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January 4, 2024 3 Min Read

Understand Your Personal Values To Succeed At Work And Life

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understand your personal values

As you navigate your professional life, it’s important to remember that understanding your personal values is integral to your success. When your actions align with your values, you feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment that can translate into greater job satisfaction and productivity. 

TaskHuman coach Leani Van Zyl believes your values are like an internal compass. Living in alignment with your values provides the foundation for our actions, decisions, and behaviors. They represent the most important things to you, either consciously or subconsciously. She believes the key to personal and professional success is identifying your values to attract more of what you want into your life. 


Identifying Your Values

Do you know your values? If so, great! Consider writing them down and keeping them somewhere close where you can easily see them. Doing so will help guide you as you make decisions throughout your day. 

If you haven’t identified your values yet, it’s not too late. To help you get clear on what’s most important to you Coach Leani recommends you ask yourself the following questions. You may want to grab a pen and paper to record your responses. 

  1. When do you feel like you’re most comfortable with yourself? Consider what you’re doing, who you’re with, and how you feel.
  2. Remember a time when you felt vibrant and alive. What’s going on around you?
  3. If you could spend time doing anything with anyone, what would you do, and who would you be with?
  4. What inspires you to take action?
  5. How do you want to feel or experience the world around you?

Now that you’ve considered these questions, think of five words that represent what’s most important to you. Examples of values include community, consistency, humor, and excellence. Once you’re clear on your value words, write them down and keep them close.


Understanding Anti-Values

It can be challenging to prioritize your values in the workplace. You may face pressure to conform to the culture of the organization or compromise your beliefs to meet expectations. That’s when it’s helpful to identify your anti-values.

Anti-values are precisely what you think they are, the opposite of values. According to Coach Leani, in some situations, you are more motivated to move away from what you don’t want than toward what you do want. Some examples of anti-values are injustice, discrimination, inefficiency, and irresponsibility. 

Take a minute to think about your anti-values. Consider what you don’t want to experience at work or in your personal life. Sometimes it’s just as important to identify your anti-values as your values. 


Values Over Time

Your values will likely vary over time, usually after significant life events like starting a new job, becoming a parent, or the death of a loved one. They may even differ based on your current role in an organization. For example, a leader may value loyalty and innovation, while an individual contributor may value flexibility and growth opportunities. As you move through different life stages, you should revisit your list of values to see if they’re still relevant. 

It’s also helpful to share your values with those closest to you. By sharing your values, you are letting people know your boundaries—the things you want more and less of in your life. Think about the people around you. Who would benefit from having insight into your values and anti-values and why?

Related reading: Be The Change: How To Become An Effective Ally In The Workplace

Ready to Explore Your Values?

It’s time to start exploring your values. Ask yourself the following questions to get started:

  • What are your values?
  • What are your anti-values?
  • Are your work values different from your personal values?
  • Who would benefit from knowing your values?

Do you need a little help getting clear on your values? Book a call with a TaskHuman Coach to explore what’s most important to you.


Book Coach Leani→

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