Personal Values Assessment
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Essential Reads for Beginners
What are personal values?
To know your values, you first need to understand what they are. We have prepared a series of simple but very developing exercises that will make it much easier for you.
Values can be simply described as things that are especially important to us. For example: family, health, security, freedom, trust. You can say they are the theme of our lives. They are always present with us, although we do not always have to be aware of them. They led you to where you are today. They shaped you as a human being and determine how you are perceived by others.
For example, a health-conscious person will feel great importance of their diet and exercise. Thanks to their systematic efforts, they enjoy vitality and are perceived by others as a specimen of health.
We can also interpret values as goals that we want to achieve in a long term. They can slowly change over time because they depend on our current stage of life. Different values are attractive to young people just entering adulthood. Different for people developing their careers and starting their own families. And completely different for people who have raised children and are finishing their professional careers.
For people who see the greatest value in family, starting their own family and taking care of their well-being will be a goal they will focus their attention and actions on. Expect them to spend more time with their family than others. They try to satisfy all needs and solve encountered problems, and when making decisions, they are guided by the interests of their loved ones.
It can therefore be concluded that values are a strong motivation for us to act. We naturally strive to live as much in harmony with our values as possible. The reward for these efforts is a sense of inner consistency, satisfaction and contentment with your life.
From the definitions above, we can also conclude that values are like a signpost that tells us which way to go to get where we want. Our independent decisions will always be, to some degree, geared towards the realization of our values. This is why it is so important to trust your choices, and not follow the opinions of the environment.
So the question is - did you choose your values yourself?
The answer does not always seem obvious, as this choice was not usually the result of one conscious decision. Your values were determined by the whole baggage of experience you have gathered along the way. All the events and situations that helped you discover what’s important to you.
There are also single moments that can completely remodel our hierarchy of values.
Imagine a situation in which someone finds out that they are terminally ill and do not have much time left. How valuable will health and time spent with loved ones be then? How much will professional success and money be worth?
Values are a very individual matter. Even if two people declare that their most important value is success, each of them may ascribe a different meaning to it and implement this value in their own way.
Now that you have an idea of what values are, let's think about the benefits of knowing your own values.
How does knowing your own values help you make decisions?
When you have a decision to make, it's worth asking yourself - how does the choice match with your values?
If it has a positive effect on the realization of your values, then you already have a clear answer. You will feel comfortable with your decision because you will stay true to your values. Thanks to this, you will avoid dissonance between your actions and what is really important to you.
It is important to rely on your own values when making important decisions. Not the general values, but your own. Remember that ultimately you will take responsibility for your choices and you will live with its consequences.
Values are very important even when making small, everyday decisions and choices. For example, what foods we choose when shopping. How we spend our free time. What do we spend our money on.
These seemingly insignificant choices accumulate and after several months or years of systematic repetition, they are no longer meaningless. Their consequences become visible to us and affect us.
For example, the habit of exercising daily will improve our figure and increase our physical fitness. A prudent approach to finances will allow us to save money to achieve the desired goal. The habit of reading daily will broaden our knowledge and horizons.
It sounds very simple, but we all know it is not. Life daily verifies our values and commitment to their implementation. Sometimes we devote ourselves to what is easy and convenient at the moment, but in moments of self-reflection, we feel guilty. Guilty for not realizing our potential for wasting time.
If we remain aware of our values, we’ll increase our chances of making choices that are favorable to us. A personal list of values can be a compass for us, which in moments of doubt will remind us in which direction we want to go.
How to live in harmony with your values?
If you want to live up to your values, you need to remember them. It seems obvious, but many people don’t pay enough attention to it. Just preparing a list of personal values is barely the beginning. Real change comes in small everyday steps.
Try to remember the five most important values. You can write them down on a small piece of paper that you’ll keep in a visible place on your desk. If you need more privacy, you can download or prepare a list in the form of a wallpaper for your phone.
The point is that in the first days after compiling the list, you should be as close as possible to the values you choose. Make reading your list one of the first things you do in the morning and the last thing you do before falling asleep.
