Identifying your core values is the most important thing to do before deciding in life and it will also help you know yourself even more.
Our core values represent our highest priorities, deeply held beliefs, and core, fundamental driving forces.
I like to think of it as a map to give you direction on where you should be going.
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You might have heard the quote, “follow what your hearts say” before. It is somehow applicable in any situation especially if you don’t know what you should do.
This quote could mean that you know within yourself what you have to do and you just need to tune into it, feel it, and follow its guidance.
However, we don’t actually depend on what we feel or “what our hearts say.”
We are creating our decisions based on what we believe is true and important for us, or in other words our core values.
Last week, we talked about self-reflection in which we learned some simple ways to self-reflect and you also get to work it with journal prompts that I provided.
Today, we will talk about identifying core values, their importance, and 3 simple steps you can do right now to discover your values!
This is part 3 of the Knowing Yourself series! If you are new here, feel free to catch up by reading our previous topics:
Why identifying your core values is important
Most of us don’t see the essence of knowing our personal values. Allison Mandel listed the benefits of knowing your values and here are some of them:
1. Your values help you discover your purpose.
2. Your values will be your guide you in choosing your career.
You can also depend on your values when you’re deciding what is the right career path for you.
One example of this is one of my great professors. He told us that his values are continuous learning, service, and communication. That’s why he chose his today’s career and confessed that he knows he did the right choice!
3. Your values help to increase confidence.
If you know what you want and what is important for you, there is no way you’ll feel doubt about yourself! It gives you stability and helps you stay on track.
3 Simple Steps to discover your core values
This exercise is inspired by Adriana Girdler’s YouTube video about finding core values. This is also included in the self-discovery workbook I created.
Step #1: List down your top 5 core values
Give yourself space to think of those times when you created decisions. Try to reflect on your reasons for your past life choices.
If you need some ideas, you can find some examples on the workbook or simply search on the internet if you need to, then choose what resonates with you.
Step #2: Self-reflect and ask yourself questions
After picking your top 5 values, ask yourself, “what does this value mean to me?”
Consider your past experiences and the people you admire when thinking about the reason behind your core values. The definition of your core values is the most critical part, so take your time in thinking about it.
Next, cut down your top 5 core values into only 3. You can have as many core values as you want. However, three is a good amount of numbers so you can prioritize them.
Step #3: Test your core values
Lastly, test your top three core values by asking yourself these questions:
- Would you honestly sacrifice any value on your list for money?
- Have you lost any core value in times of stress?
- Do you envision in 5 years if this core value still holds true?
- Would you stop holding these values if, at some point, they became a competitive disadvantage?
If you answered firmly “NO” to all of these questions, then congrats! You found your core values!
However, if you answered “Yes” or you feel unsure, that is okay! You can always take your time and think about it more.
On the workbook, you can find this section and start working on finding out your values as the steps given in this post.
Identifying your values takes some deep self-reflection and observation, but you can always start small.
These are your underlying beliefs and it comes from your own personal life experiences. So give it some time. Do not rush going through these steps, take it real slow. Trust me, you’ll figure it out!
I hope this post helped you! Comment down below one of your core values and let me know if you have any questions.
Next week we will be talking about self-awareness for the last part of this series! It’s one of my favorite activities on the workbook, so don’t miss it!
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Jocelyn is a coffee lover who believes that a bad day with coffee is better than a good day without it. You can find her obsessing over stationery, hanging out with her cat, or singing her favorite Taylor Swift songs.