As a submissive, we are often bombarded with people telling us that we have to know our wants and needs; from when we first start out, to when we find a relationship, from when we start struggling with this or that, to exploring something new. Wants and needs are quite important. But what’s also important to building a significant and fulfilling life is understanding and applying your values to everything you do.
We’ve been on this journey in self-coaching for a bit and I’ve talked about wants and needs before so if you need to go back and read them to catch up, I’ll wait.
Are you back? Great!
Today we’re going to talk about your values. These are the things that create a priority in your life, from what you believe in, to what causes you’ll fight for, your political leanings and how you feel about various causes you support. Values help you navigate your life and fine-tune the direction for where you’re headed.
Three Types of Values
According to Becoming a Professional Life Coach, there are three kinds of values that we all have.
These values are derived from things that we think we should believe in. Often these come from parents, teachers, the church or some other authority in our lives.
Chosen values are ones we hold on to that resonate with us personally and we honor these values as consistently as possible.
These are the 3 to 5 critically important values that we have. When we are not upholding these values we’re likely to feel dissatisfied, depressed, embarrassed or even ashamed. It’s impossible to lead a fulfilling life that is out of alignment with our core values.
Your values should add something significant to your life.
One of the best ways to figure out your values by asking yourself a bunch of questions about what’s important to you.
- What do I feel strongly about?
- What standards do I uphold?
- What do I believe in?
- What are my rights?
- Name 3 things that I’m opposed to.
- What do I really, really care about?
- What do I stand for?
- What won’t I tolerant in myself or in others?
- What social/political/cultural issues do I feel strongly about?
- How would I like to be remembered?
- If I had a chance to speak out on a social or political issue, what would I speak out on?
After you’ve answered the questions, circle the words that repeat or stand out. They should naturally energize you when you read them.
Do You Live By Your Values?
Many of us don’t consistently live by our values. Have you ever been in any of these situations?
- Someone said or did something that you strongly disagreed with, but you didn’t speak up about it and felt ashamed afterward.
- You set goals for yourself and then failed to meet them.
- Your life or career hasn’t worked out the way you wanted them to.
- What you want often clashes with what you've got to do or what’s “practical.”
- You’re so busy pleasing other people that you’re not even sure what your own true values are.
Creating a personal mantra can help you learn to live by your values. Mantras are more widely recognized as any statement that affirms the way we want to live our lives. You can develop one to help you stand by your values and reach your goals in just 5 steps. Let me show you how.
Once you’ve nailed down your values and you’ve used a mantra to align yourself to them, you can go a step further and make a personal code of ethics that align your values with your needs and goals. It’s an everyday reminder of who you are and where you want to be in life.
If you’ve done the work above and figured out your values, you have your needs from earlier and you know why you have those values and needs you can start making a code of ethics.
The first thing you need to consider is why are you writing it? Do you want to reach your goals? Do you want to control and regulate your behavior? Whatever your reason, this is where you will develop the basis behind your code of ethics. The only requirement is that it is tailored to your needs.
The main part of your personal code of ethics is the “I will” section of your personal code of ethics. This is the aspirations section of your document. All the traits that you now exhibit as well as those you wish to develop should be included.
The third part of your code of ethics is the rules or beliefs you expect yourself to follow when dealing with other people.
Once you are done writing the first draft, look it over and refine it as necessary and as changes come in your life. Remember you are writing the code of ethics and it will be up to you to follow it.
Read My Submissive Code of Ethics for an example.
Having a code of ethics and using it can align your goals with your core values. But you have to make sure you’re actually reviewing it and living your life based on it.
Core values do change throughout your life. What’s important is that you continue to align your new core values with specific goals, actions, and habits. One of the important things to keep in mind in deciding of a core value is in fact a ‘should’ or one inherited from your trying to live up to other people’s ‘shoulds’. As you separate the two you will be clearer on what your own values are. What’s important is to be clear about your values at any given time.
Nailing down your own core values will take time and work. But once you know why you believe what you believe, and how you interact with other people you’ll be so much closer to reach your goals and to live a better, more fulfilling life.