What’s my Value(s)?
Posted October 6, 2014

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In business we talk about the value of a product or service: market value in real estate, the blue book value of a car.  Socially we talk about family values or value systems.  Personally we ask ourselves “What is the value of my time?” or “What’s the value I bring to the table?”

Value has many meanings, but it always come back to concepts of what is right, worthwhile or desirable. Sometimes these are quantifiable, and sometimes they are more abstract.

Values are what motivate you! We need to be very aware, however, that there are two types of values: fear-based, and conscious-based.


Values based on fear

Values based on fear cause you to take action to avoid something. They are “have to’s.” When you think about them, they are usually followed by “or else”. For example someone who highly values avoiding conflict might say, “I have to keep my mouth shut, or else we will end up fighting.” These values are also based on judgment from others or yourself – “I need to.” “I have to.” “I ought to.”


Conscious Values

Conscious values drive positive action. They are “want to’s.” I am doing something because it is positive and growth-giving. “I want to.”  “I choose to.” Think about using conscious values in even those most difficult situations. Someone who has had a difficult break-up might be reluctant to love again. When they are looking for the “right” next person from this standpoint, they will be looking for a trustworthy partner NOT because I’m afraid I will be hurt again, but because “I know that when I am with someone I can trust I can offer so much more and we are both more fulfilled.”



  1. The more aligned we are with our values, the happier and more satisfied we are. Take some time to think about your values and ask how well do they match up with your current work/personal/social relationships.
  2. Practice shifting from fear to conscious-based values. Whenever you find yourself saying: should, could, have to, need to, change it to: want to or need to and think about what that means.

This month’s Happy Hour Coach is on Values. Join us on October 8th at McCormick & Schmick’s for a lesson on how values motivate you and enjoy a whiskey tasting on the house!

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