4 Steps to defining and connecting with your Soul’s Values
A quick re-cap from part 1 of this blogpost:
We’re all leaders, regardless of position, life style, or creed. For me, leadership is closely linked to my values and to questions like “Am I the best I can be? Am I taking responsibility for my actions and reactions?”
It’s difficult to answer such questions without knowing what our values or guiding principles are. For the most part, we seem to use values to distinguish between “us” and “them”, or what is considered “good” or “bad”. We’re also used to talking about “moral values” and “ethical values”, but how often are we encouraged to explore our soul’s values?
The cool thing about our soul’s values is that they connect us to something deeper, something bigger than ourselves, and they help us align with actions and expressions that bring meaning and fulfilment to our lives.
Sticking to your Soul’s Values promotes and supports your personal and professional growth. It increases your experience of clarity and sense of freedom and possibility in your work and life.
As a result you will:
- Feel empowered to up-level your service and contribution in the world, leading you to new beginnings and empowered self-leadership.
- Experience peace of mind, while being aware that we create our own realities with our thoughts, beliefs and actions.
- Manifest inner balance and harmony.
- Build confidence in your innate worth and abilities.
So, what are the steps – how do we actually do it?
The purpose of this exercise is to ground and integrate the values you aim to live by. The natural first step is to identify and define your soul’s values – your foundation. Each value has three aspects: a core principle, a process, and a practice. The following questions are a helpful guide in achieving the clarity we are looking for:
- “What is the it?” (The value’s core principle, or name)
- “How do we recognize it?” (The process)
- “How do we live it?” (The practice)
Below is the outline and how-to for identifying and defining our soul’s values:
1. Create your list
You may never have thought about what your values are, or at least not made a point of identifying them. We all know what feels right to us and what doesn’t, but we’re seldom encouraged to explore or develop a clear understanding of what our deeper drivers are. If you have made a list of values in the past, dig it out and use that as your starting point. Create some space for yourself where you can focus on this for a while without being disturbed or distracted. Ask yourself what is most important to you in terms of the ‘code’ you wish to live by, and make a list of any words that come to you in relation to your soul’s values and core beliefs. There is no perfect number – continue to write words down until no more come to mind. If you find that there are words of a similar nature on your list – see if you can bring them together using one word to describe them.
2. Identify and define which words answer Question 1 & which answer Question 2
Q1: “What is the it?” (the core principle, your soul’s value)
Q2: “How do I recognize it?” (the process)
It is easy to get lost in abstract thinking and focus on values that have a mental or value-based judgment attached to them. The purpose of this step is to get to the values that resonate in your core, your soul. There is a process for how we act in support of each soul’s value, so explore which words in your list are core principles (Q1), which words speak to how you recognise they are present (Q2), and how they want to be paired.
To illustrate the four steps, I’m using my own soul’s values.
My original list of words included: Equality, Transparency, Truth, Inclusiveness, Love, Happiness, Joy, Openness, Connection (note: your list might be much longer, or shorter). I intuitively knew which words were the core principles and which represented the process. There is no “right answer” to which words to use and how to pair them, only what resonates for you. My value-pairs turned out as follows:
Continue to explore until all words in your list have been paired, answering questions 1 & 2 (add words as necessary). To keep it manageable, once they have all been paired, reduce the list to 3-5 pairs that speak to you the most.
3. Explore how you would answer Question 3 for each value-pair
Q3: “How do I live it?” (the practice)
Meditate or reflect on what the practice is for the value-pairs you have identified, e.g. what is it that you do (or need to do) in everyday life to support these core values. This question is the most important one, because it brings it to our awareness; it brings it “home”. Having the answer to this question helps you stay aligned with your values in your everyday actions, reactions, and experiences.
Adding my practices to the matrix completes the exercise and works as a reminder for me for how I need to “show up” to be in alignment with my soul’s values. We could stop here, however, there is huge benefit in taking it one step further as in step 4.
4. Translate your short-list into The Winner’s Be-Do-Have model
This step flips the focus from Having/Doing to Being, and helps to further solidify the importance of Leadership from Within and how leadership is a practice.
Who do I need to be? How do I live it?
I need to be humble, listening deeply, asking questions, being open, and staying tuned to inner wisdom.
What is the experience? How do I recognise it?
Transparency, love, inclusiveness, happiness, balance.
What is the outcome? What are my soul’s values?
Equality, truth, connection, deep joy, coherence.
And with this, the process is complete! Having the Be-Do-Have summary offers a powerful way to stay connected to your soul’s values for living an empowered, coherent, and radiant life.
To do this process yourself offline register to download a free pdf (includes layouts for a Soul’s Values shortlist and the Be-Do-Have summary). Registering means that you will be sharing your email address with us, but don’t worry your email address will be held in sacred trust.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. In an upcoming post, I’ll be exploring how to live and be of service to our Soul’s Values and what happens when we do.
If you would like to go deeper, I offer a possibility to experience this process. In addition to identifying and connecting with your soul’s values, you’ll learn how the circumstances in your life can function as a barometer for where there is alignment or misalignment with your values. Together we’ll create a dynamic foundation from which you can stay authentic and in integrity, be present, and live from awareness in all aspects of your life.