We learn about what’s important to us through our feelings. We learn about what we value. Every feeling is a reminder of something important to us. Positive feelings remind us embrace or notice what’s important to us that’s happening. Negative feelings point out when something important to us is not happening or threatened.

<aside> 📎 See the Emotions to Values Practice in your student page for the full list.


Training Up

<aside> 💡 At the end of this unit, you’ll be tested on your ability to do emotions to values in real-time—not just with the story of an emotion from your past, but with emotions you have in your body during the test.

This is challenging for people just starting out, but you can improve quickly.

Note that without a good understanding of what values are (see: Chapter 1. Crowding Out) you are likely to fail at arriving at a genuine value.


To master this skill quickly-

  1. Start with the Emotions to Values Practice ****worksheet in your student page.

  2. Once you’ve done that once or twice, try using the emotions to values tool on meaning supplies—with emotions that come up as you use the tool. Here’s a demo:


  3. After that, go interactive: share a value from your current feelings with someone patient—someone who can wait a few minutes while you dredge up the value and put it in the right form, and who encourages you along the way.

  4. If you’ve done all that, you’ll soon be able to go from an emotion to a value in 10 or 20 seconds. At that point, it becomes part of normal conversation.

More Details

Values and Feelings

This diagram shows how a series of conflicts can lead (via feelings) to new and interesting values:


It tells the story of two conflicts:

  1. I used to try to be liked by people. At some point, I realized this conflicted with my value of being at ease. I discovered I was being tense and fake in the name of being liked. Feeling appalled and embarrassed helped me decide not to aim at being liked, and instead try to be authentic and caring.