When you venture forth on your path of self discovery, it helps to have a road map to keep you on track. That road map, or goals that you choose, should be in line and consistent with core values that you hold dear to you, values that usually are developed in childhood, between the ages of 4 and 12.
Photo courtesy of Guillaume Paumier
What are Core Values?
So what is a core value? It is something that you are moving toward that is very important to you. For example, if freedom is at the top of your list, then you will feel happiest when you are going in a direction that gives you more freedom. Other examples of core values are abundance, fun, family, love, spirituality, independence, flexibility, safety, happiness, money…..there are many, many more!
Often, these are outside of our awareness, laid down in our childhood by events and meanings that we give to events. We might think that we think one way and yet, unconsciously, we think another way.
Why would you want to know what these criteria are? Would it make any difference at all to know what your core values are?
Yes, definitely! William Shakespeare said…."To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” When we know ourselves and what is important to us, then it makes our decisions have more integrity.
When we make decisions that benefit our true selves, we benefit the world we live in and those people that we are in relationship with. We are happier, more content in our lives, love ourselves and others more,and have more satisfaction in the lives we lead. Do you want to improve the quality of your life?
When you live according to your true nature and to your core values, your life has flow, you can handle the bumps and lumps that come along with life with an ease that is comforting to you.
Discovering Your Core Values
How do you discover what yours are? Grab a piece of paper and a pen/pencil.
You can begin by asking yourself these questions:
What is important to me in my life?
Why is this important to me?
What does it give me?
What else does it give me?
…and so on, until you reach the “core”, the final answer.
Go back and repeat the questioning, using “What else is important to me in my life?” until you come up with at least 5 words that describe what is most important to you in life and these are your core values. Do it quickly so that your unconscious mind doesn’t have time to trip you up.
The answers might surprise you, others might have you nodding in agreement, thinking “Yes, I knew that all along”. Take these 5 values and think about which ones of these are the most important. Number them, with number 1 being the most important value to you and so on, in descending order.
Take that list of core values and post it in a place where you can see it, perhaps by a computer monitor, a safe place where it won’t be judged by others.
Whenever you are about to make a change in your life or a decision, you can refer back to this list of core values and ask yourself these questions:
“Does this meet my criteria of core values? Will this bring MORE value to my life or LESS?” and see what you see….
"Drive your own life…you deserve to, don't you?" Sherie Venner
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