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Free to be You

Individual, Couple and Trauma Counselling


What are Values?

How Come It is Important to Know Your Values?

There are 24 hours in a day, it is important to understand what is important to us, as we may be focusing on things, people or experiences that do not matter to us, and in the end we do not feel content, satisfied or happy with ourselves or our lives. In our society we are goal oriented which is a wonderful skill to have; yet many of us are working on goals that are not actually feeding our values and this leaves us feeling empty or unfulfilled. Knowing your values is your own personal guidance system that contributes greatly to providing clarity, lightness, knowingness, satisfaction, being content, fulfilled, driven, peaceful and so much more. Knowing your values is clarity of understanding what matters to you.

What happens when we do not know or honorour values:

Here are some examples:

Betrayal to Self:

Imagine health is a core value for this individual. They have decided what health means to them is to lead a healthy active life style. A couple of the forms that feed that value is to work out minimum 3 times per week and eat healthy foods. They end up working long hours at work by choice, and are so busy they eat fast food instead of healthy food. This individual has broken their agreement to themselves, they are out of integrity with their word, and thus what will happen as it was one of their core values is a leakage of energy being displaced in a unhealthy manner. It may look like resentment or anger to themselves, or displaced onto others, anxiety, depression, stress or worry like symptoms building up.

Betrayal to Self/ Accomodating Another:

In relationship with our significant other it is important to have a healthy sense of give and take; however this is different when it comes to our core values. Many couples end up in conflict that is related to a core value conflict which is quite different than general values. Partner A and Partner B have similar core values of family, religion, parenting and financial security however Partner B enjoys an active lifestyle and joined a running group and really wants to share this with Partner A. Partner A is a homebody and has no interest at all to go out in the community and be active. This couple has been married 17 years and in the past it worked as Partner B repressed his want of being active and stayed at home. Partner B no longer wanted to keep pretending it did not matter. Partner B and Partner A recognized they both did not want to change these aspects of themselves and they separated as this was a core value conflict. Knowledge of your core values will guide you in making healthy relationship choices from the beginning and prevent many breakdowns in relationships.

Is My Workplace a Fit?

Companies have mission statements and this is a way you can gage their values are a match to your values. Sometimes, circumstances can alter a company’s value and this may impact you as well. As an example, an individual I was working with established that honesty was one of his core values, and he had been working for the company for 10 years enjoying what he did and working with his customers. A policy change was implemented that went against this individual’s honesty value and he was asked to implement these changes with his customer that he felt was unethical. It went directly against his honesty core value. In the 6 months that the change took place this person, was not sleeping properly, lost some of his hair due to stress and developed anxiety attacks going to work. This individual approached management and they were not willing to change their policy. The options now for this individual was to change deparments or companies as his values were no longer in alignment with his company. If this individual stayed he most likely would continue to experience health related symptoms impacting from the conflict of his core value.

Identifying Your Values

Step One – Choose Values That Are Important To You

I invite you to take some time and free flow circling or marking as many values that you can that speak to you or resonate with who you are which you feel are important to you and your life. Some values you may not identify at all with and others may jump right out at you. Remember this is only a guide and it is important to note that you can add your own or change the wording if it feels like it would be more of a fit for you to do this. You may pick one or two and then leave it for a space of time and when you come back to the list other words jump out at you.

