Our values - whether we are aware of them or not - are in the background of every decision we make.
Think of the values that might be behind each of these choices...
From seemingly small everyday decisions:
* What's for dinner?
* Which show should we watch on tv tonight?
* Will I wear these black leggings today or these ones?
As well as those larger decisions that we deem 'more important':
* Who do I love?
* Where should I go to college?
* What career do I want to pursue?
* Where do I want to live?
Most of us have no idea what drives us.
But only because we've never really thought about it in a concrete way.
Remember, awareness is power.
CORE VALUES ARE THE FOUNDATIONAL BELIEFS, IDEAS, PRACTICES, AND STORIES THAT DIRECTLY INFORM HOW YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE.
Your values drive your beliefs, which influence your thoughts, your feelings, and your subsequent actions.
To over-simplify it, they create your life.
These core values are heavily influenced by our upbringing; including family, location, friendships, schooling etc.... as well as life experiences you've both chosen and/or been handed along the way.
Our values are flexible, moldable. They can change along with us as we grow and mature through the various stages of our lives.
The values you had as a 6 year-old (safety, having more dessert than a sibling, and a later bedtime), are different from your 15 year-old self (freedom, fun, not being with family). Both are likely quite different from the values you hold so dear now.
That's probably pretty good news to most of us.
If my 15 year old value system was still strongly in tact, we would be having a much different conversation right now.
Namely, what on earth are you doing with your life.
Thankfully, our core values can evolve alongside of us.
The problem is, most of us don't even realize when we're still operating under the tired value systems of our former selves... and we wonder why we're not getting the results we want in our lives.
We're just reacting to our circumstances, rather than responding with careful attention to who we really want to be.
We're on autopilot.
Bringing mindful attention to your current value system and then on purpose choosing updated values to practice can be Life. Changing.
CORE VALUES LIST
We think our core values should be very obvious, but the truth is, most of us don't know what they are.
Let's fix that now.
>> QUICK TO DO!! <<
Review the list below and write down your current values - the ones that really speak to you. Add in any that aren't on the list.
>> Sit with what you've written.
Edit out any values that don't feel important or true to who you are right now.
What do you notice?
Of note, how are these core values similar and/or different from ones you may have had during other stages of your life?
Pause to recognize that where you are now is the sum of values, beliefs and actions that PAST YOU has created - intentionally or otherwise.
"WHEN YOUR INTENTION IS CLEAR, SO IS THE WAY"
- ALAN COHEN
In order to create a list of intentional core values, the values that will help us get to where we want to go, we need to first figure out where we are.
What’s working? What’s not?
Are you getting all the results you want in your life?
If your life is exactly how you want it to be, great. Keep doing what you're doing.
If it's not, know that you can begin to cultivate the values and beliefs that will help you grow and move forward with purpose and meaning.
“MY DEFINITION OF SUCCESS: WHEN YOUR CORE VALUES AND SELF-CONCEPT ARE IN HARMONY WITH YOUR DAILY ACTIONS AND BEHAVIORS"
- JOHN SPENCE
So, which values will help you get where you want to go?
>> TO DO!! <<
Envision your future self.
That version of you who....
* Wakes up feeling energized and excited for a new day
* Takes time to listen inward rather than rely on others' opinions to determine your self-worth
* Feels comfortable in your own skin
* Has a respectful and compassionate relationship with yourself and those around you
* Did the hard work or the scary thing that led to achieving the goal
* Is living a life that makes you proud of all you've accomplished
What values does this FUTURE YOU hold dear?
>> TO DO!! <<
>> Return to the Core Values List above.
>> Write down a new list of values you will need to have - and believe in - as you go forward
>> Edit out any that don't resonate on second glance
>> Group the remaining ones into like categories - can you pick one that encompass the grouping
>> Edit the list until you have no more than 5 Core Values
>> Consider how they are different/similar to the values Current You wrote down earlier
>> Believe that you can create the life you really want
>> Write these new values out and place them in a high visibility spot. Memorize them. Repeat them to yourself daily. Let these 5 core values drive your choices and see what changes.
Future you is gonna be so happy you did this.
"Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do" - Elvis Presley