you would think that your life value was to be a good Christian, you would be happy to go. You would look forward to embracing your life value each Sunday (and probably other days of the week too). Maybe this just isn’t your life value.
Maybe your life value is feeling like you are a part of nature and you would much rather spend your Sunday hiking. Maybe you feel more fulfilled by that activity (I’m not saying you can’t enjoy both, this is just an example).
Now you are in conflict between what you think you should do and what would be more fulfilling to do. A person can live for years not living their values and meeting their deepest needs.
By taking a life values inventory, they are able to determine what is most fulfilling and then seeking ways to live it.
Your Life Values Determine Who You are Are
Evaluating your life values can have some consequences. What if you discover you and your partner have different life values? What if you have different life values than your family? What then?
That can be the scary part because we are faced with the awareness that we might not be compatible. Most likely, you already knew that but didn’t want to deal with it. My answer is, so what? We don’t always have the exact same life values as the person we are in a relationship with or with the family we were born into. That is just part of what makes people different. It may be that you are incompatible with 3 out of 10 life values of your partner. If those are deal breakers for you then you have a decision to make. If they aren’t, then work it out and find a compromise. That’s just part of relationships.
Part of building closer relationships is knowing what the other person’s life values are so you can understand their actions and behaviors.
Take for example, that your spouse likes to hang out with their friends a lot. It bothers you because you feel jealous. What if you knew that friendship building was one of their life values – that it was very fulfilling to them. Then, instead of being threatened, you could work on ways to help them achieve that life value. By understanding what is important to others allows you to be part of the experience instead of it coming between you.
To be scared to take a life value inventory is only keeping you in the dark regarding who you are and what’s important to you. You can not truly be happy if you don’t know or won’t look at what will make you happy. It is self-sabotage to keep yourself in the dark. You can only be free when you know who you truly are.
If you would like to take a life value inventory, Mike Bundrant at iNLP Center can assist you. Or, consider taking a Life Coach training to learn how to assist other in understanding their life value.