Choosing, Sorting, and Living Out Your Values

Values are like a compass, or a map. Perhaps a GPS. The road is life, and values align you with the direction of your journey. Without them, we’d all be lost, and frankly unfulfilled. Clarifying your values is a fundamental step in designing and living the life that you personally desire. Get clear on them here.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Values aren’t selected; they’re discovered. We don’t choose our values. Our values reveal themselves to us. — Scott Jeffrey

Personal values are a set of truths that you embody to make meaning in life. We often gain a better understanding of our values through experiences and over time.

A camping trip, moving to a new city, or skinny-dipping while on vacation might reveal an appreciation for adventure and spontaneity in some. At the same time, these experiences could also overwhelm others; in which case their values might steer more towards security, stability, and order.

An entrepreneur might gravitate towards professionalism as a value. The mindful entrepreneur will reflect this value in all decisions that are carried out, from the creation and distribution of business cards, to the ways in which they conduct business with all clients, customers, or prospects.

As the value of professionalism is displayed, the entrepreneur’s reputation benefits from consistency in interactions. Consider this an added bonus for being clear on how and why you show up! Others will surely take notice and reward you for it.

If individuality, authenticity, and creativity rank high on your values list, how uncomfortable might one be when reporting daily to a job or school that upholds a strict dress code? Specific hairstyles or colors? All tattoos and piercings must be covered or removed.

If one could work the same job, in the same field, offered at the same pay — without being asked to disregard their personal values for 40+ hours/week, might they feel any different? Perhaps just…better.

Or, if you’ve discovered that you value honesty and commitment, dating someone who also places value here should be your priority. Otherwise, you could easily feel as if you’ve settled for less than you desire and deserve.

Being clear on personal values equips you for effective decision-making; regardless of what’s going on with others, because you’re looking through a lens that you angled and defined.

We experience pleasure when our values and environment exist in alignment. Yet so often, our attempts to build well-rounded lives that actually feel good living…fail. Why? Too many of us have been conditioned to look outward first. We’re looking externally; trying to manipulate an environment rather than build clarity from within.

If you can visualize your purpose, or simply have a clear vision of the future, it is incredibly powerful to have a personal code of ethics to guide you there. Standards. Decision-making criteria to ensure your mind, body, and soul — your energy — are moving in ways that serve your higher Self and highest purpose.

Decisions are empowered when you’re clear on why you’re making them. Get clear on your values, and box out anything that works against your mission.

Below is a sample set of values. For a full list of over 200 personal values, check out the work that Scott Jeffrey, Leadership Coach and Founder of CEOSage, has put together.

From the full set, challenge yourself to narrow down your list to only 10–15 values. The purpose is to de-clutter and clarify. A short list ensures your values are well-defined and actionable — not just a chain of words that sound nice.

  • Accountability
  • Accuracy
  • Achievement
  • Adaptability
  • Alertness
  • Altruism
  • Ambition
  • Amusement
  • Assertiveness
  • Attentive
  • Awareness
  • Balance
  • Beauty
  • Boldness
  • Bravery
  • Brilliance
  • Capable
  • Careful
  • Certainty
  • Challenge
  • Charity
  • Cleanliness
  • Creativity
  • Freedom
  • Friendship
  • Fun
  • Generosity
  • Health
  • Honesty
  • Honor
  • Hope
  • Humility
  • Spirituality
  • Spontaneity
  • Stability
  • Status
  • Simplicity
  • Strength
  • Structure…



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Britney A. Stephenson, MCC

Britney A. Stephenson, MCC

Faith-fueled life coach. Here’s what happens when I get my thoughts out of my head & make them make sense on paper.