Do you know what your core values are? Do you review them each year?
Every year I take time to see if I need to make a shift. You can do this at the beginning of the year, end of the year, or the turn of. your favourite season. For a long time my core values have been curiosity, courage and contribution. One year I added in connection. Chose three to five values that are your must-haves. With these, write a motto to live by. Here is mine:
I choose to be curious, open-minded, and interested; to explore and discover the truth. The root of the word courage is cor, the Latin word for heart. Courage is a heart word: I’m usually scared and I’m taking action, anyway. When I don’t act with courage, I contribute to a lesser world, and I want to live in a greater world. I always want to be aware of and deeply connected to the divine as it’s important to me to contribute positively to our shared world. If what I am doing doesn’t satisfy my curiosity, scare/excite me, connect me to the divine or help me contribute to something good, my personal needs are not met and I am not fulfilled.
A core value tells you what you consider important or deeply meaningful, helping you make better decisions. Knowing your core values is essential to knowing yourself and the power you possess. Choose the values behind your own words and actions. Values provide focus, resulting in less ruminating and negative thoughts. Researchers confirm that when people have clarity on their core values, life decisions around pursuing passions, long-term career goals, and relationships are easier to make.
Align yourself to your values
Once you write your list of core values, you may discover you’ve actually been operating under the rules of your parents’ values. What do you truly believe? Many people live based on outside expectations. Are you in touch with what’s truly right for your life, the values you really hold in your heart? If your values differ from your family, friends or your partner, these relationships may cause you some emotional angst. Are you identifying with something you’re not?
Perhaps one of these applies to you:
You’re so busy pleasing other people you’re not even sure what your values are.
Someone said or did something you strongly disagreed with, but you didn’t speak up about it and felt ashamed afterwards.
Your life or career hasn’t worked out the way you hoped it would.
What you want to do clashes with what you must do or what’s practical to do.
If any of these resonate with you, then it’s time to prioritize your values and ensure you align your actions with them. Your values MUST fulfill you and not be lofty ones that don’t make you feel joy. Once you recognize, declare and live by your ideals, you shift the energy you bring to your life, your relationships, and yourself, becoming more focused on doing the things that are important to you.
Ask yourself, are you truly at home with yourself? You live and vibrate your values. Your actions speak louder than your words. When you are living from your values, you know how to respond. When you don’t, you will recognize you’re not in alignment and choose what to do to correct it.
Your confidence and clarity around your intuition, your imagination, your wisdom and your ability to think and make decisions exponentially increase. Why? Because thinking about, declaring and acting on your values brings out more of your authentic self.
This authenticity gives you permission to be you. The approval you didn’t receive from a parent or partner is something you can give to yourself. You are unique. Embrace what makes you special. Declare your values and live by them. An interesting aspect of values is they don’t always make sense because at times they seem to contradict each other—like wanting both security and freedom. But security can provide freedom. Look deep and see where your values are linked.
Start with the kind of person you want to be, and the rest will flow. For what qualities do you want to be known? What are common family values, either good or bad, that you want to declare or erase? Choose ones that are vitally important to your happiness. Write them down. Put each of your values in decreasing priority. Visualize what it would look, sound, and feel like if you were supporting them. What does each value mean to you specifically? How do you know when it’s being met?
If everything is a core value, then nothing is really a priority. Chose just three to five values that are your must-haves. Create a yearly ritual where you review how you’re living out your core values in real life. Perhaps you need to adjust them as you change. Perhaps they stay the same. Either is good.
You may experience conflict if you’re not living in alignment and being true to yourself. Your values give you the strength you need to be aligned to your truth. Knowing your values is like having a personal North Star guiding you to:
Create clarity in your life’s direction.
Make better decisions for the short and long term.
Take actions aligned with your values.
What are your core values? Share below!
If you need help deciding your core values, review Step Seven in my book, The Champagne Chakra.