When you know your values by heart, you can remember in which direction you want to go at any moment. Use this knowledge as often as possible. For almost every daily activity and choice. Thanks to this, you will avoid the wrong paths or going around in circles.
The point is, you should be able to precisely define your "why".
Frequently ask yourself why you made this decision and not the other one. Or why you are currently doing this activity. This way, you will often verify to what extent your actions are in line with your values. Remember to always be honest with yourself. It lets you get to know and understand your motives.
For example: why do you go to work every day?
- To be able to support your family,
- To have financial stability,
- To achieve professional success in the future,
- To help others.
Does your answer match your values? How satisfied do you feel with the current situation?
If you feel inconsistent with your own values in certain areas, it's time to think about what changes you can make. You don't have to change everything at once. It is enough to make small changes regularly.
Take your time and think about the areas of your life where you feel deficient. Think about how they are related to your values. Look particularly at:
- relations with others,
- intellectual and spiritual development,
- professional career,
- free time.
List specific problems that hinder the implementation of the most important values. Anything that prevents you from realizing your full potential. It is important to know what exactly you want to change
Now go through the list of problems and think about how you can reduce them. Think about what small step you can take now to increase your consistency with the declared values. What can you do in the next week or month? Write down your ideas to read them later.
Do you feel like you’re not paying enough attention to your family? Planning a trip together once a week will be a small step forward.
After implementing a few ideas, it's time to verify their effects. What did you feel while implementing them? Do you think this is the right direction?
If your feelings are positive, you can set the next steps for implementing changes. Take your time and watch your reactions carefully. It is a constant search for small improvements and self-improvement. With each iteration, you increase your consistency with your own values. Think of it as a trip. Observe the changes and enjoy the growing satisfaction in your own life.
How to discover your values?
Defining your own values is not as easy as it seems. First, you need to understand what they are and prepare a complete list of values from which you will be able to select the most important ones for yourself.
Where to get the full list of values? There are many lists on the Internet, but they are often incomplete or too long. You need a list that allows you to find all the values and is not a random set of synonyms. We recommend that you use the list we have prepared.
Once we have a prepared list of all values, we can filter it according to our needs and preferences. Look at each value in turn. Discard all values that arouse negative feelings in you and those that are indifferent. Leave only those that you consider important and that you identify with.
At this point, you have a list of your values, but it's not over yet. You can probably see that not all of them are equally important to you. Now let's focus on finding the most important ones. This can be done by directly comparing the values and sorting their positions on the list. This is the most difficult stage, so take your time. Take as much time as you need to do it.
While comparing values:
- think which one is more important to you and why?
- imagine situations in which both values being compared must compete with each other.
- decide which value you would be willing to sacrifice for the other.
If you have gone through the entire process and you are satisfied with the established hierarchy of values, you can already tell what is most important to you. Pay particular attention to the first five values on the list.
It is worth repeating the entire exercise regularly. Preferably once every six months. Thanks to this, you can see how our needs and motivations change over time. It is also a good time to verify to what extent we implement our values.
If you are ready to discover your personal values, we encourage you to take our free test.
How can personalvalu.es help you start living in harmony with your values?
From the beginning of personalvalu.es, our goal was to create a simple and effective method to find and organize personal values. The developed solution turned out to be so good that today it is used by personal trainers, during classes with students, and even in recruitment processes.
The compiled list of 62 personal values is the result of the analysis of many different approaches to the value definition. When creating it, we paid special attention to cover the space of personal values as accurately as possible while maintaining clarity and ease of interpretation.
All values are well described and provide guidance on strengths and potential threats.
The test we have developed will help you to:
- find the values that are closest to you,
- prioritize your values.
To help you remember your values, we have prepared:
- an email with a link to your test result,
- a quiz supporting the memorizing process,
- phone wallpaper with a list of your values.
We are constantly working on expanding the possibilities of personalvalu.es because we believe in our mission. For a long time, we have been putting more and more emphasis on the development of the educational character of the project. Our goal is to provide you with the best materials and tools you need to raise awareness of your personal values.