Do you know what you stand for? You may generally feel like you know but when is the last time you wrote down your core values?
It is important to determine and define your core values because your values will ultimately shape your decision making and the actions you take in your life.
We’ve all been in a situation where we are debating between two different outcomes – if we should take the job or not; if we should go meet that person for dinner or if we’re better off staying at home; if we should move to a different city or not. There are so many decisions we make in a day and it can get overwhelming.
When we come back to our core values though that can make the decision making process more seamless and alleviate so much unneeded stress.
Here are different ways you can begin to identify your core values. Below there is a free worksheet you can download that provides you the step-by-step on how to identify your own core values.
Start with a wide-ranging list of values.
There are hundreds of values we could all feel we align ourselves to. Before we start narrowing them down, we need to start with a comprehensive list to choose from. From the list you’ve identified, choose word groupings and categorize them. There is no right or wrong answer with how values can be grouped together but just do what makes sense to you! Once you start to categorize your values you can see certain themes. Now select one word in each group that best describes the overall grouping.
Look to your inner circle.
Sometimes it may be difficult to look at words and see if they truly align with yourself, so an alternative can be to look at your inner circle. Think of the top few people in your circle. What do you admire about them? Are there character and personality traits that draw you to them that inspire you to adopt them into your own life? Is someone always kind and it makes you want to be better toward the people around you? Is someone always giving back and you want to now look at a local charity you can support?
Observe yourself in the present over the next few days. Are there specific decision-making moments that stood out to you? Why did you respond in a specific way at work, at home? Were you calm and at peace? Did you give a passionate response? Start taking notes on your behavior and use these questions as thought starters:
- What did you learn about what you want?
- What are you willing to let go of?
- What is a non-negotiable?
Reflect on your life.
So often times our core values are easily identified through the more difficult times in our life. Was it a difficult conversation with a partner? For me, I was diagnosed with cancer and I always knew I was resilient but it was that specific experience that made me realize resilience is at my core. We all have a defining moment or maybe it’s a series of defining moments in your life where your core values have shown up.
I hope these helped you identify your core values. Remember our core values guide our behaviors and provide us with our own compass in how we navigate through life. When we honor our core – our foundation – we experience more fulfillment and ease with how we show up in life.
Reach out to me so we can chat through your values and we can come up with a plan on how to put your values into practice in your career and home life.