When someone you love dies, your whole life changes and the safety you felt in your old existence is suddenly no longer there.
Losing 2 of the 4 of our little family left my mom and I totally uncertain of our identities. No longer do I have a dad or a little brother. No longer will my mom ever be the same mom she was before they died and no longer do I have the stability and reassurance of knowing that there are at least 4 people in the world that know me inside out and who have to love me forever no matter what. Now there’s just 1!
Please note I don’t feel sorry for myself when I say that. I’m just stating a fact that your close family are the ones that will always know you the best so when they’re gone it kind of throws you a curveball.
At the end of July, mom and I went on an amazing 3 day personal development course with the absolutely amazing Dr Jane Cox.
Co-incidentally, Jane is also South African and lost her little brother in the same way that Gumby was killed. When I first heard her speak back in May, I knew I totally wanted to have more time with her. She is an incredibly inspiring woman with a remarkable story behind her and who better to lead a ‘Discover, Decide and Design Your Life’ course than someone who truly knows what I’ve gone through?
Anyway, one of the first things we did was to work out what our values are right now.
Values are the things that motivate and define us. They are the things that make us who we are and define what’s important to us.
We often don’t think about values however they are key to how we feel about ourselves and how we relate to other people. We often find ourselves drawn to people who have similar values to us and vice versa. If someone has a totally different set of values to ours, we might not be all that comfortable around them. Doesn’t mean that their values are wrong in any way, it’s just that they’re not in line with ours at this stage and the world is much more interesting for it!
The idea is that once you have your top 5 values worked out, then every decision you make with regards your goals, activities and everyday choices can be measured against these values.
With life the way it is for so many of us (frantically busy with so much coming at us constantly!) this can be incredibly helpful. If an opportunity comes up that doesn’t fit with your current top values then you can politely decline and focus on the things that do.
Our values change depending on what season of life we might be in so it’s good to regularly review the list. For example, someone just starting university will have very different values compared with when they have 2 small children to keep alive compared to when said children have left home and started university themselves!
Now I’ve read quite a few books and articles this year that recommended similar exercises so it was really helpful to be made to sit down and do it. I wanted to make this really actionable for you too so if you find yourself a bit overwhelmed and busy with so many opportunities and tasks coming at you all the time that you don’t know how to deal with them all, I strongly recommend you take some time to work through this activity.
Here’s a handy worksheet I designed specially to show you how to work out your values for where you are right now.
My top 5 values for where I am now are
- Physical challenge
What’s your number 1 value today? What goal or decision can you make right now to uphold that value? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below xx