Values inventories have been around for a long time and are frequently given to high school students as a step in preparing for the future. I personally remember taking one and thinking it was interesting but didn’t have a clue of what it could tell me about myself. I know that organizations will also use them as a type of team-building exercise with their employees. Today, I’d like you to consider taking one as a means of increasing your self-knowledge and your self-esteem.
What do they Mean by Values?
Per their website, the Life Values Inventory is not using the term “values” to look at your morals or ethics. Instead, they are more concerned about finding out what is important to you, how you view yourself and the world around you, and how these are prioritized to make sense for you. As they state,
“Your values are the lenses through which you view yourself and your world. As values develop, they are crystalized and prioritized to form a values system. In essence, they form your own “personal truth” from which self-esteem, fulfillment, and resilience develop.”
Life Values Inventory
If you follow the link, it will take you to the online Life Values Inventory which is an assessment designed to help you explore your values. It asks a series of questions that will help to sort out what is important to you and how you view the world around us. These values are shaped by all sorts of influences including your family, your culture, media, social media, the music you listen to, your education, your socio-economic status, race, how you were treated and perceived as a child, your religion & spirituality, etc, etc.
Why is it Important to Know my Values?
Once you know your values, then you can better understand yourself and you’ll be able to make decisions based on your own unique values. For instance, If you value family above all else, then choosing a career that requires years and years of advanced education such as becoming a doctor or a lawyer may not make sense, nor a career that would have you work 80 hours a week routinely. Or if you value security above everything, then becoming a consultant or an entrepreneur would not be a good fit.
Values also can be used to help you build happiness and contentment in your life. This is because we often will find ourselves living in a manner inconsistent with our personal values, or perhaps just out of balance. Once you become more aware of what is important to you, then you will be able to bring your life back into alignment with your own personal beliefs and values, which will increase your happiness and sense of satisfaction.
How Does Knowing your Values Help Your Self-Esteem?
Our values help to define who we are and how others will see us. They tell the world what we think is important. They help us to establish boundaries in our lives, which in turn will help us to have better relationships with ourselves and others. If you are constantly living a life that goes against your values, or that places one value over another, then you will be left feeling drained, depressed, unfulfilled, and unmotivated. If, however, you are able to live your life in harmony with your values, then you will feel empowered, focused, and energized and feel like you matter and are making a difference. How can this not help your self-esteem?
But How Does this help me? I'm an Adult?
Many people reading this might think to themselves, "But I'm not a college student- what's this got to do with me?" Well, I would contend that this information is good for people of all ages. In order to have high self-esteem, it is important that you live by your values. Many of us, due to pressures from family or society, or even from ourselves, have been living lives opposed to our core values for too long and now are left wondering why we aren't happy when everything seems to be going well. If you find yourself in this situation, taking this inventory might give you some insight that will help get your life back in line with your values, and have you feeling happy and satisfied with your life again.
So, check out the inventory and let me know what you think. If nothing else, I think taking these types of tests can be fun and teach us something about ourselves. You really have nothing to lose except a little bit of time, which let’s be honest, you were just going to watch something on YouTube or TikTok. If you would like to explore this topic further or work on some self-esteem treatment, please contact me for further information on the therapy I provide.
“It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” ― Roy Disney, older brother of Walt and co-founder of Walt Disney Company