Our values are the core drivers of our actions. And while we are consciously aware of our actions we don’t usually give much conscious thought to our values.
When our actions are well aligned with our values we feel spontaneous, authentic and genuinely fulfilled.
When our actions are not well aligned with our values we typically experience psychological distress such as anxiety, disillusionment, a downward shift in mood, and depersonalization - and sometimes we experience this distress without understanding why it is that we feel as badly as we do.
The purpose of the values clarification exercise is to facilitate your development of a conscious awareness of your personal values. This is a very important exercise as we often live aspects of our lives without conscious reference to our personal values. It is also an important exercise in that it offers an opportunity to reflect on your personal and professional life within the contextual framework of your personal values. The values clarification exercise will lead to an increased self-awareness and to further reflections on the manner in which you are living your life and its alignment with your personal values.
You will be able to identify your special characteristics, talents and gifts and you will be able to identify those situations in which you are not living in a manner that is well aligned with your personal values. Your recognition of this latter situation will open for you a pathway to personal growth.
The values clarification exercise will facilitate your understanding of your ‘true self’ and this frame of reference will be available to you throughout your life as you encounter future situations which require of you a particular choice or a definitive decision. Of course, there are many situations in both personal and professional life in which we have to compromise and collaborate and when this is done upon thoughtful reflection we remain true to our values and to our self.
The development of increased awareness of your own values and of your true self will enhance your capacity to understand and to relate to others in both your personal life and your professional life. In brief, increased self-awareness leads to increased awareness of others and to more congenial and productive relationships.
As Shakespeare put this in Hamlet: “This above all: to thine own self be true.”