What were you up to yesterday? Who did you talk to, where did you go, and how did you feel? Sit with those thoughts for a sec and ask yourself this question, in each case, did my words and actions reflect my core values?

Getting Clear on Your Values

It’s been said before, values are those guiding principles that help us take action, make decisions, and live our lives to the fullest. Is that statement true for you?

Have you ever completed a value clarification worksheet? It all starts with one simple question, what matters to you most? If you’ve identified your values previously, take a few minutes to skim or scan the worksheet to see if anything’s changed for you.

Here are some common values that people might hold:

  • Compassion: Showing empathy and kindness towards others.
  • Courage: Facing fear with determination.
  • Gratitude: Appreciating the big and small things in your life – expressing thanks to YOURSELF and others.
  • Humility: Recognizing your own limitations – being open and willing to learn from others.
  • Integrity: Acting in an honest and trustworthy manner.
  • Respect: Treating others with consideration and dignity.
  • Responsibility: Taking ownership of your actions and choices.

What matters most to you? What principles do you hold dear? What are the beliefs that guide your actions and decisions? When completing the worksheet, move quickly and trust your intuition.

A Word Is a Word

As my clients say, it’s difficult to narrow the long list of possible values down to twenty, ten, or even one. Someone may describe one value as ‘integrity’ and another as ‘honest’. The two words mean the same thing. Choose the words that resonate and light you up from within.

One simple word resonates with me. and I live my life by it. My value, health, comes from honouring Brené Brown‘s guidance to pick one core value and practice it. Mine is HEALTH, mental & emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health. I sort of cheated by adding sub-values. To uphold this top value, I nurture myself with time in nature, gentle self-talk, eating well, rest, exercise, and stillness.

Living into our values means that we do more than profess our values, we practice them. We walk our talk — we are clear about what we believe and hold important, and we take care that our intentions, words, thoughts, and behaviors align with those beliefs. ~Brené Brown

Once You’ve Identified Your Core Values, Live by Them!

This might mean making changes in your life to better align with your values, or it might mean simply being more mindful of how you already live out your values.

Living your day-to-day life with your values top of mind can also mean making difficult choices or facing challenges. For example, if you value honesty but find yourself in a situation where lying may seem like the easy way out, you might need to make a difficult choice to stay true to your values. Or if you value responsibility but are struggling with addiction or mental health issues, you might need to seek help and support to get back on track.

Living a fulfilling life means living by your values and shining your inner light. Clarifying your core values and aligning your choices can help prioritize what truly matters, leading to a life of purpose and fulfillment. Although it may not always be a walk in the park, making choices in line with your values can ultimately be worth the challenges and difficulties it presents. Reflection and living true to your guiding principles can empower you to create a life that truly resonates with YOU.

So why not take some time to reflect on your core values, and consider how you can live by them? Always remember to go with your own feelings, and identify what matters most to YOU.