Your personal values dictate how you act, react, respond to, and handle any life situation that comes your way. Why? Your personal beliefs define who you are by allowing you to make choices that you deem are important, worthy, or desirable of your time and how you spend it.
Personal Values: What You Need to Know
In addition, the values that you hold near and dear to your heart are based upon the priorities in your life. Values are not the goal, a system, an idea, or a program that can change just by snapping your fingers. Personal values can also be thought of as a deep and internal treasure trove that compresses and expands as life takes you on its many adventures.
Your values are a significant motivator that will make you stand still and do nothing, rush headlong into a new adventure with no hesitation, or send you back to a place where you analyze, reflect upon, and decide if it’s really something that you want to do. For example, your personal values always show up at a time when a decision needs to be made, such as when a group of your friends playfully torment you to have just one alcoholic beverage with them before you head off to a meeting at your church. “Just one drink won’t hurt you,” they taunt. But your value system kicks in and you say, “No, thanks. You go ahead, and I’ll catch up with you this weekend.”
Sometimes it might feel like it’s the choice between good and evil, however, that’s not always the case. Perhaps you might have low self-esteem, and your value system says that you are not the type to yell and scream, or jump up and down just because everyone else is doing it. In other words, it can be said that your personal values are very closely related to your sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
Do you believe that your personal values can shape your life?
Maybe you’ve never sat down and written a list of what you value the most or asked yourself how you would react to a given situation compared to someone who’s close to you in your life and how they would react. But one thing is clear: you will be hard-pressed to take any action that goes against your values unless you’re in a life-and-death situation.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re really not sure if your values actually shape your life.
1. If you don’t believe in sex before marriage and you’re pushed into a situation to have sex with several people in one night, would you?
2. If you were offered a job that you knew you’d hate every single day that you were there but the money was four times more than you ever dreamed possible, would you take the job if it were offered to you?
3. If you’re the type of individual who is compassionate and filled with mercy for other people who have less than you do, and you see someone stealing money from a homeless person on the street, would you walk on by or would your personal value system urge you to do something about the situation?
4. If you were raised in a home growing up where everything was painstakingly neat, tidy, spotless, and carefully organized, yet now you’re living with someone who makes pigs swimming in mud seem promising compared to the daily habits of your new roommate, would you be able to cheerfully live with that person for an infinite number of years?
How you make decisions every day are based on values
Clearly, your personal values do impact and shape your life in every situation that exists. You may be able to get away with one tiny incident where your values were compromised, but most likely, your personal values will always color your life in everything you do.