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Personal Values Are Important

Why are personal values important?

Your personal values are important as they form part of your identity.   They are expressions of what is important to you, they are at the centre of who you are.

I once worked with a lady who was looking to reduce her alcohol intake.  We identified that one of her core values was energy.  When she realised that drinking alcohol robbed her of her ‘energy’ she was able to adapt her behaviour.

When you can identify where your behaviour conflicts with your values it becomes easier to make the desired changes in your life.

What is a personal value?

We all have individual values.  Personal values are importantly as they are an expression of who you are, they are states of mind, and principles of action.  We are not necessarily consciously aware of our values, so as a starting point you could think about what values and qualities you admire and value in others.  For example, energy, love, respect, honesty, fun, health, calm, reliable, free, loyal, secure, friendship etc.  We are normally attracted to people who share the same values and work for companies whose values we admire etc.

How do your values manifest?

Personal values are important as they manifest in your behaviour. When we behave in such a way that is unacceptable to us it is because, we are unclear about the value that is generating that behaviour.  Unfortunately we do not know what to do to satisfy the value.

Personal Values are Important  – so what happens if you do not live yours?

There is a positive intention behind every behaviour, however sometimes we set goals but inadvertently try to achieve them without fulfilling the value that made the goal so attractive in the first place.  The example below illustrates this perfectly.

There was a man who loved his family and wanted to give them a wonderful life.  He valued the love of his family and worked hard to earn a lot of money to bring them good things.  However in the process he was always out at work, so he neglected them.  He became a stranger to his children, who became unhappy.  He was also unhappy; he knew that something was wrong but he justified what he was doing because he thought he was doing it for his family.  He was, but his actions were exactly the opposite of the reasons why he is acting in that way.  He may achieve his goal of earning a lot of money for himself and his family.  Unfortunately as a consequence they will be unhappy because he did not respect the value that generated that goal in the way that he tried to achieve it. “ 


How can your internal beliefs cause conflict with your values?  

Your internal beliefs can conflict with your values.  For example, if one of my personal value’s was ‘competency’, but my internal belief was that I was ‘incompetent’.  Then this could potentially impact on my behaviour and inhibit me.  My values would not change, but my beliefs would get in the way.  However, if I were to change my belief, my values would remain.

When my beliefs and values are in harmony, there would be no conflict.  My behaviour would change and would enable me to move towards self-actualisation.

When we recognise our values, we are free to find the best way to satisfy our deepest needs.  Personal values are important and living our values during the journey is what keeps you motivated.

How to determine if you are being true to your values

Determining personal values is important when working with clients as it helps to get a better understanding of drivers of behaviour.  I often compare values to a person’s spine … where each vertebra relates to a ‘value’.  When you are not living your values, this causes conflict.   Your vertebrae it becomes misaligned and causes discomfort, internally manifesting both psychologically and physically.

By exploring values through spatial sorting,

  • Write each of your values on yellow post-it notes
  • Place these in hierarchal order on the floor
  • Take a step back so you can observe the value written down from a disassociated position
  • Explore how you are currently meeting your values. Be objective.
  • Identify where you are not living your values
  • From here identify changes that will better suit your value.


Personal Values Are Important so here are 10 powerful questions you can ask to help you clarify yours

    1. What must you have in your life to feel fulfilled?
    2. What are the values you absolutely MUST honour – or a part of you dies?
    3. What values do you see in your own life?
    4. What values do you sell out on first?
    5. Where do your values show up?
    6. Which are sometimes neglected?
    7. Where are you too flexible?
    8. What value is being stretched too much?
    9. What are your wants versus your musts?
    10. Where are you an automatic yes or no?
    Personal values are important


    Try the above exercise for yourself.

    Your personal values are important ! When you truly understand your values and live them you will live in greater harmony.

    What are your personal values and what’s important to you?  If you would like to work on clarifying your personal values to manifest greater harmony in your life.   Then I would love the opportunity to work with you on this.  Schedule a Discovery Call.

    Useful external links to learn more on the importance of values:

    External links to relevant articles.

