This guide will help you identify your core values and reduce worrying about "what ifs". Discovering my personal values was a turning point in my life. It freed me from living according to other people's expectations and reduced my anxiety.
    Guide for Women: How to Identify Personal Values to Reduce Anxiety
    10 minutes reading + practice
      If you're thinking any of the following,
      read this article:
      "I feel like I'm not living my life"
      "Everything seems important to me, and I can't not do it"
      "I don't know why I'm doing what I'm doing"
      "My life has too many "have to's" and not enough "want to's."
      "I set many goals every year, but I fail to achieve them"
      "Why is it so difficult for me to make decisions, even simple ones?"
      1. Signs of Living Apart From Your True Values
      During my recent trip to New York, I met up with my friend Lisa who was experiencing strong emotions. While it's not uncommon to feel worried while living in New York, Lisa's anxiety was negatively impacting her sleep, work, and overall happiness. Even activities she usually enjoyed, such as cycling and running, failed to provide her with relief.

      As we spoke, I discovered that Lisa had set nearly a hundred goals for herself to achieve in 2023, some of which were in direct conflict with one another. For instance, she desired both financial success and more personal time for travel and self-improvement.

      "If a person is lost in their life, it means that they are disconnected from their values."
      Many of us are like my friend, setting numerous important (as we think) goals every year. This is a normal part of our culture. Being a superwoman and achieving success in every aspect is very trendy.

      If you feel stressed and anxious because you have too many plans and tasks, and this is stopping you from enjoying life and getting into a state of flow, you might be experiencing some of the following.

      Have you experienced 3 or more of the following signs in the past 6 months?

      1. Feeling very tired, even in the morning
      2. No energy for socializing with friends or meeting new people
      3. Difficulty relaxing
      4. Getting irritated easily, even by small things
      5. Difficulty sleeping or waking up in the morning
      6. Hard to focus on work
      7. Lots of procrastination and avoiding tasks
      8. Feeling tightness in your chest, stomach pain, or headache

      Experiencing these signs could mean you have mental health issues or you are dissatisfied with your life. People who experience these signs often take on too much without understanding their values and priorities, which can lead to tons of stress.

      Other signs of living apart from your values:

      • Struggle to make decisions
      • Difficulty achieving goals and staying motivated
      • Trouble saying no
      • Struggle to be honest with yourself and others
      • Feeling empty and lacking purpose in life
      • Difficulty building relationships with others

      Let's figure out what you should do to define your personal values. We'll also talk about how to incorporate these values into your life and link them to your goals, so you don't waste your energy on things that don't matter to you.
        2. What are personal core values?
        Most people will say: family, work, and friends.
        But I'll say - bullsh*t! I'm sorry, but you're lying to yourself. It's most likely these are not your values, it's a societal standard imposed on you. And I'll prove it!

        Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions and actions in life. They are what is most important to you and reflect what you stand for.

        Your values are:
        • Unique to you. Values make you, you.
        • Established in childhood, these are the foundation of your character.
        • Likely to stay with you for life, barring any significant upheavals

        Values exist, whether you recognize them or not. What we do with our careers, our personal lives, and even our relationships rely on our values. Life can be much easier when you acknowledge your values – and when you make plans and decisions that honor them.

        Values are very different than goals. Goals are future-focused and have defined destinations, such as learning a new skill at work or losing 10 pounds. Values are more directions on a compass than specific targets, such as being honest when dating or being physically active.

        Here are some other useful metaphors for values:
        1. North Star (my fav:)
        2. Music that leads
        3. Principles for life
        4. Life creed
        5. Mission
        When you're all about your values, it's easier to love life, stress less, and handle problems like a boss.
        3. Why is it important to live a value-centered life, especially for modern women?
        Personal values are how you distinguish between the "good" and "bad" in your life. They are the beliefs that you hold most dear.

        Here are some benefits of living a values-based life:

        • Feel more pleasure and fulfillment in life
        • Help you love and enjoy life
        • Set meaningful goals and plans
        • Give structure to your life
        • Ensure authenticity in your life
        • Help you to say no
        • Connect with others and build relationships
        • Better cope with difficulties
        • Help you to make a difference in the world ✨
        As for women, society has already created many stereotypical scenarios which we are expected to follow, regardless of our personal values:

        • Get married
        • Be a good mom
        • Be sexy and beautiful
        • Make a good career
        • Be a good wife
        • Be wise
        However, these templates fail to bring happiness or meaning to the lives of many women. This is because they do not align with their values. Unfortunately, no one teaches us how to identify our true values, which leaves society at a disadvantage. It prefers us to conform and follow pre-determined programs. There, I'm getting sidetracked ))) But you know what I mean, right?

        In today's world, with a pandemic on one side and war on the other, the role of women is more important than ever. It is essential that we know our goals and pursue them with confidence. This will make the world a better place for all.

        4. How do values relate to high anxiety?

        Anxiety is a widespread mental health issue that disproportionately affects women. Anxiety disorders are twice as common in women compared to men and are on the rise. I think it's too big a difference, but there are reasons for that: cultural background, hormonal differences, and abuse. A detailed study is available here.

        Unfortunately, very often culture or society imposes values on women that are not close to them. When we don't know what's important to us, we may feel lost, struggle to make choices, and lack purpose. This research shows that live connecting with your true values reduces anxiety and improves the quality of life, especially for women prone to generalized and social anxiety.