  1. Abundance
  2. Acceptance
  3. Accessibility
  4. Accomplishment
  5. Accuracy
  6. Achievement
  7. Acknowledgement
  8. Activeness
  9. Adaptability
  10. Adoration
  11. Adventure
  12. Affection
  13. Affluence
  14. Aliveness
  15. Ambition
  16. Appreciation
  17. Approachability
  18. Assertiveness
  19. Attentiveness
  20. Attractiveness
  21. Authenticity
  22. Availability
  23. Awareness
  24. Balance
  25. Beauty
  26. Being the best
  27. Belonging
  28. Bliss
  29. Boldness
  30. Bravery
  31. Brilliance
  32. Calmness
  33. Capability
  34. Caring
  35. Celebrity
  36. Certainty
  37. Challenge
  38. Charity
  39. Charm
  40. Cheerfulness
  41. Clarity
  42. Cleanliness
  43. Clear-mindedness
  44. Cleverness
  45. Closeness
  46. Comfort
  47. Commitment
  48. Compassion
  49. Completion
  50. Concentration
  51. Confidence
  52. Congruency
  53. Connection
  54. Consciousness
  55. Consistency
  56. Contentment
  57. Contribution
  58. Control
  59. Conviction
  60. Coolness
  61. Cooperation
  62. Courage
  63. Courtesy
  64. Craftiness
  65. Creativity
  66. Credibility
  67. Curiosity
  68. Daring
  69. Decisiveness
  70. Delight
  71. Dependability
  72. Depth
  73. Desire
  74. Determination
  75. Devotion
  76. Dignity
  77. Diligence
  78. Direction
  79. Directness
  80. Discipline
  81. Discovery
  82. Discretion
  83. Diversity
  84. Drive
  85. Duty
  86. Dynamism
  87. Eagerness
  88. Education
  89. Effectiveness
  90. Efficiency
  91. Elation
  92. Elegance
  93. Empathy
  94. Encouragement
  95. Endurance
  96. Energy
  97. Enjoyment
  98. Equality
  99. Excitement
  100. Exhilaration
  101. Experience
  102. Expertise
  103. Exploration
  104. Expressiveness
  105. Exuberance
  106. Fairness
  107. Faith
  108. Fame
  109. Family
  110. Fascination
  111. Fashion
  112. Fearlessness
  113. Fierceness
  114. Financial independence
  115. Firmness
  116. Fitness
  117. Flexibility
  118. Flow
  119. Fluency
  120. Focus
  121. Fortitude
  122. Frankness
  123. Freedom
  124. Friendship
  125. Friendliness
  126. Frugality
  127. Fun
  128. Generosity
  129. Giving
  130. Grace
  131. Gratitude
  132. Growth
  133. Guidance
  134. Happiness
  135. Harmony
  136. Health
  137. Heart
  138. Helpfulness
  139. Heroism
  140. Holiness
  141. Honesty
  142. Honor
  143. Humility
  144. Humor
  145. Imagination
  146. Independence
  147. Ingenuity
  148. Inquisitiveness
  149. Insightfulness
  150. Inspiration
  151. Integrity
  152. Intelligence
  153. Intensity
  154. Intimacy
  155. Introversion
  156. Intuition
  157. Intuitiveness
  158. Inventiveness
  159. Joy
  160. Justice
  161. Keenness
  162. Kindness
  163. Knowledge
  164. Leadership
  165. Learning
  166. Liberation
  167. Liveliness
  168. Logical
  169. Love of life
  170. Loyalty
  171. Making a difference
  172. Mastery
  173. Maturity
  174. Meticulousness
  175. Mindfulness
  176. Modesty
  177. Motivation
  178. Mysteriousness
  179. Neatness
  180. Open-mindedness
  181. Openness
  182. Oneness
  183. Optimism
  184. Order
  185. Organization
  186. Originality
  187. Parenting Style
  188. Passion
  189. Peace
  190. Perceptiveness
  191. Perseverance
  192. Persistence
  193. Persuasiveness
  194. Philanthropy
  195. Playfulness
  196. Pleasure
  197. Popularity
  198. Power
  199. Positive Attitude
  200. Practicality
  201. Precision
  202. Preparedness
  203. Presence
  204. Privacy
  205. Proactivity
  206. Professionalism
  207. Prosperity
  208. Punctuality
  209. Purity
  210. Realism
  211. Reason
  212. Reasonableness
  213. Recognition
  214. Recreation
  215. Relaxation
  216. Reliability
  217. Religiousness
  218. Resilience
  219. Resolution
  220. Resolve
  221. Resourcefulness
  222. Respect
  223. Reverence
  224. Richness
  225. Sacredness
  226. Security
  227. Sensitivity
  228. Sensuality
  229. Serenity
  230. Service
  231. Sexuality
  232. Sharing
  233. Simplicity
  234. Sincerity
  235. Skillfulness
  236. Solidarity
  237. Solitude
  238. Spirit
  239. Spirituality
  240. Spontaneity
  241. Spunk
  242. Stability
  243. Strength
  244. Success
  245. Support
  246. Teamwork
  247. Thoroughness
  248. Thoughtfulness
  249. Timeliness
  250. Traditionalism
  251. Tranquility
  252. Transcendence
  253. Trust
  254. Truth
  255. Understanding
  256. Uniqueness
  257. Unity
  258. Variety
  259. Vision
  260. Vitality
  261. Warmth
  262. Wealth
  263. Where you live – city, town, apartment, home
  264. Willingness
  265. Wisdom
  266. Wittiness
  267. Wonder
  268. Work – type of work you do
  269. Youthfulness
  270. Zest for Life

