One of the first things that I do with my clients is help them identify their values. Values are intangible guides that we live our lives by - whether consciously or unconsciously. Values are often things that get heavily covered up by the muck, chaos, lies, and thoughts of an eating disorder. We are not discovering our values here - we are uncovering them.
The below values assessment is adapted from one that I found here by John Tsilimparis - a writer and a psychologist. I have made some changes to it, as to make it more manageable and specific.
Below is a list of common values that people hold.
Identify your top ten values from this list, or by using this list as an example and adding your own. If you are unsure - try saying "I value" before each one, and see which ones seem the most true to you right now.
Core Values List
Now, from your list of 10, eliminate 5.
From the list of 5 that you are left with, choose the one that feels the most "up" for you right now. The one that is the most compelling, magnetic, attractive. The one that you need more of in your life.
For the next week, you are going to practice living more fully into this value. Write down the following sentence, and apply it to every day of the next week:
An action that I will take on (MTWTF) to live more fully into (this core value) is: _____________
Core value - Friendship
An action that I will take on Monday to live more fully into Friendship is collecting the addresses of 5 of my closest friends.
An action that I will take on Tuesday to live more fully into Friendship is make 5 cards and mail them to the 5 friends whose addresses I collected.
An action that I will take on Wednesday to live more fully into Friendship is to call my friend Jenny who I haven't spoken to in a while.
An action that I will take on Thursday to live more fully into Friendship is to call my friend Alison and invite her to get brunch with me on Saturday.
An action that I will take on Friday to live more fully into Friendship is to take my friend Christine's yoga class so that I get to see her.
An action that I will take on Saturday to live more fully into Friendship is to have brunch with Alison.
An action that I will take on Sunday to live more fully into Friendship is to take my friend Becky's yoga class so that I get to see her.
Your action might repeat some days or every day. It might also differ each day. The idea is that you are working on strengthening this value in your life. Try it for a week! Maybe some of these actions become part of your routine and then next week, do the same exercise for a different value. Knowing and living into your values is a HUGE step in reclaiming and recreating your life.
Whether or not you actually commit to and do it is up to you. In the end, this is your life and your life is your responsibility, and, If you need any support with this - feel free to reach out to me here!
Click here to download this Values Assessment as a PDF.