What are Core Values?
A value is a way of being or believing that we hold important
What matters most to us
What drives our decision making, priorities, and boundaries
Who we are when we are being our truest
What we prioritize
The state where we feel most like ourselves
A filter when we need to make decisions
Guardrails to keep us on our path + in integrity
Where we feel most alive or know when something is not right
Your core values represent who you are as a whole, integrated person, no matter which arena of your life you show up in (personal or professional, public or private).
Step 1: Curiosity
Look at the list of values on Brene Brown's Dare to Lead hub.
Circle everything on the list that has resonance.
Step 2: Reflection
Think of a time when your life felt in flow. What values were being lived to help achieve that sense of calm and purpose?
Look back at a moment (experience, job, project) when you felt most alive. What values were clear there?
Think of a challenging time in your life. What values helped get you through?
Think of a time where you didn't feel connected to yourself, what values were missing?
Which values help you make hard decisions?
Think about what will matter most to you at the end of your days, what impact you hope you will have made, and which values are represented there.
Step 3: Narrow
Start to narrow your list to 10-15 values.
Try to avoid values you think you ‘should’ have (see below for Aspirational Values).
Consider values that no longer resonate: from your upbringing, society values, external pressures, etc. There are no right or wrong values.
Group your values into clusters. What words feel similar to you? Gather them together and see what value they ladder up to.
Under my Core Value of Connection, I have this collection of words:
Family, leadership, teaching, mentorship, coaching, travel, supporting others, listening, inner growth, connection, movement
When I look at these words, they all ladder up to Connection. I teach because I desire to connect with my students. How I show up in parenting is deep connection with my children. Why I coach is to support others through 1-1 connection.
The result of these collection of values is Connection.
When getting curious about Core Values, we often connect with Aspirational Values: Values that we admire in others. We can work towards bringing these values more fully into our lives. Yet Core Values are qualities that we naturally embody when we are most connected to self.
When you create your list, circles all Values that resonate and then go back to the list to understand which are your potential Core Values vs. Aspirational Values.
Step 4: Action
Once you have your condensed list, it is time to to play with them. Bring awareness to situations that you are in.
When you are experiencing joy and feel content, what values are present?
When you need to make a challenging decision, how can you take action aligned with your values?
Share your list with someone that you trust. Ask for their feedback. How do you show up for them? How would they describe you when you are most fully aligned?
Have patience with the process. We don't need have it perfect or all figured out. As you can, reflect on situations where you felt joyful as well as disconnected. What can you learn? I encourage you to come back to this work at least once a year to get clear and create action on living a life that prioritizes what matters most to you.
Would you like additional support on discovering your values? Schedule a complimentary discovery call today.