The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
What do you want to be when you grow up? Or perhaps, more importantly, who do you want to be?
One of the first things I ask both individual and organizational clients to do is a process of values clarification. In coaching we describe values as being who we are at our core, differentiated from morals or ethics – which also are important, but externally derived.
The importance of values clarification – which is a life-long process, not a one-time event – is that by understanding and identifying your own personal or organizational values, is that they can be harnessed as a road map or a set of guiding principles to align your actions and choices.
To identify your own values, respond to these questions below, and look for themes or patterns that you could identify as values. Values might emerge as single words, word strings, phrases or metaphors. (And for something fun, try this cool tool to make a word cloud of your values, like mine above!)
1. Think about a peak moment in time – a time when you were at your best. Where were you, who was with you, what was happening, describe how you felt.
2. Think about an inspirational person in your life, or real/historical hero/heroine – what draws you to this person?
3. Think about something that makes you angry, upset, frustrated – what is important that is being stepped on?
4. What is something you must have in your life or you feel like part of you may die?
5. What do people tease you about or what about you drives others crazy?
6. Your hobbies – things you do for enjoyment – what do you love about this activity?
7. How do you spend your free time? What about this is important to you?
8. What is something that moves you?
9. What are you deeply passionate about – why?
10. What is something in others that you don’t like – what is important that is being stepped on?
What difference does it make in your life to be clear about your values?
How might your values be a guide in becoming you who you want to be?