Photo Credit: Nathan Lemon, Unsplash.com

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that Ukulele entered my life about a year ago–and I love playing the little thing. It’s so accessible (it stays right next to my desk), simple (four strings), and very versatile. I play rock, folk, classical Hawaiian, and just about everything in between.

And what the ukulele uncovered for me are three very important values that I have:

1. Simplicity
2. Accessibility
3. Versatility

There’s a fourth value that I call creating with my hands. Which is why I recently picked up crocheting as well (but that’s for another post). The point of all of this is that . . .

Values play an instrumental (no pun intended) role in our decisions, vision, and feelings.

We all have values that influence our lives in a lot of ways. Now, sometimes our values were born in the past and built on fear. Other times, those values are conscious and reflect our decisions in the present and future.

For me, I enjoy finding new ways to live simply, making things I enjoy easy to access, and finding creative and versatile ways to utilize what I already have.

How about you? What do you value?

And how do those values influence your life?

If you don’t know the answers to those questions, start with this list that I use with nearly all of my clients. As you read this list, notice which ones pop out at you and make a note of it:

Accomplishment 
Accountability 
Adventure 
Autonomy 
Authenticity 
Beauty 
Belonging 
Challenge 
Change 
Commitment 
Community 
Connecting to Others 
Creativity 
Discipline 
Discovery 
Environment 
Excellence 
Family 
Flexibility 
Freedom 
Friendship 
Fun 
Health 
Honesty 
Humor 
Independence 
Innovation 
Integrity 
Intimacy 
Knowledge 
Leadership 
Loyalty 
Money, Wealth 
Nature 
Personal Growth 
Physical Appearance 
Power 
Privacy 
Professionalism 
Quiet 
Recognition 
Respect 
Romance 
Responsiveness 
Security 
Self-Expression 
Service 
Spirituality 
Trust 
Truth

See if you can get your list of core values down to ten, five, or even three that are most important to you.

Now, notice how you feel when you think about those values. If they feel like an obligation or a value that you “should” have, that value may have been born from fear. And you may consider dropping that value if it’s not really important to you. If they feel like values that you can apply to your life every day and you want more experiences or expressions of that value in the future, that’s probably a conscious-based value.

And here’s why this is all important.

Values act as a check & balance for your vision

As you ponder how you’d like your future to unfold–or specifically, what vision you have for your self, career, or life–check how well your values align with your vision. If they’re all in sync . . . sweet! If not, you may need to either re-visit your values or your vision (though I recommend starting with your vision first).

And from here, I say, “Congrats!” for digging deeper into your values, what they mean to you, and what you plan to do to integrate those values into the life of your dreams.

Crossing the TEA’s

Now, let’s check out the energy levels behind these Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions:

Low-Energy TEA:

  • Thought: I have to honor my values, otherwise I’m doing it wrong.
  • Emotions: Afraid, Stuck, Limited, Powerless, Worried
  • Actions: Make decisions based on what you “should” do. What’s “right” based on what you learned in the past (possibly from an influential person such as a parent or teacher).

High-Energy TEA:

  • Thought: I choose which values are most important to me.
  • Emotions: Empowered, Aligned, Open, Liberated, Fulfilled
  • Actions: Use values in partnership with your vision to create the balance and alignment that you want to experience.

Want to get more clarity on your values and help to align them with your vision? Schedule a free discovery call with me.

Photo Credit: Nathan Lemon, Unsplash.com