What are Core Values?
In the least complicated way possible, Core Values are the building blocks of who you are. Think of them as your moral compass.
Why are Core Values important and how do they benefit you?
Your Core Values highlight what you stand for. They guide your decisions and behaviour in so many aspects of your life. Knowing what your Core Values are can help you discover and understand what is truly important to you, in your personal life, your career, your relationships and your interactions with society in general.
When you focus your attention to you Core Values, you take the first step toward building more self awareness. You start to align your life choices, goals and aspirations with what matters most to you.
How do you discover your Core Values?
The first thing I would suggest is to start paying attention to what happens in your daily life. How do you connect to it? What made you feel good? What did you tolerate? What made you frustrated? I believe that these emotions are so intimately tied in to our Core Values. So I suggest you dig deep into those feelings, focus on why you feel them.
To give you an example; Care is one of my Core Values. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction when I act in alignment with this value. Whether it’s helping someone who has a specific need. Or letting a friend vent about their current crisis over a cup of good coffee. Offering care to people feels incredibly good to me. In a deep, connected to my self-awareness, kind of way.
A Core Values worksheet is a great tool. They are a great way to tap into your self-awareness and start discovering what your values are. I would recommend starting with this one from Barrett Value Centre.
If you would like to work on something at your own pace, I have made available a Core Values Worksheet below.
So you know what they are. What now?
The most important thing to take on board is this. Commit to the work that is ahead of you. There will be patterns of behaviour that you are going to have to let go of completely if you choose to live harmoniously with your values.
Start setting goals that align with your values. The best way to do this, is to do a cross comparison between your goals and your five top Core Values. This is important because your values are the driving force behind the decisions you make. A misalignment between the two could offer you some insight on why some of your goals may have gone stagnant.
Start focusing on ways to align your values with how you live day to day. Put more energy into making commitments to activities, experiences and people that signify those values. If for example, you value gratitude, express it by having a gratitude journal that you write in daily. Put extra effort into a thoughtful gift for a friend or family member that conveys how grateful you are for them, and their part in your journey.
Work on it every day! Pay attention to how they show up for you. Question at every opportunity whether the decisions you are making express your values. Take extra care in assessing your feelings regularly and evaluating whether you are living in alignment with what is truly important to you.
Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave them all over everything you do. ~Elvis PresleyTweet
So there you have it. If your primary desire is to live a more aligned life, or even to connect to your self-awareness on a deeper level. I cannot express enough to you how invaluable of an exercise discovering your Core Values is. If you have never considered doing this I cannot urge you enough to explore your Core Values. If it offers you one tiny bit of information at all, let it offer you insight into who you are.
I would love to hear from you in the comments. How has understanding your Core Values helped you?