When it comes to being authentic and unleashing our goddess within it’s really helpful to know what our values are so that we can act using our most important values.
What are personal values?
Brene Brown describes values in the following way:
‘A value is a way of being or believing that we hold important.’
Values include notions such as authenticity, creativity, kindness or knowledge. Values can also centre around issues we are passionate about such as animal welfare, feminism or sustainability.
Most of us aren’t taught about values when we are young and we may even have been exposed to some questionable values. What also happens is that we have the values of our family, school or community instilled in us, not realising that they are not the values that are most important for our authentic self. For instance, our family of origin may be very patriotic and we may grow up thinking that patriotism is something very important to us when actually, there may be other values that are more important.
It can be very helpful to identify five key values we hold and then select two which are our most important.
Some values that are instilled in us might not be in line with who we really are. For instance, as women we might be taught that being caring is very important, that we should put others first or pursue a career in a caring profession. This might compromise who we really are. It’s not that we aren’t a caring person and that being caring isn’t important but a role in a caring profession might not be the right thing. Also, what isn’t taught is that having something like caring, kindness or compassion as a value isn’t about putting others first. Being caring, kind or compassionate is not only about caring for others, it is about being kind, caring or compassionate towards ourselves too. So, it is not only helpful to think about what our most dearly held values are, it is also really helpful to think about what they mean for us personally. This is where journalling can come in very handy (you may know that I love journalling!)
Thinking about what our key values are can be a very important part of unleashing our goddess within because they act as a compass (or sat nav!) in life. If we are considering a new career path, for instance, we can refer to our values and if that new career path satisfies those values. Values can also help guide us through difficult or confusing situations. For instance, our friend may have done something to upset us by acting out of character, but if we hold compassion as an important value we might be compassionate because we know our friend is having a tough time at the moment.
When I first started looking into values and what is important to me, something I found confusing is that there are many different types of values but they are not separated in any way. For example love is a value, as is feminism but they serve very different purposes in the world. As a result I’ve put values into different groups or purposes so that they are easier to explore. The groups or purposes I have identified include:
- Moral and ethical values such as integrity and honesty
- Emotional values such as love and peace
- Occupational values such as adventure and creativity
- Interpersonal values such as compassion and collaboration
In my next blog I will explore the different types of values in more detail. I hope that this has fuelled a greater interest in your values and how exploring them can help you to unleash your goddess within. Happy exploring!