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Core values

Core values are those beliefs that you hold so closely to your soul that they guide your everyday life. They shape your decisions, behaviours, commitments and actions by orienting you towards what is important to you. If you don't know what your values are, you may feel a tug between what you’re doing and what you feel you should be doing. You may feel overwhelmed, and as if your day to day life has no purpose. If this resonates with you, don’t fret. Identifying what is important to you will help you define your core values, which will in turn shape your purpose.

To identify what your core values are, think about the times in life where you have felt the most content. Think about what you were doing? What sparked joy? Use this feeling as a bit of a yardstick, to measure how you should value things. When you did something different, how did your feelings change? Did you feel less fulfilled? Once you have this gauge, you can then move onto the next stage of the process - identifying values that align with these feelings.

Say, for example, you feel the most fulfilled and content after doing a great run on a Sunday morning before jumping into the ocean for a swim. If this is the case, maybe your values are being healthy and being in nature. If you feel the best after delivering a great presentation at work, in a tight deadline, maybe you value dedication and work autonomy. If you find great satisfaction at work, but are craving more time outdoors, maybe you value work/life balance.

The great thing about values is that they’re not mutually exclusive. You can value being in nature as well as valuing rest. The two are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, once you have identified your values you may find that by focusing on them, they all seem to benefit each other as you become a greater version of you. It’s easy to identify lots of values once you get the gist, but the key of identifying your core values is to pick out 3-5 of the values most pertinent to you to focus on. This way, you will be better able to be guided by those which align with you the most.

Once you’ve identified your core values, you’ll find yourself intentionally noticing when they pop up in your everyday life. It is one of those cases where it will suddenly seem to appear everywhere! A great exercise (especially at the beginning of this journey) is to note down on some paper or your phone, how you see this value play out and interact with your everyday life. For instance, if you value being outdoors, you will notice all the times you are outside walking to get a coffee, or having a midweek dip in the ocean. If you find that the links are few and far between, it may be worth re-evaluating how you live life in accordance with your values. Just remember it’s all a learning curve while you get to know yourself better.


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