Personal Development Exercises 3. Personal Values

Welcome to number 3 in my personal development exercises series.

Why the Elvis picture did I hear you ask? Well, Elvis once said: ‘Your values are like your fingerprints; you leave a trace of them on everything you do‘. And you can’t think about personal development without spending some time thinking about your own value base.

Women who regularly pay attention to their own personal development feel more in control and have more understanding of what they want from life so gift yourself a few moments, read this through and think about what really matters to you in life.

Paying attention to our personal development means knowing quite explicitly what our values are, what actually drives us and motivates us. I’ve uploaded an extract from my book for you to have a look at for this exercise. Highlight it and print it off if you want; this one may be easier to tackle in bite size  hunks.


We all differ widely in the things that act as ‘driving forces’ in our lives. You are a unique person. The factors, or values, which we regard as important, have varying degrees of priority for each of us when it comes to helping in making decisions.  Generally speaking, we don’t think too much about what these are; our values are just there.

But for the purposes of this exercise we need to spend some time actually trying to be specific as to what your value base is. For example, some of what you hold dear will have come from your family or upbringing, perhaps a strong work ethic. If you have a strong work value you may find yourself feeling quite negatively judgemental towards yourself and others who are not usefully employed. Often when we are at odds with ourselves, when we feel uncomfortable in our work yet can’t quite figure out why, it may be because we are in a position where we are not being true to ourselves. Our values are not being met, or worse, are being violated.

Knowing your values helps you make the best decisions about what you want to do in life.

Values Questionnaire

The following will help you to identify your personal values. Rate each of the driving forces/personal values for its importance to you (high, medium or low).  Remember, if this is to be helpful to you, you’ll need to be as frank as you can. Putting down what you think you ‘ought’ to feel or believe is no good. Just answer as honestly as you can. It can feel quite a challenging task so don’t try and do it all at once.

Read it through, fill in what you can and allow other thoughts to come as they will. Once completed, select the three values that are least important to you and five that are most important. Make any notes that you want to and add any that you feel are missing. Remember, no one is judging you; this is for your eyes only!

Value Priority Rate H/M/L (High Medium Low)

Importance Rate 1- 5 (1 = Low – 5 = High)

  • Achievement (sense of accomplishment, doing something really well)
  • Advancement (promotion, climbing the ladder)
  • Adventure (new and challenging experiences)
  • Autonomy (doing your own thing, no boss)
  • Charity (doing things with no monetary reward)
  • Competitiveness (winning, taking risks, pitting self against others)
  • Co-operation (working well with others, teamwork)
  • Economic security (steady, adequate income)
  • Fame (being well known, big fish/small pool?)
  • Family happiness
  • Freedom (independence, autonomy)
  • Friendship (close relationships with others)
  • Health (being physically and mentally well)
  • Helpfulness (assisting others, improving society)
  • Inner harmony (being at peace with yourself)
  • Integrity (honesty, sincerity, standing up for beliefs)
  • Involvement (participating with others, belonging)
  • Loyalty (duty, respectfulness, obedience)
  • Order (tranquillity, stability, conformity)
  • Personal development (use of potential)
  • Pleasure (fun, leisurely life-style)
  • Power (control, authority, influence over others, politics)
  • Recognition (respect from others, acknowledgement)
  • Religion/Faith (strong religious beliefs, spiritual life)
  • Self-respect (a sense of pride and personal identity)
  • Status (occupying a position that people look up to, admire)
  • Wealth (making money, getting rich)
  • Wisdom (understanding life, discovering knowledge)
  • Others (anything that doesn’t fit anywhere else)

Does your current lifestyle support what’s important to you? Do you need to make any changes?

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Posted on August 16th, 2012 by

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