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How You Can Identify Your Top 5 Values!

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

I have a challenge for you. Are you up for it?

It’s a pretty simple task, but it may rock you to your core. So buckle up, buttercup, we are about to define our Values.

First, what do we mean by “values”? I like how the folks at put it: “Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they're probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.”

One of the books I recently suggested for personal and professional growth is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. In it, he talks a lot about values - what we value, what are good and bad values, how what we value influences our behaviors and decisions. Don’t have the book? Here’s a cool article Mark wrote about personal values.

We need to be sure the things we give a crap about are worthwhile, are constructive, reality-based, controllable, “good” values. And we need to work on getting rid of those emotion-based, uncontrollable, destructive, “bad” values.

Because we all give a crap about stuff. But we can’t give a crap about everything. So we choose. We choose what we value. What we prioritize. Because some crap is definitely more worthwhile to care about. Those values can actually help us lead a better, healthier, more fulfilled life. And isn’t that what everyone is out here trying to do anyway?!

I hear you saying “Ok, Karli, I get that I have values, I know I give a crap about lots of stuff in my life. So what’s my challenge?”

Ah yes, I’m so glad you asked.

Your challenge is to define what indeed you actually give a crap about.

And NOT what you think you SHOULD give a crap about. What you WISH you prioritized. But what you actually, FOR REAL value. What are those things that actually guide your behaviors? What do your actions say are your values? #RealityCheck

Maybe you don’t like some of your values. That’s ok. This is the chance to define them, look at them in the face, and decide if you want to keep them, or give a crap about something else.

Are you ready?!!

Here’s what I want you to do:

1. Read the directions on this website. - seriously, read the directions, it helps - and create your list of values.

2. Create a comprehensive list!

Save this list. Download it, screenshot it, write it in your journal, text it to yourself, post it online - just save it! This is important as you grow and develop (and your values shift) to reflect back on.

3. Follow the directions to whittle your list down.

It’s painful, I know. And if it’s not painful to eliminate any of the values on your list, maybe you don’t really give a crap about that thing so much. Which is ok, too.

4. Create and save your “Top 10” list.

Here’s a tip: See if you can consolidate any of the values on your list. For example, it makes sense to fit two of my values - “autonomy” and “independence” - under “freedom” because, to me, those two serve the higher value of freedom. Make sense?

5. Create and save your “Top 5” list.

Whoa. That entire list has to go down to only 5?! ONLY FIVE?!?

Yes! You can do it!

Need a convenient place to save those Top 10 & Top 5 Value lists?? Say no more!

There is such power in naming and claiming those Top 5 Values. Having those words at your fingertips. Being able to explain that someone. Being able to go to that list as a guide when you are faced with a decision. Reflecting on that list when evaluating your behaviors.

I am a huge fan of becoming more self-aware. I believe there is power and freedom in learning about yourself and becoming more of who you have the capacity to be. Self-Awareness is one of my values and it is what guides my curiosity, self-confidence, education, professional development, and my work as a speaker and consultant. I hope this exercise was beneficial, challenging, and fun for you. I know it was for me!

Now go be the most awesome version of yourself you can be today!

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About Karli

As the owner of Karli Sherman Productions, I am a professional speaker, leadership coach, and executive coach. I help companies, campuses, and individuals to level up and grow through professional development workshops, intensive coaching, and keynote presentations.

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