What are Core Personal Values?
There are many different types of core values, each with varying definitions. Businesses, companies, and people all have these values. Core personal values are guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. They help people know what is right from wrong; they can also help companies determine if they are on the right path and achieving their business goals and objectives. Values create a guide. Values are beliefs and convictions that support everything that you do in your life.
Why are values important?
Values are the essence of who we are. Values are the principles that you hold to be of worth in your life. Values are not chosen, they are inherent to each person. If your own personal values are unclear or not identified, it will be difficult to plan and effectively create or achieve the life and business you want. As a coach, I look at the personal values of a client to be like a compass. I used to use GPS as an analogy but GPS doesn’t work well for uncharted territory. Most often when working with a client we have no pre-drawn map to assist. A compass, on the other hand, will always point North, which is how personal values work. If a person knows what their values are, they can use them to accurately assess their actions and behaviors. As a coach, a person’s values give me an outline of who I’m working with. If a client doesn’t know or isn’t clear on, what their personal values are, we are only working with a partial picture of the outcomes and behaviors that will affect them on their coaching journey.
How values come into play in life and business?
Now that we know we each have core personal values, I want to explain why it matters that you know what those core values are. While there are hundreds of different values, you typically will live your life according to only about five to eight key values. There are times when personal values can shift and change. Sometimes we may take on the values of our family or the community in which we live or grew up in; however, we can also make a conscious decision to adjust or change values when they are no longer in alignment with who we are or who we want to become. Our values can also strengthen over time. For this reason, it is important to check in with your personal core values regularly, a bit like assessing your direction and path midway on a journey.
On the flip-side, when we make decisions that are not based on our personal values then we either cannot or will not be able to achieve the desired outcome. Especially, if we intuitively feel “off” or “not right” about an action or an outcome. Some of the time we may try to ignore, avoid or suppress this off feeling and try to continue on. When we do this we are out of alignment with who we are. It is at the foundation of who we are and if that foundation starts to crumble, nothing will be stable – not even your best plans for achievement. We are now on shaky ground and the energy around our efforts and behavior is no longer strong. This can make a person feel and act very uncertain.
To live in a strong, aligned way we must live and act by our values. Your thoughts also become products of your values. Your values help shape your thoughts and then you play out these thoughts through your actions. This is done both consciously and subconsciously. To build a stronger structure and create an ideal life and business, it is really important to know what your foundation is made up of.
How to identify your own core personal values?
What I have found to be true in my experience as a coach is that first we need to clarify, identify, and write down what our five to eight core values are. Next, we need to live by them and test them to be certain they are correct. We can not leave our values ambiguous, or else we will regularly produce subconscious outcomes that are not what we actually want to achieve.
To make the clarification process easier for you, I have compiled a list of common core personal values that include values from myself, former and current clients and coaching prospects. This list may help you to select your five to eight values to work with and focus on. Your core values are what you value and in turn, want to live by.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself when identifying your core values:
- What in my life is most important to me?
- What does success mean to me?
- What motivates or drives me into action?
- Kat’s Master List of Core Values
If you find this exercise difficult I often help people with the Values identification process during the free Exploratory Session and the Strategy Session.