27 Oct Value your life, know your values
Values act as lights along the path you will walk through life, and it is as a teenager that these life values often become tied to identity.
Whether it is a belief in hard work, creativity, fairness, accountability, never giving up or always being truthful, values will drive the decisions people make in life and be the reason behind the actions they take.
“Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.”
A sense of purpose
Having a set of values is a positive thing – it helps to give people a sense of purpose and an understanding of their place in the world, and the direction they want their life to take. World Values Day, which takes place this month, recognises that.
As teenagers seek to find their place in the world, they will also strive to work out what matters to them, what boundaries they want to push and how different thoughts and actions make them feel.
Values are learned but they are also adopted. Values usually begin at home as children watch and learn from the adults around them. This is a hugely impressionable time and while this can be a time to instil strong core values that will last a lifetime this is not true for everyone.
Developing an identity
In their search for answers and directions in life young people will look to parents, teachers and even friends. As a teenager it is natural to challenge the world and to reconsider the values that you have. This is all part and parcel of forging an identity and becoming your own person. As a parent or mentor the best way to support teenagers on this journey of self-discovery is to model good values and show them being put into action.
Support young people to find and develop a set of strong values that will help them to lead a positive and rewarding life. Values such as tolerance, kindness, authenticity and communication that will support their wellbeing as well as help them find success. Ultimately values provide inner strength.
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
Roy E. Disney
Sexual identity and body image
This month also sees National Coming Out Day, which is intrinsically linked to the development of identity and values.
Belief in who you are, having the confidence to communicate that and showing tolerance and acceptance to others are values strongly tied to supporting young people navigating their sexual identity, or dealing with body image issues.
Knowledge and shared experience are so helpful for young people and their families in feeling confident about their gender and sexual identity and knowing how to deal with body image issues, both of which can become issues for teenagers.
Back On Track Teens has developed specialist resources to support teenagers and their families in understanding and embracing sexual identity, and dealing with body image issues. As well as online resources, Back On Track Teens delivers various courses with programmes available for schools and organisations that can merge with their current education curriculum and employment training.
Helping teenagers to understand issues around identity and modelling the values to help them stay strong and tolerant is an excellent way to give them a firm grounding to navigate life with resilience and positivity. Help our young people get the very best start in life.
“Your time is way too valuable to be wasting on people that can’t accept who you are.”
Dates for your diary
National Coming Out Day, October 11
National Coming Out Day is a global movement started in 1988 that encourages lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to come out to their friends and family. The idea is that greater visibility will help to combat homophobia as if people know a person who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender they are likely to be more accepting. Use the day to reaffirm your own values and to offer support to a friend or family member who may be struggling to find acceptance or to be open about their gender or sexual identity.
World Values Day, October 15
World Values Day focuses on the importance of having values and what that means to the world around you. Values help to give you a purpose in life and to find meaning and community in the world around you. Shared values allow communities to flourish and improve the world for everyone. This year’s World Values Day focuses on the importance of values in the community, encouraging people to recognise what their own values are and to act upon them. Take some time to think about what your values are, how this could influence the decisions you make and what you can do to act on your values to make your community a better place.
“Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.”
Choose the life you want to lead
Discovering what values are important to you will help to guide you in making decisions that make you feel good.
A set of values will give you a purpose in life as well as help to set your moral compass. This will give you guidance in all aspects of life from your career to relationships, even how you interact with strangers. Having a foundation of values to build your life upon will allow you to make the right decisions for yourself, and give you comfort when facing challenges. Share your values and how these have helped to shape your life to inspire others via our social channels:
Get to know yourself better and understand your values and what really matters to you to live your life with positivity and strength.