I often use values work in my practice with women with ADHD. I find values work helps these women to identify and pursue their own goals, rather than focusing on the goals set for them by others or societal expectations.
I assist women with ADHD by helping them identify their true priorities and goals, even if they have never considered them before. This approach steers them away from the pressure of conforming to neurotypical standards and empowers them to pursue what they find meaningful and fulfilling. This method can greatly benefit women with ADHD by boosting their motivation, self-confidence, and overall satisfaction with life. It allows them to align their actions with their values, leading to a more fulfilling and less stressful life.
Do you know what matters to you deep down? A values inventory can help make this clear for you. So often in life, we get caught up in stress and fear, and we forget who we are and what we stand for. Not surprisingly, straying from the things we believe in the most deeply makes us unhappy.
We long to be those who know who they are and what they stand for—the person who knows what they want and doesn’t have trouble making choices. Self-trust and confidence are often my clients’ goals, and values work can help achieve these goals. You too can figure out what matters to you. Core values work is not about being who others say you should be.
The values you choose are not those of your friends, family, spouse, or society, although it’s a good idea to pick people who share your values! Values work requires tapping into what matters most to you deep down inside.
Surprisingly, knowing your values can also help you to tap into courage to overcome anxiety and depression. It can be the momentum you need to make a hard choice rather than to turn away or avoid, or make an easy comfortable choice in the moment.
Being clear on your values and setting the intention to stay true to them each day can help you to do hard things.
With my clients, this often turns into some of the most important work they do, and helps them to gain the momentum they need to push forward toward the goals they have been trying to meet, or to discard goals that were really not relevant in the first place and choose ones that are more meaningful to them.
Too many people choose goals that are not connected to their values, and they wind up on a path to unhappiness, checking off items on a list such as go to the right college, get the right job, buy the right house, marry the right kind of woman.
Only to find that they feel empty, lost, and very unhappy. Often, this is because they are living a life that is inconsistent with their values. I have had many successful people on the outside, but unhappy people on the inside, find their way back to themselves by doing values work.
Once you take inventory of what’s important to you, you can start to see where you are compromising and shortchanging yourself.
Acting in a way that is contradictory to who you want to be just plain makes you feel bad. Acting in a way that is consistent with who you want to be just makes you feel good.
I use these forms to help my clients get started on values work.
A+Values+Checklist Values_Questionnaire (2)
Here are some more ways to do values work:
Core Values: The Bullseye Form
The bullseye form is another form I use with my clients. It helps you evaluate how you are doing in certain domains in your life compared to how you wish you were doing so you can zero in on where you need to focus. It divides up your life into:
- Personal Growth/Health
This is a great tool to help you assess how you are doing. Bulls-Eye (1)
Core Values: Write a Personal Mission Statement
Other great ways to bring your life into balance include Steven Covey’s personal mission statement. A personal mission statement can help you to align your life in the same way it helps a business keep its mission clear. Franklin Covey’s website will help you do this for free here. It’s a great tool.
Core Values: Write Your Own Eulogy
One final exercise is designed to help you think about what you want people to say at your funeral. Often, this will help you to really get in touch with what matters in life. Bonnie Ware, who wrote “The Top Five Regrets of Dying,” wrote that one of those regrets was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Most of us don’t honor who we are or our dreams. Then we wonder why we are unhappy, depressed, or anxious. Often, these are symptoms that we are out of touch with the things that matter in life.
Proceed with caution with this one, however, because you have to be careful not to get too caught up in what others will think.
Writing your own eulogy is an exercise that can help you give very careful consideration to who you really want to be when all is said and done.