In order to truly understand what you want in life and how to get there, you need to take a deeper look at your beliefs and personal standards. In my last post, I discussed the significance of taking personal responsibility when it comes to your own happiness and growth. Here, we’ll dive into the importance of identifying your core values.
What are core values?
In short, core values are the beliefs most important to YOU. They serve as the baseline for how you live your life and present yourself to the world. Ideally, your core values are the principles that guide every decision you make. Essentially, they shape your life.
Why are core values important?
When you take a deeper look into your core value system, you’ll begin to see a pattern. Your personal judgement, self-evaluation, and common sense are all direct results of the values you’ve established.
Because of this, identifying the values most important to you is the next step in personal growth. If you desire a change, take a look at your core values. If you feel unfulfilled, a misalignment between your core values and your actions could be to blame. You live and learn by your core values. You grow by them. They shape your character and help guide you through obstacles.
Here is an example of how core values influence our daily lives:
Susan is a busy mom who came to me because she wanted to improve her time management and to be present with her kids. Before we jumped into creating strategies to tackle the issue, we focused on discovering her core values.
Once her values were clear, we were able to create priorities. By keeping both in mind, Susan learned to make decisions, without self-doubt, and move on.
Suddenly, Susan had more energy simply because she wasn’t wasting energy by ruminating about the same decision over and over and over.
She also used her core values and priorities to create standards for herself. For example, she knew that if she really wanted to be present to her kids, she could not have her phone with her during family time. She had tried this in the past without much success, but now her reasons for following through are much more compelling because they are connected to her core values.
To discover your core values, priorities and standards, take time to reflect and record your responses to some important questions:
- What do I believe in?
- What is my top priority in life?
- Do I have a specific point where I draw the line, say ‘no’, and walk away?
- What is absolutely necessary in order for me to feel happy and fulfilled?
The way you answer these questions describes your core values. The more you refine your answers, the clearer your path will seem. To be sure, there will be plenty of obstacles and detours. You may feel like you are battling desires against the necessities.
Your core values don’t change your challenges. However, alignment with your core values allows you to navigate these challenges with confidence.
When things seem like they are out of alignment – whether it be with yourself or something you’re faced with – going back to your core values is always a good place to start.
Are you interested in diving deeper into your own core values?