Which activities could enrich our life?
Inner values: what is important to you in life?
One hears again and again that it is the “inner values” that count. This is often said in situations in which one is rejected on the basis of appearance or in which one does not feel comfortable in one's own skin. The inner values are therefore used as a kind of consolation. But what are intrinsic values? Is it about a person's character? And how can we influence the inner values so that they actually become visible to others and enrich our lives?
What are inner values?
Basically, when we talk about values, it is superfluous to refer to them as “inner” values. Because:
The value we ascribe to a quality or an external thing exists always only in us - that is, in our thoughts and feelings. Assessment is a process that takes place in our psyche. A value is something that is important to us.
That could be something specific, like our new car or our best friend. But values can also be qualities that exist independently of tangible things and, to a certain extent, lie behind them. Sounds a bit complicated and theoretical? So let's take a practical look at it.
Examples of inner values
Love, joy, self-care, attractiveness, sexuality, responsibility, reputation - these are all examples of values. Right, these words are very general and basically anything can be hidden behind them. That is what makes inner values so valuable!
In fact, “love” can be love for a friend, family, yourself, or even a pet. Likewise, reputation can actually relate to the new car - but it is just as possible to gain reputation by helping others.
The point of "generality" is so important because values give us the opportunity to bring them into our lives in a variety of ways.
Suppose we are unable to take responsibility for our own family because we cannot find a suitable partner or our desire to have children remains unfulfilled. But we can live the intrinsic value of “responsibility” differently, for example through professional or voluntary responsibility.
Sure, we often unconsciously associate our values with very specific conditions, for example: I really want to have a family of my own in order to take on meaningful responsibility. But in the long term it is possible to rethink and accept our living conditions. Which doesn't mean that we can't live our values - just differently than expected. But why should we even do that? What does it bring us exactly?
Why values are important
Of course there are many things in life that we enjoy. However, we feel fully fulfilled and satisfied in the long term when our activities and our lifestyle correspond to our inner values. Values can also change in the course of life and play a different role in different situations.
Dinner with friends can be fun, but it takes on a completely different meaning if one of our values is, for example, connectedness. Then we can create a basic level of satisfaction for ourselves by regularly inviting people to such evenings and consciously cultivating our contacts.
Aligning your life with your own values can be the key to a more positive attitude towards life.
By the way, you will also find an answer to the question: What do I actually want? But how do we best do it?
What are my values?
The best way to get in touch with your inner values is to first divide your everyday life into different areas.
An example of this breakdown would be: work, leisure / hobbies, relationships and personal development. Of course, these areas overlap and you don't have to strictly separate them.
Now imagine a past situation for each area in which you felt completely fulfilled and coherent. You don't necessarily have to have been particularly happy; what counts is a feeling of satisfaction with yourself.
When you have the 4 situations, ask yourself for each one of them: Which qualities do I show or are present in this situation? What are the characteristics that are important here? What do I stand for in this moment, what do I embody?
The answers to these questions might surprise you: Compassion, sustainability, care, creativity, intuition, relaxation - let yourself be guided by your good feeling and decide on 1 or 2 values for each area.
How can I live according to my inner values?
If you know your 4 to 8 values, you can think about which activities and which lifestyle really suit you. Ask yourself: What can I change or what can I strengthen and make even more present in my everyday life? How can I make the smallest decisions in everyday life in order to get closer to my values?
This may be immediately clear to you, but it is also possible that you need to experiment a little. You may also notice that an inner value that you have picked out does not suit you - it may only reflect what is expected of you.
Therefore, see every day as a new opportunity to improve your life - not in the sense of self-optimization, but according to the standard of what feels suitable and valuable to you.
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