Core values (definition): fundamental beliefs and guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Core Values help people know right from wrong, and determine whether choices and decisions are in line with our true beliefs.
Understanding your core values is essential to an authentic life. Rather than making decisions based on popular opinion, you make decisions based on who you are – at the core. Knowing your core values is essential to finding peace and joy with yourself.
Sometimes Core Values can be summed up in a catchy phrase, such as Moderation in Everything or Love Conquers All. Other times they can be found in a character trait, such as being Responsible or Organized.
A popular exercise to identify core values is to review a list like the one to the left.
The first step is to read through the list and identify approximately 25 values that resonate with you on some level.
Next, narrow that list to ten. This may take a while, but be patient and take the time to complete the exercise. You may discover some values are not a true reflection of who you are.
Likewise, you will most likely find some values to be quite similar. In that case, determine which one is most in line with your belief system. For example, accountable and responsible are similar. Decide which one best defines you.
The last step in the exercise is to create a final list of five core values.
Why five? Because five is manageable. We can easily remember a list of five, so when we are confronted with a snap-decision, we will know how to choose based on which one is in line with our true selves.
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When I took this self-administered test I discovered my core values are family, independence, integrity, orderliness, purpose and wisdom. I know, I bent the rules and chose six. How about you? Have you taken a core values assessment?
Up next in this Journaling series: W is for Wellness Wheel