In all the self-development work that you’ve done during your life, have you ever thought about your core values? Chances are that you haven’t. After all, your core values are, by definition, at the very center of you. They dictate your reactions and decisions without coming out into the light themselves. If they’re not respected, those values will rise up at the most inconvenient time and make you terribly unhappy. And that’s part of what makes them so dangerous, and why it’s so important that you examine and evaluate the core values that you hold.
What are Core Values?
Core values are the ideas or qualities that you think are most important in your life. They are your guide when you’re in the dark. The ideas that you refer back to when you’re unsure about what direction you should take. Companies and individuals can and do have core values. They guide their development, their growth, and every decision they make.
That’s why it’s so important that you evaluate your core values. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with the values that were trained into you by your upbringing and experiences. And that’s a guaranteed way for you to end up on the wrong road and going nowhere that you want to be.
Examples of Personal Values
Whether you’re trying to determine your current values or adopt new ones that fit better with your life, it helps if you know which values will be the most effective and beneficial. Just make sure that you don’t choose to focus on them all to the same degree. This might sound like a good idea to you, but if you value everything then you can’t focus, and you might as well value nothing. Here are some values that you can adopt if you want to get to the next level. They also work well for companies, businesses and programs that are focused on positive growth:
- Respect (for yourself or for others).
How to Live According to your Personal Values
Once you’ve identified or decided on your personal values you need to work out how to align your life to them. The following ideas will help you do that:
Write them everywhere.
If you want to get used to considering your values when you make choices, then you need to keep them visible. This will stop them from (conveniently) slipping your mind. Write them in your diary, put them on your computer background or on your daily calendar. And after a while, you’ll get used to thinking about them when you have a choice to make.
Assess your goals.
Your goals should align with your values. If they don’t, then either your goal is wrong or the value is.
Once your goals are in alignment, your daily tasks should be too. Make sure that most of what you’re doing is helping you stay true to the core values that are most important to you.
Look at the people in your life.
This can be an obvious tip. If one of your values is kindness and yet someone in your life is frequently cruel, then it’s time to rethink the relationship. But sometimes you don’t have to be that strict. Not everyone in your life has to share the same values, but they should be supportive at the very least. If you want more creativity in your life and yet your friends or family argue at the first sign of out of the box thinking, it will cause conflict that you just don’t need.
Use them to motivate you.
The point of aligning your core values with your goals is that they will push you forward when you’re feeling demotivated. So if you’re struggling to reach a goal, think about the reward in terms of your core values. This should give you a nice little push that will get you moving again.
If you want to steer your life in the direction that’s right for you then you need to know about your core values. You need to know what you will stand for, no matter what. This is even more important if you hold values that no longer apply to your life. Many people grow up with a value system that doesn’t fit with the life they create. And yet those values linger, causing an incongruence that can create serious problems. And it’s only when you drag these old values out into the light that you can start to understand some of your problems and start to change your values to fit with the grown up world.