What are Values?

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  • Values are the things that are important to us, the foundation of our lives.
  • They are deeply held principles that guide our choices and behaviours and influence our emotions
  • Values are the core of who we are.
  • They are the fundamental things that need to be present in our lives for us to feel happiness, satisfaction and fulfilment.
  • They are our motivators, our drivers, the things that make us tick, the passion in our hearts and the reason why we do the things we do.
  • They are like a moral compass, guiding how we live our lives.

 “Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do.” Elvis Presley

To learn more about values and how they are important in our lives, in organisations and in coaching, download our free Values Series of podcasts, in which Lindsay West interviews coaches with a wide range of experience in using values.

To hear Lindsay West with James Brown speaking about how values motivate us, watch their TEDx talk 'What Matters Motivates'.

Listen to a recorded 'Exploring Values' webinar for more information of what values are and why they are important.

What types of values are there?

There are two main types of values, those that we are working towards achieving in our lives, that I call ‘outcome values’. These are values such as success, happiness, freedom, independence, security, wellbeing, knowledge.

The other type of values are those that are important to the way we live our lives, these I call ‘values for the journey’.  Theses include values such as honesty, integrity, loyalty, trust, love, fairness.

Our top ten core values are likely to include a mixture of both types.

Why are values important?

There are hundreds of different values, most people have an idea what values are, most know they are important, but few know which values are most important to them and use them as a guide to the way they live their lives.

It really makes a difference to an individual to identify their own set of core values and to use them to live a values-based life.  Here are some of the ways living life in line with our values makes that difference:

  • Understanding our own core values gives us a sense of clarity and self awareness of who we really are. It helps people to understand why their lives have been the way they have, why they made the decisions they did and why they feel the way they do.