What are Core Values? Skip to Exercise
Core values are like your internal compass. They are what matter to you the
most. Along with beliefs they are what quietly guides you in choices and
decisions and a part of what drives how you show up in the world and how you
want the world to be back.
And, there can be a high price to pay when you don’t make values based
decisions. What are some ways to know you aren’t living your values?
-You feel a sense of being out of control vs. sense of comfort
-You’re torn vs. feeling in sync
-You feel drained, instead of energized
-You feel regretful about choices in the past
-You often wonder ‘what if?’
It is shown that when you know and live your values your life will be more
fulfilled. It’s like a rudder on a boat.
Values are usually fairly stable, yet they don't have strict limits or boundaries.
They may evolve, grow in importance or be more prominent in different stages or
contexts of your life. For example, when you start your career, success –
measured by money and status – might be a top priority. But after you have a
family, work-life balance may be what you value more.
It is good to continuously check-in and ask yourself ‘what value is showing up
here? What is important to me?’, especially if you start to feel unbalanced... and
you can't quite figure out why.
Your Core Values Exercise:
Here are 3 easy steps to help identify your core values:
Step 1: REFLECT
Get a piece of paper, title it ‘My Core Values’
a. Write 1-3 words that answer these questions
“In life, what is most important to you?”
“What energizes you?”
“What upsets you?”
“When are you most comfortable? Most like yourself?”
“What helps you grow?”
You now have a list of surface values.
Step 2: MEANING
Now ask yourself “What does (value) mean for me?” OR “What would happen if I
didn’t have (value) – what might I lose?”
For example: “What does money mean to me?” For example: “money means
achievement, security, or freedom.”
By answering this second question you uncover Your Core Values or underlying
values. In this example money is the means to being an achiever, or being
more secure, or being freer.
Step 3: CHOOSE
Pick up to 10, no less than 5 values here <list of values>
NOTE: It is common for people to realize they are not living their values. This
can feel uncomfortable. It’s ok. You do better, when you know better.
Start practicing, taking steps to bring them into your life. Invite others to
know about yours – and practice their own. Embrace and learn from the