Understanding your core values can be such a transformative exercise for more clarity, purpose and action towards your dream life. If you’ve ever found yourself asking:
“Is this right for me?”
“What do I even want from my life?”
“What’s the best decision for me?”
“Should I go left or right?”
Core values are a really powerful guide to nudge you in the direction that’s gonna feel best for you.
How to begin understanding your core values
Grab a pen and paper or your notes app and let’s get journalling.
What is the number one most important thing in your life?
Without this, life wouldn’t be the same. You wouldn’t be the same.
I think for many of us, that is a specific but crystal clear question that can kick things off.
Then, let’s go a little further.
What aspects of your life are important for you?
What do you need to feel fulfilled, content and joyful?
The answers to these two questions will be completely different for everyone. But the key is to listen to your gut and write down the first things that come to mind. You can always refine and regroup your list later on.
Let’s share an example…
For one of my coaching clients, her family was the number one priority and the most important value in her life. Loving her family, providing for them and building a life for her kids with her partner will always come first.
Then, we dug a little deeper into her individual core values. These are values shaped from our personality, childhood, life experience and future goals/vision.
She discovered that she highly values security, independence, autonomy and hard work. As part of this, her career, having personal goals, earning good money and being able to afford the lifestyle that she wants for her family were big drivers for her.
Let me just say here, this is a zero judgement zone. Our core values are so unique to us and you need to own them 100%.
One woman reading this might value a fast-paced, well-paid career in a prestigious role, that allows them to put their kids in private education and buy themselves and their family nice things.
Another woman might value owning so little that all their belongings fit in a small backpack, that allows them to live on a shoestring budget and fulfil their passion for travelling the world.
Nobody’s answer is ‘right’, it’s just right for them.
When you understand your core values, it empowers every single decision you make about your life.
It empowers you to set goals that align with your life’s vision.
It enables you to make decisions confidently.
It guides you to create change and transformation that ultimately will lead you to your best life!
If you know that your family are the #1 most important thing in your life, but you also value your career and financial security, your goal might be to build a career in a specific industry that gives you that room for growth.
If you value time freedom on top of that, maybe you know you need to go it alone and start your own business, to allow you to earn the money you want and have that time at home as well.
Equally, you know what isn’t right for you.
There are so many goals we feel like we ‘should’ be striving for, but if they don’t tick off your core values, you need to get rid!
I know that as much as I love my holidays, exploring new places, etc. That my home life with my partner and my business/career are the 2 most important areas of my life. Maybe it’d be incredible to be off the grid in Thailand for a month, but I’d miss Adam, I’d miss my bed, I’d miss my friends/family/clients and I’d miss my laptop. Just being honest.
Never say never because values do evolve. But don’t be afraid to own where you are and be unapologetic about your priorities.
Why should I compare myself or feel bad when I see Sally on Instagram living her best life backpacking across Bali? As Lucy Sheridan says, good for you and good for me! Different strokes for different folks.
The thing is, those questions we were asking at the start of this post. They’re just noise. From the pressure we put on ourselves, to what we see on our Instagram feed and what our Mum asks us we’re up to when we meet her for lunch.
The truth is, you know the answer to those questions. You’ve just been conditioned to look outside of yourself for the answers, instead of listening inwards. Understanding your core values is a key stepping stone to coming back to you and the decision that’s right for your life.
Are you ready to get rid of the noise and listen?
Here’s what you need to do…
- Grab your pen and paper (or the notes app on your phone! Whatever floats your boat)
- Find a quiet space and 10 minutes to yourself
- Answer these questions:
What is the #1 most important thing in my life?
What aspects of my life do I value the most?
What makes my life the most joyful and fulfilling?
Try to finish up with a list of your core values (they don’t have to be in order!) For example…
- Reflect on your list. Does where you’re headed in life align with these core values? Is anything out of alignment? Maybe you need to make a decision or set a goal to move further towards your values?
- Reach out and let me know what you’ve discovered! DM me on Instagram or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello! I’m Kat, women’s life coach dedicated to inspiring you to put yourself first and achieve your goals. On this site, you’ll find tons of support, resources and inspiration to set and achieve your goals and finally start putting yourself first.