The Best Guide to Life: Your Personal Values
What do you believe in? What values are you willing to stand up for?
Personal values are the beliefs, principles or ideas that are important to you in your life.
Values are what you stand for in life -- they are often things that you are for or against -- what you believe in and are willing to support and stand up for.
Ideally, your personal values guide your life choices, big and small.
Personal values are important because they provide us with a road map for the kind of life we aspire to lead. The more our choices line up with our values, the better we generally feel about ourselves. And we can reap rewards in our love life and sex life as well. Great sex is sex that is in line with what's truly important to us.
Identifying your personal values.
Sometimes our values aren't totally clear to us, and it may take a bit of reflection to figure out the principles, beliefs or ideas that are most important to us.
For help identifying your values, spend some time answering each of the following questions:
- Think of 2 people you really respect. What characteristics do you admire in them and why?
- If your home were on fire (and all the people and pets in the house were safe), what 3 objects would you save and why?
- If you could change one thing in your community, what would it be and why? What about in the world in general?
Complete the Personal Values Rating Activity NOW to explore which values are most important to you.
- What issues get you the most fired up when you talk about them, or hear others talking about? Why do those issues effect you in this way?
- Think of a moment in your life that was really satisfying or fulfilling for you. What was that moment and what made you feel that way about it?
Now look over your responses. Do any themes emerge? What principles, beliefs or ideas stand out most in your answers? These are likely some of your personal values.
If you want to explore your personal values in more detail, and examine which types of values are more or less important to you, complete this Quizzes n' More: My Personal Values Rating Activity.
How do personal values influence our relationships?
Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction. --Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Our personal values should play an important role in relationship decisions and actions.
They may guide your decisions about...
...the type of partner you want. For example, if getting a college education is very important to you, you may look for a partner who feels the same way.
...or the types of behaviors you're comfortable with in a relationship. For example, if your religious beliefs are very important to you, you may choose to wait to engage in some forms of sexual activity.
Your partner should support your values.
Being with a partner who shares many of your values and who is supportive of them (in other words, who validates the importance of these values to you, and does not demean them or put them down, even if he or she does not share exactly the same beliefs) are important factors in having a healthy and satisfying relationship.