You feel as though you are losing control of the direction of your own life. You don’t know what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. You begin to feel as though your desires or decisions no longer matter. Maybe you want to walk dogs and listen to jazz all day—but the overwhelming demands of your life responsibilities make you feel as though you’re not able to live out those desires.

Every moment of every day, you are making decisions on how to spend your time, on what to pay attention to, and on where to direct your energy —all of which reflect our values.

Many of us state values we wish we had to conceal the values we actually have. We fail to back up these wishes with our actions. Aspiration becomes a form of avoidance. Instead of facing who we really are, we lose ourselves in who we wish to become.

How did we decide on those values and that specific idea of self?

We often assume that we know who we are from the start. I often think, “I should know who I am after being me for 20+ years.” Wrong.

There is usually an aha-moment when we realize the person who we thought we were, and the values we thought we had are not a part of our reality. We go on a journey to “find ourselves,” which really means finding new values. Our “self” is the aggregation of everything we value. We are defined by what we find important in our lives through our actions, our words, and our decisions.

Here’s how you can start your creative, personal discovery process in 5 simple steps:

  1. Tabula Rosa (like you learned in U.S. History). Start with a blank slate, with no preconceived notions of who you are. This gives you the space to discover and define your personal values.
  2. Create Your List of Personal Values. Think about your most meaningful or revealing experiences, moments of frustration or guilt, and things you must have in your life. Here’s a list​ of core values to get you started.
  3. Now that you have your values chunk them into groups and give that group an overarching theme. This is your BIG LIST OF VALUES.
  4. Cut out the values that are not essential to your life, those that don’t represent your primary way of being or don’t support your inner self. Hold onto 5 – 10 values from the BIG LIST.
  5. Rank em, baby. This is your ACHIEVER VALUES LIST.

Reply with a pic of your ACHIEVER VALUES LIST.