Your personal values are those qualities that are most important and meaningful to you. They’re your essence, who you are at the deepest level. They can be seen in your actions and the choices you make, even if you’re not aware of them. Are you aware of yours?
One of the eye opening exercises my clients do early in our coaching program is identify their core life values – and then their career values. And assess how they are being honored – or not – in their life and career.
It’s one of those “aha” moments. Most realize that even now in midlife, they have never stopped to define them. But once known all sorts of revelations and understandings happen. They now can see why some parts of their life or career are wonderful and why others are not. It has to do with whether or not their values are being honored.
Why are they important?
Our values are what direct our psychological energy. Interest, commitment, passion, drive, enthusiasm are some of the ways we characterize that intensity. When you know what your values are, they can…
- serve as guides during times of conflict or confusion
- give direction and keep you on the path that’s right for you
- help you make decisions that honor what’s important to you
- give you a sense of meaning
Your life is fuller and more fulfilling when you consciously live out your values. At midlife, it’s important to become conscious of them now.
Quick Values Clarification Exercise
It may take several iterations of this values exercise to gain clarity. Look up “list of life values” on the internet. Use any list and select 10 words that you feel immediately drawn to. Be sure the words are true to you and not based on the “shoulds” of others.
Review, discard and select other words until you have 10 that feel just right. Now prioritize your list down to your 3 to 5 most important values. Again, be sure they resonate with you. Don’t judge yourself for placing one value ahead of the other. This is about openly acknowledging your greatest values.
For each value, write down how you honor it – or not – in your life and career. Were they times of satisfaction – or more conflict and discomfort?
Core Values And Career Change
Take a look at your current career, are you honoring your values? If you are looking at a possible new career, ask yourself if your personal core values will be honored. You have the opportunity to consciously choose the values you wish to live by and to create a career or lifework that builds on those values.
Action: Are you honoring your personal core values in your work and your life? If not, what’s standing in your way?
If you’d like to go deeper into this exercise and create a vision of how to live your life and career that honors your values, please contact me.
Diane, The Midlife Woman’s Career Coach
Diane Howell Topkis is the author of “26 Keys to Unlock Career Change Success for Midlife Women,” the first in her Career Clarity ebook series to be released in September. Diane works with midlife women to gain the clarity and confidence to reinvent or re-energize their career into meaningful work for their next chapter. Please visit www.YourNextChapterNOW.com to receive your free workbook “Find Your Passion.”