I believe not being clear on their core values is a huge contributing factor in people getting stuck in life. Our core values are the things that matter most to us; they are the non-negotiables that govern how we live our lives. Whether or not we are aware of them, our values motivate and fuel the decisions that we make on a daily basis.
But What Exactly are Values?
A quick online search reveals a couple of definitions I believe work really well to describe values in the context of this discussion:
(a) Important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable – businessdictionary.com
(b) A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life. – google.com
I like to think of values as the guardrails that guide our lives. Like the guardrails on a highway, our values work to keep us on the path designed to get us where we want to be, while honoring what is most right for us.
Most people have a sense there are certain principles guiding them but very few people have taken the time to actually name their core values.
When you are clear about your values you are able to ensure that your day-to- day decisions line up with what’s most important to you. Stress and general unhappiness happens when the choices you are making, or feel forced to make, are out of alignment with your values. Feelings of anger, frustration and disappointment are also signs that your current actions aren’t supporting your values.
The more clear you are on your values, the easier it will be to identify and notice when your decisions are out of alignment. As you course correct your decisions to stay in line with your values, there will be a palpable shift in how you experience life.
Name Your Core Values
I have designed a worksheet to help you identify your core values. It will take you through a series of short exercises to get you to name your top 5 most important values. You will then be challenged to ask a few of your closest friends to see if they agree with what you say are your core values.
I have had a few people take this and be surprised that what they thought were important, turned out to not be in their top 5. This revelation helped them understand why they were making certain decisions in their lives. I had one client make a radical shift in her life when she recognized that her life wasn’t living up to her core values.
This worksheet is a powerful tool to help you really begin to look at where you might need to make some changes in your life. Click here to download your copy. It is a PDF that you can either print out or you can complete it right on your computer screen; just remember to hit Save-As once you have it downloaded so you can put it somewhere that you can easily find later.
Next week, I will be sharing how to make value-based decisions so be sure to come back next week to learn how to take full advantage of this tool. In the meantime, I would love to hear the outcome of you going through the worksheet. Were you surprised by your top 5? Or were they spot on with what you thought they would be? Let me know in the comments below.
From my heart to yours,