Strengthen Values. Synonyms for the word “values” are; principles, standards, morals, ethics, ideals… just to name a few. These are the qualities that DEFINE US AT THE CORE OF OUR BEING. Without these things YOU would not be YOU. It’s useful to know what your values are because they help you make choices about what you commit to in your life as well as what you commit your life to.

If you commit your life and energy to something that really violates or even neglects one of your core values, you may start to feel resentful and frustrated. If you are NOT honoring your values in your choices of activities or relationships, you will most likely experience the nagging feeling that something is missing in your life.

To help strengthen your values ask yourself Value Questions focused on:

• Peak experiences
• What drives you nuts, makes you crazy, angry, or frustrated?
• Invisible Values
• What has to be there?

Peak Experiences - Peak Experiences are experiences in your life when everything just “flows” and goes “right.” You were on a roll, there may have been some challenges, but overall the experiences lasted only a few minutes, a few hours, or a few weeks.

We’ve all had this happen. Pick one of those top peak experiences in your life. It doesn’t have to be the best one; in fact it’s kind of easier to start with one that’s maybe somewhere in the middle. Then ask yourself the following questions.

• What was important about what made that happened?
• What values were you really honoring during that time?
• What was passionate about that experience?
• What made that experience flow for you?
• What held your interest in that experience?
• What created commitment and enthusiasm in that experience?
• Who were you being in that experience?

Once you bring forth your experience and answer the above questions with that particular experience in mind your values will be revealed.

What Drives You Nuts or Makes You Crazy, Angry, and Frustrated? - Often when you are in a situation that makes you exceptionally angry or frustrated, there is something about the situation, or what the people in the situation are doing, that actually violates one of your values.

Think about one of those situations now, bring it to your forefront, and ask yourself these questions:

• What is really at the core of your feeling?
• What is it at the bottom of everything that is being violated for you?
• What’s being stepped on about who you really are?
• What is it about that particular situation that you cannot live with?

In the future when you find yourself going nuts, getting crazy, angry or frustrated… STOP and ask yourself the above questions. This is a great exercise to practice and it will help you become more aware of what you value.
Invisible Values - These are awesome because they are values that so totally define who we are AND we take them for granted. Others may notice them about you and use them as characteristics to describe you.

One of the ways to discover some of these values is to call up some people, friends or family, who love you and ask them what values or positive characteristics they might use to describe you to others?

This is a great way to find out what some of your invisible values are from an outside perspective. Bear in mind that what you hear is neither true nor false. What is it? Feedback and opinion, that is all. It is only the truth if you choose it to be.

The gift you receive? An idea of the invisible values you may not otherwise recognize.

What Has To Be There - This may be referred to as “A deal breaker.” These are the values that are part of the way you live your life in order for you to be who you are? They are the values, the “Must Have’s” for you to live your life regardless of what anyone else says or does.

Reflecting on what is mentioned above, think about the following:

• “How would YOU feel if you were clear on what you valued?”
• “What would YOUR life look like as a result of aligning your actions with the clarity of what you value?

In summary - STRENGTHEN VALUES equates to:

• Know what your values are.
• Know your boundaries, what tips your scales, both positively and negatively.
• Knowing what you value helps you make choices about the commitments you make in your life.

Author's Bio: 

Susan Birmingham is an Executive Coach who specializes in working with business women. She is also the founder & president of Birmingham Results, LLC as well as creator of and The ESTEEM Principle™.