Want to discover your true purpose? Don’t miss these reasons why determining your core values is your first step!
Ever wonder why what you thought was your purpose doesn’t seem to fit? Here’s why determining your core values first can change EVERYTHING.
What are Core Values?
When I first heard the term “core values” I thought it was something that only corporations like Zappos used to help define their marketing and create “team spirit”. Don’t we all have the same values anyway – Love your neighbor as yourself, don’t steal, don’t tell lies?
But after doing a yearly assessment given to me by one of my coaches, I learned that core values can truly help to guide your life.
Core values are the things that are innate to you and are important to the way you live and work.
“Your values are central to your identity. They don’t change over time and they already exist. They are not contrived.” ~ Patrick Lencioni
They (should) help to determine your priorities and they’re probably the measures you use to assess whether your life is turning out the way you think it should be.
When the things that you do and the way you live your life match your values, life is usually good. But when they don’t align, that’s when things feel… wrong, or out of kilter. This can be a real source of unhappiness and unless we have taken some time to determine our own set of values, we usually don’t know why we’re feeling this way.
Values are action-driven.
For instance, if you value contribution, then volunteering in your community would be something that could align with your purpose and contribute to your overall happiness. If “family” was one of your values, then spending a lot of time with family or loved ones will appeal to you. In my own situation, “family” is one of my top values and because I don’t live close to any of my family and can’t see them very often, it’s an area of my life that brings me much sadness or cognitive dissonance. Another example of this is when you value “health” but you still eat junk food. It’s when how you want to be acting and how you are acting are opposite.
This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important and should be the first thing you do before searching for your purpose.
Even before you move on to finding your true purpose, you can use your values to determine where your values and actions are conflicting and causing you strife.
So how do you determine your values?
It’s easier than you think! And there are no right or wrong answers. You’ve been developing these values your whole life but you’ve probably never taken the time to analyze them and determine which are your top 5. So I’ve created a worksheet to help you do just that. Fill out the form below to receive a link for the free workbook! (You’ll also receive a free subscription to my newsletter.)
The worksheet will help you to determine your top 3-5 values. When you have a decision to make, compare the choices to your top values to see if they align. Once you have determined your top core values, put them where you can see them – on your mirror, your refrigerator, your smartphone wallpaper or maybe in your wallet or planner.
Using your core values in everyday life
Let me give you an example from my own life. I value nature. There came a time when finding a bit of nature in California grew very difficult. There was so much cement and the beaches were so crowded. That’s why I decided to move to northern Idaho – to find trees and lakes and gardens. I wanted to get my hands dirty in a vegetable garden and raise chickens in my backyard.
Core values can also help you put the right people into your life and to eliminate the wrong ones. For instance, if you value creativity, you don’t necessarily need everyone in your life to be creative but they need to be supportive of a creative approach.
Checking your core values each day can help you stay on track with your daily to-dos. Use your values to evaluate whether or not your tasks are aligned. For example, if you value accomplishment, are all your tasks moving you in the direction of accomplishing something?
Values can change in priority throughout your lifetime and one value can supersede another.
Back to you!
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