Recently, I read an article about core values. It led me to print out a list similar to the one at the bottom of the post and circle my core values. This exercise led me to a few surprises; a. that ‘fame’ can be a core value (I used to dream of being on stage), b. I identified a few that I used to believe but no longer hold as close, and c. the act of identifying them allowed me to see areas I was operating at the affect of my values. Have you thought about and identified your core values?
Core values are the fundamental beliefs and principles that guide and influence your behavior, decisions, and actions. These values are deeply held and serve as a foundation for one's character and identity. Core values can vary from person to person and can encompass a wide range of principles, including honesty, integrity, loyalty, compassion, respect, fairness, and many others.
It is interesting to investigate how our core values operate in our daily lives.
- Decision-Making Framework: Core values provide a framework for evaluating and making decisions. When faced with choices, most individuals don’t have to consciously weigh it against their core values as the values are just who they are. Some choices do cause us to consider whether the options align with our core values.
- Prioritization: Core values help individuals prioritize what is most important to them in life. When values are clear, they can make choices that align with those values, even in situations where there might be conflicting interests.
- Consistency: People with strong core values tend to make more consistent decisions over time. Their actions and choices are in harmony with their values, creating a sense of integrity and reliability.
- Personal Fulfillment: Living in alignment with one's core values often leads to a greater sense of personal fulfillment and happiness. When choices are congruent with values, individuals tend to feel more authentic and satisfied.
- Conflict Resolution: Core values can guide individuals in resolving conflicts or disagreements. They can use their values as a compass to find common ground or make decisions that best reflect their principles.
- Relationships: Values play a significant role in forming and maintaining relationships. People are often drawn to others who share similar values, and conflicts can arise when values clash. Core values help individuals navigate these dynamics in relationships.
- Identity and Self-Expression: Core values are an integral part of a person's identity and self-expression. They define who a person is and how they want to be and are perceived by others.
It's important to note that core values can evolve and change over time due to personal growth, experiences, or shifts in life circumstances. Some values become more deeply held while others may become less important or a lower priority over time.
It's also possible for individuals to hold conflicting values, which can lead to internal dilemmas when making choices. In such cases, the process of decision-making becomes more complex as individuals must weigh the importance of each value and consider how they can find a balance. This is often where I find clients. They are conflicted with a situation they are facing. For example, a devout Christian who values honesty, loyalty and does not believe in divorce, finds out their spouse is having an affair. An integrity issue comes up at work that could cost them a promotion or even their job. These are large examples, but we are faced with decisions daily that our core values bear weight on.
Core values are the moral compass of an individual, influencing the choices they make and guiding their behavior in various aspects of life. Looking at the chart, identify some of your core values. Ask yourself if you are operating within those values or are you at the effect of them? Are you operating opposite of what you truly believe? Are you having internal conflict because of being at the affect of what you truly believe or desire?
Personal growth comes when we slow down and take stock of what we truly believe and hold dear. When we can take a hard look at those beliefs and how they are manifesting in our lives. Once we are clear on our beliefs, our core values, we can become the person we desire to be.
Core Values List
- Work Smarter and Harder
- Personal Development
- This Too Shall Pass Attitude