Conflicting values

We all have a certain set of values, which are important to us and we try to follow. They help us making decisions and give us hold as they identify who we are and what we stand for. But do we ever really think about our values?

Do you know what your top five values are? Your top 10? And did you ever think about why you have those values? Did you develop them yourself? Did you take them on from family or friends? I think answering those questions helps me to better understand myself and why I behave the way I do.

About two years ago, I started a journal about myself. I reflect on my strengths and weaknesses, my dreams, talents and more. And, of course, about my values.

To define my top 10 values, I created a staple of cards each having one value written on it. In the end, I had about 100 values. Then I compared them and identified which I feel stronger about than the other. It took me a while but in the end, I came up with a list of ten. Actually a few more because I grouped them in bigger cluster. It is difficult to describe but you feel it, when you think about those values you have just written down.

Having this list gave me not only insight into myself but also a feeling of strengths. I guess, that was, because I got to know myself better. But it was only the beginning. Reflecting about the past, I realized, that sometimes some of my values seemed to conflict each other. Pairing all the values, gave me a good feeling which of them can create a conflict and which can support each other.

In this entry, I want to talk about a pair of values, that are often in conflict. The values are harmony and love. Love, in this case means love for myself. I often did things in order to establish harmony with which I didn’t show love or value for myself. I did to be part of a group or that someone else liked me. In the past, I couldn’t really tell why I didn’t feel good. Now, I know that some of my values clashed.

Knowing that this might be the case in a situation helps me to evaluate, what I need in this moment and what is more important to me right now. It also helps me to question my motivation for doing things in the first place. Or it helps me to understand why I did certain things (yes, sometimes I can only understand in hindsight =) ). It helps me to act and not to react, which I found liberating.

What are your values and do they have the potential to conflict with each other? Or do you have a value that is clearly the number one, no matter what? Let me know by writing in the comments below or by writing an e-mail.


Take care =)



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