by Janet Hughes
Finances Simple Founder
Now that you’ve decided to turn over a new money leaf, it’s time to build a solid foundation to support your new money season. In order to take this next step you’ll need to look into your real core values and put ownership to them. Your values are like a compass, part of the moral code that guides your actions, the root beliefs you operate from. They make a way for you to see the things you wouldn’t otherwise see.
Taking inventory can bring you awareness about what you stand for and how you’d like to show up in your life. Aligning your values with your financial decisions can help build a healthy relationship with money.
So let’s start with using art to take an inventory of your personal values. Knowing the things that matter to your well-being and happiness will help you assess if your money habits line up with your values. Values can differ from person to person depending on many factors including culture and early childhood experiences.
Some of my values are authenticity, loyalty, trustworthiness, flexibility and interpersonal relationships. Some of these values come from my childhood because of the trauma I experienced. As a result I made decisions about what was valuable to me. People lying — lying about their dedication, lying about my importance to them, lying about things they will do, all played a big part in why I decided to be who I am. Though some of my values were determined by the traumas I experienced, other values came from the wonderful childhood experiences I had. Family getting together and having such a great time showed me that being hospitable and relational are very important for my community.
Taking inventory can bring you awareness about what you stand for and how you’d like to show up in your life. Aligning your values with your financial decisions can help build a healthy relationship with money. It can help turn over that new money leaf, leading you in new directions so your money wounds no longer guide your life.
Your inventory also helps with assessing your self-worth. Do you even believe you deserve what you value? Your values show up in how you value yourself. Knowing YOUR value will lead you to knowing your values. The wounds we have experienced in life make us lose focus of our value. Taking this time to assess your values will show how you prioritize YOU.
When taking inventory of your core values, you can ask yourself:
- How do I show up in the world?
- At work?
- At home?
- Within my relationships?
- Within my community?
You may discover what values are important to you in your answers to these questions.
Now let’s talk about the hidden side of not evaluating your true core values. If there is fear that goes unchecked you may stop yourself from turning over that new money leaf. Self-sabotage will push you in a place of not wanting to look at your values because sometimes looking at your values means that you actually have to demonstrate what you talk about.
There was a time that control guided how I dealt with money. Control is a sign of fear. Having been raised on welfare and not having enough led me to feel like my children and I can’t be in a place of needing welfare. This control was restrictive and caused me to hold money so tight that it was always the center of my focus. I have found that how you do anything is how you do everything. If fear was causing me to be controlling with my money, what other areas was I trying to control from a place of fear?
When we respond to situations from a place of pain, anger, depression, grief, fear, disappointment, procrastination, and self-denial we tend to react with our feelings and not our core values. Taking the time to reflect on your values will help highlight the path to healing unspoken, unidentified money wounds — the wounds you may not have known you had. By knowing your values, you’ll have a better idea of what direction you want to go.
Using the worksheet and list of sample values below, I invite you to explore what values you live your life by or would like to live your life by to help start a new money season. Then, create a visual representation that reflects the values you are drawn to using words, images, colors and more. Each new value will direct your art creation because it can help other values come to mind.
Let this be a time of exploration, discovery, and fun!
Finances Simple Founder
Use this Values Inventory and Sample Values sheets to take your own inventory.
Download Inventory Worksheet Download Sample Values
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A Window Between Worlds (AWBW) supports hundreds of direct service organizations across the country to incorporate creative expression into their work with trauma survivors. With this blog we uplift the voices of our art workshop facilitators and participants. We invite you to take in this perspective, notice what resonates and explore how it may fit into your life.