    Read more on how personal values are important
    Values Defined:   Values describe the beliefs of individuals. What we are, as individuals, is a conse quence of the values we praise. Once we internalize certain values, they become consciously or subconsciously, standards for guiding our action. The way we behave in society, our attitude towards different aspects from everyday life emerges from our personal values. What we are, as individuals, is a consequence of the values we praise. Also, “values provide standards against which the behaviors of individuals and society can be judged” [Kates et al., 2005, 16]

    I’ve highlighted some thought provoking quotes on personal values below:-

    When #Values are like fingerprints, nobody’s the same, but you leave them all over everything you do.” – Elvis Presley

    “Your #values as guiding principles will influence your attitude towards yourself, life, other people, work and even challenges or success itself. Your values are a product of your beliefs.” – Archibald Marwizi 

    “It is our #values that ground us to who we are and who we aspire to be.” – Tara Loyd

    “Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviour. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your #values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi

    “Your habits become your values,” ( so often this is where conflict arises, because if we hold negative beliefs about ourselves, our habits follow that vein… when we do not live by our values, we go against our true selves.)

     “Your values become your destiny.” (are you living life to your full potential, your divine destiny?) (“Gandhi”)

    Personal Values are Important: 

    Let’s explore these powerful questions below a little further as this may help you on your journey of self-discovery:-

    Personal Values are Important  … What must you have in your life to feel fulfilled?  I recall a time when I was made redundant.  Wow what a shock that was.  I was a sole parent with two teenage children, what a challenging time I had ahead of me, but that’s another story.   However, it was then that I realised my identify was wrapped up in my work, no work, a sudden loss of identity.  I had such a strong work ethic, I no longer felt fulfilled.  It was this event that first brought me to hypnotherapy and NLP, interesting how in the face of adversity the universe delivers exactly what you need.

    Personal Values are Important  What are the values you absolutely MUST honour – or a part of you dies? I can’t abide bullying, I cannot sit back and watch someone being bullied or persecuted.  I recall a time when I was working in London and we all went out on the annual summer ‘works do’.  This was back in the day when acting inappropriately in a workplace social gathering did not fall foul of disciplinary procedures.  After a long day of socialising and drinking, we travelled back on the coach to London.  Unfortunately one of the ladies was photographed in an inappropriate embrace with another colleague at the ‘back of the bus.  When back at work on Monday, unfortunately these photographs were then distributed amongst colleagues.  The lady in question initially made light and attempted to see the  ‘funny side’.  It was clear to me that she was excruciatingly embarrassed by what had happened.  Unfortunately the photographs were rather explicit and continued to ‘do the rounds’.  Understandably, the lady became terribly distressed by the situation.  I was the only person in the entire office that stood up and expressed how the situation was totally unacceptable.  From that day on I was ignored and excluded by the team for the remainder of my time working for the company.  However, despite insidious victimisation that I went on to suffer, I was true to my values and would do the same again today, if the situation presented itself. 

    Personal Values are Important  What values do you see in your own life?   Clients that I’ve worked with often struggle with this question.  So often we don’t always see the value in ourselves, especially if we have self-limiting beliefs.  One of the presuppositions of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is that We each live in our own model of the world.  We are all unique and experience the world in different ways.  The map is not the territory;  People all respond to their ‘map’ of reality, we all have internal maps in our head.  These are divided into ‘maps of the way things are’ and maps of the ‘way things should be’.  We seldom question the accuracy, we generally just assume that the way we see things is the way they are or the way they should be.   However each individual’s perception of an event is different.’  Equally our perception of ourselves is not necessarily how the rest of the world sees us and may be distorted by our self-limiting beliefs. 

    Personal values are important they are a driver of behaviour, however we do not always honour the value.  By exploring your personal values you can get to see things differently. When you see things differently, you will begin to think differently.  When you think differently, you will feel differently and consequently behave differently.  

    To help clients tap into their map and model of the world I suggest to them that they ask three or four people that they trust and admire to jot down what they value and admire in them.  They do likewise.  So often we do not see in ourselves what others admire in us and vice versa.  In doing this simple exercise you make a gift to one another.

    Personal Values are Important  What values do you sell out on first?   Interestingly the one value that pops up time and time again when exploring values with clients is self love.  Love most often features as a value, eg they must have love in their lives.  This is often reflected as being loving to others,  as opposed to loving oneself.  Where love sits top in the hierarchy,  it has a knock on effect to all other values.  This clearly demonstrates the importance of self love.  Imagine how lacking in self love impacts on all of the other values.  It over-rides and conflicts with all the others. 

    Personal Values are Important  Which values are sometimes neglected?  If you think back to the story of the man whose value was love.  He focused intently on providing financial security for his family, this demonstrates that his intentions were honourable however self-defeating.  There is always a positive intention behind every behaviour.  In his story the outcome was less than desirable.  It actually worked against what he was aiming to achieve

    Personal Values are Important  so on a final note – where do your values show up?