Values, a phenomenon that determines what actions are best to do or what way is best to live, are usually applied when people talk about ethics. Yet, there are other areas in our lives that are significantly influenced by awareness and depth of our values and have an impact on our performance and quality of life. Specifically, when talking values in the field of performance psychology, we mean their impact on level and quality of motivation, defining a direction for our actions, reaching fulfillment in life as well as our long-term self-worth leading to increased confidence, perseverance, resilience, and composure when it matters most. In other words, values have the power to lead us in a direction towards mastery over a skill, performance, and life.
Before we get into the WHY of values, let’s clarify some facts:
- Everyone values something in life – everyone has a certain set of values
- Unless we dig deep in ourselves, the values stay hidden and not applied to their full potential
- Values can change over time with personal experience and development
- It’s only YOU who change or develop your values – whether you realize it or not
- The more you explore your values, the stronger impact they will have on you and your performance
So now, you learned the main principles of values, which is important for being able to work on them. We gotta know how the smartphone works first so we can use it, right? Otherwise, we can make a big mess playing with something we don’t actually understand. Okay. Let’s look at WHY you want to get and use the most powerful smartphone available . . . sorry, values.
The WHY of values - your internal compass towards flexibility, perseverance, mastery, and fulfillment
- Values help you know your WHY
- Knowing your WHY promotes sustainable, long-term optimal motivation
- Values lead you towards facing and overcoming challenges and obstacles
- Values push you to leave the comfort zone and strive for progress that oftentimes requires vulnerability and accepting mistakes
- Values, when followed by action, lead to personal meaning and fulfillment (more in this research)
- Values contribute to your long-term self-worth as you start creating yourself and the world based on your authentic, meaningful visions
In other words, when having your values firmly established and when following them by appropriate decisions and actions, you will not only see the results over time, but also in the moment-to-moment interactions with the world. And that’s how the biggest progress and impact are created.
It’s an intentional work on who you are
Although everyone has a set of values (and this set varies across individuals and groups), not everyone knows what their values truly are. Personal values go far beyond knowing “what or who you like”. It also goes beyond what is important for you. All of these are necessary for making meaning of your values, but the values themselves lie deeper, further beyond these questions. Once you answer what you like and what is important for you, ask another question – WHY. Why do you like something, why is it important for you? Keep asking why multiple times, and you will find what you truly, deeply value. Such value can then be transferred to almost any situation and action you take – leading to performance flexibility as a result of mastering personal flexibility (which is a concept we will dive into later). This process requires time and effort. It is an intentional work on who you are, and we will focus on how to do the work properly next time.
Next post will be on exploring your values to strengthen your WHY!