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How to find your core values

28/02/2015
Core values cloud

Core values cloud

What are your core values?

Core values are what is important to you, what you stand for and what gives you purpose in life.
Your values are unique to you. They are true to who you really are. You are already living by them and they are encoded in your life. Your core values and your life purpose are like your north on your internal compass. They guide you in the right direction.
Values are not moral, what you would like to have and not what you aspire.

Core values come from:
– Your upbringing,
– Your parents,
– Your social and cultural environment,
– Your family history,
– Your life experiences,
– Everything that reflects who you are.

Why it is important to be aware of your core values?

Your core values give a direction and guidance in your life. They help you make better choices, prioritize your projects and focus on what is important to you.

Once you will be aware of your values, you will be one step ahead to find your life purpose.You will understand yourself much better and why you make certain decisions in your life.

Living by your core values and being aligned with them bring you a sense of rightness and purpose. You feel energized, fulfilled and fully alive. You are at your best when you fully live your core values

Say, « Family » is one of your core values and you are given a promotion that requires traveling a lot so you would not be able to spend time everyday with your family, is it a good idea to accept that promotion? Are you compromising a lot for that new job?
If challenge is one of your core value, how does it feel if you have been in your job for too long without new projects or promotion?

What happens when you don’t live according to your values?
When your value is not satisfied or betrayed, you feel stressed, angry, depressed and a lack of direction/motivation etc.

Reflect and analyze your life experiences

You are living by your values in everyday life, on small and big decisions, how you are dressed and how you speak.

To find out about your values in your experience, you can review your peak moments in your life whether they are positive or negatives. When did you feel the most alive? What were your greatest/best/worst/hardest/proudest accomplishments/struggles/decisions?

For each experience you identify, ask yourself:
– Why was it important to you?
– What were you doing?
– Why did you choose this option and not the other one?
– What was the value you were honoring or betraying at that moment?

I found a great article about how to find your core values by walking through your life experience

After identifying your core values, make sure to order them according to their importance.

My core values

I found my values by doing a lot of introspection.
I made some very important decisions that had changed my life completely. I didn’t know it at the time but I was guided by my core values. They were screaming in me that it was the right choice.

The peak moments of my life were:

– When I’ve decided to leave my parents’ home to be independent. That was an extremely difficult decision because in Chinese family, you don’t usually leave your parent if you are not married to a Chinese man they chose for you. It took me a lot of courage and boldness. The values that guided me were independence, love and courage.

– When I met my husband. We fell passionately in love. It was love at first sight. I left everything behind to be with him. The value that guided me at this moment was love and passion.

– When I’ve decided to pursue a more meaningful and passionate work and life. This time again, it took me years before realizing that I was not happy and I had to change my work and my life. The values that guided me in this case was sense of meaning, passion and courage.

After I took aforementioned decisions, my life was completely shattered. They caused me my biggest troubles, but now I realize they were my best decisions and they made me proud and happy.

My values are in this order:
– Love,
– Independence,
– Sense of Meaning,
– Passion,
– Courage.

I’m thankful that I took these decisions. I’m not yet there but I am building my life consciously to live according to my core values. The perspective of it makes my feel deeply happy already.

What are your values? Are your goals aligned with your values? How would you use your values to make better decisions?

Edit : I finally understood that my core values that I called “fighting spirit” is actually an expression of my courage. I couldn’t identify it at courage before.

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