        The bottom line is understanding our values helps us navigate life's challenges. When we have a clear sense of purpose, living according to our values can give us direction and emotional stability, even during difficult times. This resilience can help us worry less and feel more in control.
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        anxiety today!
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        5. How to identify your personal core values
        It's time to practice! Let's figure out what matters to you!
        It's a good idea to work with a specialist to figure out what you really value. Because getting to your true values through social stereotypes can be very challenging, but it's worth it. You can try talking to a therapist, coach, or other professional. I help my clients with this and see great changes in their lives - even people who are well-educated and doing well with their mental health. I really enjoy doing this work. So let's start!
        Discovering your true values through social stereotypes can be very challenging, but it's worth it. Your values are a central part of who you are and who you want to be. You can use them as a guide to make the best choices in any situation.
        Step 1. Reflect on what is most important to you

        Answer the following questions honestly and write down your answers in any order:
        1. What is the most important thing in your life?
        2. What can't you live without?
        3. Which parts of your life are most important to you?
        4. Which ones make you happy?
        5. When did you feel most happy and fulfilled in life, thinking things like "This is what life is all about!" or "I love my life."?
        6. What were your dreams when you were young? What did they mean to you?

        Don't rush to answer right away, take your time, live with these questions to feel the answers in your heart. You can always come back to the article if you save it or send it to a friend.

        Try to avoid imposed stereotypes: family, work, friends. Dig deeper. Look for your values in what you do and love just for the process itself, not to get love or a reward.

        Result: After completing this exercise, you should have a list of 10 values that are most important to you in life. These should be things that you cannot imagine living without. Write them down, set them aside, and move on to the next stage.

        Just in case, I've made a HUGE value catalog below:
        Step 2. Remember your favorite heroes

        Think back to your favorite fairy tale, book, cartoon, or movie from when you were a kid. You probably watched it a bunch of times, had the toys, and even dressed up like the characters.

        Remembered? Now answer the following questions about this:
        • What was this work about? What was its plot?
        • Who was the most interesting and main character for you? What attracted you to her/him?
        • What mattered to this character and what did they work towards?
        • Think about why they did this and what they wanted to get from life.
        • What were the main values of this character?

        If it's hard to remember, ask your parents to help you out. But it's better to try and remember on your own. Usually, the first thought is the right one.

        Our core values are often embedded in the culture. Millennials will understand this picture below ))) Our values = the values of our heroes.

        Result: By looking at your favorite childhood heroes, you can see the values that were taught to you growing up. It's likely that your hero's values are your values too. Write them down and connect them with the previous list.
        Step 3. Prioritize your values

        After identifying your values, it is important to prioritize them. Compare the lists from the previous two stages and create a unified TOP 5 values. Consider which values are most important to you and which ones you want to focus on living out more fully.

        Tip: When deciding on your values, you may have a lengthy list and struggle to pick the most important ones. However, it's crucial to make a decision.

        Result: Write down your Top 5 personal values. Then, choose the TOP 3 values that are essential to your life. It may take some effort, but it's definitely worth it. These values make you happy, give meaning to your life, and guide you.
          Step 4. Check Yourself

          Sometimes people confuse their values with their current needs or imposed desires of others. To check your values, it's important to separate them from the following similar substances:

          • Temporary needs
          • Temporary desires
          • Desires of other people
          • Misconceptions about happiness
          • Unhealthy patterns and rules of life
          • Emotions
            All of this affects your actions and choices, but it is not your values. These are smaller and more temporary things. And values are constant and are likely to be the same in 10 years.

            Check your top-priority values, and make sure that they fit with your life and your vision for yourself:
            1. Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
            2. Are these values really important to me?
            3. Would my life feel incomplete without these values?
            4. Will I be happy if I follow these values for the next 10 years?
            5. Do these values represent things you would support, even if your choice isn't popular, and it puts you in the minority?

            If you answered YES to all of these questions, then you have identified your personal core values!

            Congrats! You now have 3 important life values to guide your path and give meaning to your life
            My friend Lisa and I finished these exercises, identifying 3 important values for her after 3 hours of work. We adjusted her 2023 goals to match these values, letting go of unnecessary things that didn't bring happiness and took away energy.

            In the end, instead of:
            • Financial prosperity
            • Traveling
            • Good relationship with a soulmate

            She realized that what truly makes her happy is:
            • Self-care and spiritual growth
            • Creativity and Innovation
            • Traveling

            Lisa is currently traveling in Europe and learning how to live and plan with her values in mind.

            If you need help or have questions, feel free to contact me here. You can also join The CenterMe Community where we discuss handling anxiety, do some exercises together, and inspire each other. I'm curious to see what you've discovered about yourself after reading this article!

            Once you have identified your values, it's essential to take action to align your life with them. Check out this article on how to align your values with your goals and plan your life accordingly.

            You can embark on a journey to discover your inner self today. If you do it right, congratulations! Your life will become much happier and more fulfilling. You will worry less because you will know what is worth your concern and what is not.
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              Hi! I'm Sia Science Witch.
              I believe anxiety is a gift, not a curse, and I can prove it.
              #about #mission #story
              Happy to have you on my blog!
              My name is Sia Marinich and I am a certified coach and consultant in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as well as the CEO of CenterMe, a mental health startup.
              In this blog, I focus on learning and adapting the most effective CBT tools to help women manage anxiety, stress, and their self criticism, which can hinder them from reaching their full potential.

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