DEFINING YOUR CORE VALUES

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If someone were to ask you to define your values, what would you say? Most of us wouldn’t know where to begin because so many of us are not sure what values actually are. If this is you, then today’s article will help you figure out how to elicit what your own values are and then create a life that honours your values on a day-to-day basis.

What are your values?

Your values are the things that you believe are important to the way you live your life.

They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.

When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your values, that’s when things feel…wrong and off kilter. This can be a real source of unhappiness.

This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.

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How to Define Your Values

When you define your values, you discover what’s truly important to you. So to help you to do this, today we have six great steps to help you define your own values. Enjoy!

Identify the times when you were happiest

Find examples from both your career and personal life when you have felt your happiest. Notice and make a note of:

  • What were you doing?
  • Were you with other people? Who?
  • What other factors contributed to your happiness?

Identify the times when you were most proud

Once again, use examples from both your career and personal life and make a note of:

  • Why were you proud?
  • Did other people share your pride? Who?
  • What other factors contributed to your feelings of pride?

 

Identify the times when you were most fulfilled & satisfied

(work and personal…you know the drill…)

  • What need or desire was fulfilled?
  • How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
  • What other factors contributed to your feelings of fulfilment?

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Determine your top values

Based on your previous answers about what offered you the greatest happiness, pride, and fulfilment, you now need to determine your top values.

Why is each experience truly important and memorable? Use the following list of common personal values to help you get started, and aim for about 10 top values. A great way to do this exercise is to pull out say 20 words that resonate and then once you have these, work to cull the list down to 10.

Accountability
Accuracy
Achievement
Adventurousness
Altruism
Ambition
Assertiveness
Balance
Being the best
Belonging
Boldness
Calmness
Carefulness
Challenge
Cheerfulness
Clear-mindedness
Commitment
Community
Compassion
Competitiveness
Consistency
Contentment
Continuous improvement
Contribution
Control
Cooperation
Correctness
Courtesy
Creativity
Curiosity
Decisiveness
Democracy
Dependability
Determination
Devoutness
Diligence
Discipline
Discretion
Diversity
Dynamism
Economy
Effectiveness
Efficiency
Elegance
Empathy
Enjoyment
Enthusiasm
Equality

Excellence
Excitement
Expertise
Exploration
Expressiveness
Fairness
Faith
Family-orientation
Fidelity
Fitness
Fluency
Focus
Freedom
Fun
Generosity
Goodness
Grace
Growth
Happiness
Hard work
Health
Helping society
Holiness
Honesty
Honour
Humility
Independence
Ingenuity
Inner harmony
Inquisitiveness
Insightfulness
Intelligence
Intellectual status
Intuition
Joy
Justice
Leadership
Legacy
Love
Loyalty
Making a difference
Mastery
Merit
Obedience
Openness
Order
Originality
Patriotism

Perfection
Piety
Positivity
Practicality
Preparedness
Professionalism
Prudence
Quality-orientation
Reliability
Resourcefulness
Restraint
Results-oriented
Rigor
Security
Self-actualisation
Self-control
Selflessness
Self-reliance
Sensitivity
Serenity
Service
Shrewdness
Simplicity
Soundness
Speed
Spontaneity
Stability
Strategic thinking
Strength
Structure
Success
Support
Teamwork
Temperance
Thankfulness
Thoroughness
Thoughtfulness
Timeliness
Tolerance
Traditionalism
Trustworthiness
Truth-seeking
Understanding
Uniqueness
Unity
Usefulness
Vision
Vitality

Prioritise your top values

From your list of 10 values, you now need to prioritise them. To do this you should:

  • Write down your top values, not in any particular order.
  • Look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?”
  • Keep working through the list until you have your 10 values listed in order of importance.

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Reaffirm your values

Check your top-priority values, and make sure they fit with your life and your vision for yourself. If you are unclear on your vision then check out our article, ‘How to build a life you love’ here.  You can then ask yourself:

  • Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
  • Are you proud of your top three values?
  • Would you be comfortable and proud to tell your values to people you respect and admire?
  • Do these values represent things you would support, even if your choice isn’t popular, and it puts you in the minority?

When you consider your values in decision making, you can be sure to keep your sense of integrity and what you know is right, and approach decisions with confidence and clarity. You’ll also know that what you’re doing is best for your current and future happiness and satisfaction.
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Rebecca is the Founder & CEO of The Daily Guru. She sees Growth & Development as a vital part of anyone’s health & happiness, as well as being one of the most rewarding experiences we can all embrace.

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