Determining Your Core Values
-For a Vibrant, Soulful, Fearlessly-lived Life!
According to Merriam-Webster, core values are “a principle or set of principles that one believes in and regards as important”. In other words, core values are the principles that guide our decisions and actions. They are the standards we hold ourselves to. Our personal core values are unique to us and they can change over time. They define who we are as individuals, help us to stay true to ourselves and they help us focus on what’s most important to us. They let you live a life that is meaningful to you
Do you know what your core values are? If not, you're not alone. Discovering your personal values and living a value-driven life can be difficult. This article will show you how to get started with the process of determining these, why they are important in life, and what you can do to live more intentionally and meaningfully
Why core values are so important
There are many benefits to knowing your core values. One is that they help you prioritize your time and energy. If you know that family is one of your core values, for example, you will be more likely to make time for them even when you are feeling stretched thin. Another benefit is that they give you a sense of direction. When you know what matters most to you, it becomes easier to set goals and make plans that align with your needs. This can help you to stay motivated and focused with what is truly important to you
Finally, living in accordance with your values can help you to feel more authentic and genuine. This integrity to yourself creates confidence and self-trust. It gives your self esteem a strong foundation to build on and it mitigates interference from undesirable outside influences. When your actions reflect your deepest beliefs, you can feel proud of the person you are becoming
How to determine your core values
There are many ways to discover your personal values. One way is to think about what is important to you in different areas of your life. For example, what do you value most in your relationships, your work, or your leisure time? Another way is to look back at times when you have felt really good about yourself or your life – what were you doing or what was happening then? You can also talk to friends or family members about their values and how they've used them in their lives. Try our questionnaire to get you started
Core Value Self Awareness & Reflection Questionnaire
– From “Through. Out” Therapeutic Coaching
1. Recall past experiences & behaviours that have instilled a sense of pride in you. What about them made them special in this way?
2. List any personal beliefs, principles & standards that you have
3. Which of these originate from your family?
Which of these come from your community? Social/schooling/work? Other?
Try to identify why these values are coming up as you go through these first 3 questions. Try to identify and question any values which only seem to be there to please others. There’s nothing wrong with resonating with family and community, it can be wonderful, and it’s good to know where our hearts most strongly align as well. But basing your self-worth purely on the opinions of others is not so wonderful, so try to be honest with yourself and review your answers to pick out these patterns, wonderful and not so wonderful, right from the get-go
4. Make a list of your priorities in life. These can be personal, like health and financial security, and/or important areas of life, like work and your children. Now rank these, as far as you can, in order of importance
5. Circle the top 5 values which stand out to you on this list
6. Describe how you could reflect each of these 5 values through your actions and conduct
7. What are your beliefs about how to treat others? How do you actually treat others?
8. What beliefs do you hold about how you should be treated by others? Are there conditionals to these?
Try to determine if your values and your priorities are in harmony with one another. Are there any areas that need to be rethought? Did you notice any values coming up which you are not practicing or living up to in your life at present? Can you better hold to and practice your values going forward from having more clarity now?
This worksheet, with additional toolkits, is available for separate download on the site. There are several other methods you can use to help you identify your core values. One popular method is the "values in action" approach, which involves identifying values based on your actions and behaviours. Another common method is the "life themes" approach, which focuses on identifying values based on major themes in your life
It's important to know your priorities and beliefs- the things that are most important to you and the convictions or principles you hold as your truths. These influence your values greatly. Core personal values are the foundation for living a value-driven life. When you know your priorities and beliefs, it is easier to make decisions that align with your values. Living a value-driven life helps you find meaning and fulfilment. Live vibrantly and soulfully, fearlessly!