Our core values are the standards we strive to live by and the beliefs that guide our decisions. These values define how we want to live and what we consider important. By staying true to our values and making choices that live up to them, we can make more meaningful decisions that will lead to a more satisfying life.
Why Identify Your Core Values
Every human has core values that shape how one lives, works, and evaluates life. Even though we all have core values, it’s not always obvious what our core values are. However, making the effort to identify your values will allow you to align your actions with your values and have your values guide your decisions and goals. Doing this will lead to a life of greater satisfaction and overall happiness.
Here are four ways to know which values are most important to you:
1. Reflect on Yourself
You must take a conscious approach to the identification process to understand yourself. Be mindful when making decisions and take the time to question why certain choices are made. This way, it is possible to uncover underlying values influencing behavior. To gain further insight, it is important to pay attention to how values manifest themselves in everyday life by asking yourself questions like these: what kind of experiences do you enjoy? What experiences do you find dissatisfying? Where you are unwilling to compromise?
2. Draw Inspiration from the People You Admire
As humans we all tend to be drawn to those who we view as similar to ourselves. This same idea can be applied to the people we admire and love. Take some time to identify six people you appreciate and respect, then think about their values. Pick the ones you genuinely connect with, and those will be the values you hold close to your heart.
3. Look Back on Past Experiences
By reflecting on past experiences, you can gain insight into your beliefs and values. You can look back on both positive and negative experiences to see your held values in those moments. You can then evaluate your choices based on how true to yourself you felt and how content and comfortable you were. This can help you discover if you live according to your true values.
4. Organize and Prioritize Top Values
Organize your core values into categories that are meaningful and relevant to you as an individual. Then focus on the values most applicable to your current situation and determine which values to prioritize and which to compromise or leave unmet. A clear understanding of your values allows you to apply this practice to your life and make the necessary adjustments to align choices and behaviors with your values.
Identifying your personal core values is an essential part of finding purpose, living authentically, and creating a life you love. By taking the time to consider what values are important to you and reflecting on how these values should guide your decisions in life, you can create a meaningful and fulfilling life. Taking the time to go through these steps will help you identify your core values and create a meaningful life that aligns with your true self.
Heart+Mind Strategies is a research-led consulting firm that uncovers how people think, feel, and make decisions. Our scientific approach to understanding how individual and societal values influence decision-making is why many leading global brands and organizations work with us. If you want to know more about what values laddering is, we can help. Get in touch with us and let’s talk!