Step Two – Choose Five Core Value

From the list of values you selected, ideally if you can narrow it down to five core values. How I describe core values is that you will walk across broken glass to have it met, or hot burning coals of fire. Another way of distinguishing it as a core value, if I were to ask you to give me your core value, could you part with it. For example, one of my core values is freedom and I know for sure I would not let anyone take this from me or give it up. You can play around with them, and it is sometimes useful to work with someone you trust to sort through this process.

Step Three – Define each Core Value

You may find that you choose a value that is the same as someone else you know. It is also important to note that even though you have the same value it may mean something completely different to that other person. For example, a family value to someone coule mean I want to be the provider of the home and to their partner it may mean I want to create a peaceful loving home for my family.

Step Four – Distinguish the forms that fulfill your Values.

This is a step that many people fail to do and this may lead to unstated expectations of oneself or another that often results in disappointment. As our life evolves our values may stay the same and our forms may change, so it is important to review this list on a regular basis.

Example of health could be to work out three times per week, eat healthy foods, be a non-smoker, go to bed at certain time, etc.

Example of family could be no matter how busy my life becomes I want to have a sit down meal with my immediate family on Sundays, I want to go on a annual vacation, have a scheduled date night with my partner, etc.

Step Five – Identify Short-Term or Long-Term Goals that Fulfill Your Values

Once you have a list of your forms, choose five to ten items that you can create goals that will relate to these forms. For example, if you choose Security as a value, one of the forms could be to be mortgage free in 10 years, and the goal is that you pay an extra mortgage payment each month to have this result. Your goals can be long or short term. With goals a great tip is to go by the SMART method.

S = be specific with goal

M = have the goal be measurable

A = attainable

R = realistic

T = include a timeline

Examples of Tara’s Values:


To create a peaceful home where each family knows they are free to be themselves and are loved for who they are!

Sunday mornings we have a special breakfast together as a family unit.

My children have a story read to them at night and state their gratitudes.

Annual family vacation to somewhere new.

From Spring to Fall we go on a family picnic and hike once a month.

Have a family meeting once a month to share our requests, suggestions etc.


I am free to be myself. I listen to my inner voice and I honor myself.

To create a vision board that reflects who I am by Jan 2, 2011.

Each month I purchase a piece of clothing that reflects who I am.

I purchase and create my ipod with lists of songs that speak to me.

I learn how to play the drums by December 31, 2011.

I learn how to belly dance with my daughter and register for classes by September 2011.


I am fully self expressed, alive and having fun.

I go to a bed and breakfast twice a year with my partner, Spring time he chooses and surprises me and the fall I do the same.

Every November my family and I go to the Royal Winter Fair.

Every two years my family and I go to the Toronto Santa Claus Parade.

Every 4 months I take a personal development course.


I am living a life of financial freedom. I am a powerful and effective communicator, and I speak from my heart in control of my emotions.

My mortgage is fully paid off in 10 years by December, 2012 or earlier.

I only purchase things/items that I can pay off in cash right away.

My website is fully complete by June 2011.

I take courses that will enhance my communication skills.


I feel a inner sense of peace. I am in control of my thoughts and feelings.

I go for a walk three times per week or more with my walking group.

I meditate and journal every morning for at least one hour.

I treat myself to a facial and / or massage every month.

I go to a Shalom Retreat every 3 to 4 months.

I spend quality time with my children every day.