Updated: Feb 27, 2019
Read on to learn more about core values. Post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
Core values are the foundation of our thoughts and actions - they're the garlic and butter pizza crust that creates the base for perfect pizza, the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation that makes you look like you've never had a single breakout (Meghan Markle uses it... enough said). Without understanding and being able to articulate our core values we often make decisions that don't line up with who we are or who we want to be.
If you've never considered this before - don't worry (seriously, I'm not just saying that). It's taken me 29 years to even begin to consider what I truly value. Over the years I've been so worried about presenting perfectly to others in ways that works for them so that I could gain acceptance and approval. The result: a 29 year-old (often) resentful woman who felt lost and struggled to make decisions that led to a sense of peace.
If you've ever felt this way, you're in luck! I've got three simple keys to help find your core values.
1. Stop People Pleasing
If anyone knows about this, it's me. I have a theory that I was naturally predisposed to these characteristics because I come from a long line of women who served others, especially their spouses, children, church members, community members, etc. Mark Wolyn, author of It Didn't Start with You, presents research suggesting that our parent's DNA carries more than just physical attributes - that other behavioral and emotional characteristics are imprinted in us up to 3 generations prior to when we were conceived (CRAAZZY).
It's natural to want to be accepted and loved by others - every human wants connection and approval for the important relationships in their life. However, it's not sustainable or realistic to want to please people 100% of the time because people have choice -- they can choose to not accept you or break the connection at any point in time and we have ZERO control over that (aka the game changes).
Not for nothin, but I think people pleasing can also be a form of self-sabotage or be used as an intentional roadblock; "I don't have time to consider myself because I need to worry about others." *FREE LIFE HACK* - if you want to better care for others, you have to care for yourself. #YouAreWelcome
2. Find a Peaceful Place Where You can Think
This seems like a simple step, but this was actually hard for me. It's safe to say I exist in my brain 90% of the day -- if you have anxiety, are naturally critical, or are just plain busy being a mom, wife, friend, sister, girlfriend, employee etc , you may experience the same concern.
Finding a peaceful place where you can reflect grants you the permission to be with yourself and not have to worry about what else is going on. For me, my first peaceful place was in therapy -- that was the place where I allowed myself to ONLY think about me. Now, I have two places: therapy and the shower. I'm a habitual shower-sitter (yeah, that's right. I sit in the shower #NoChair). These are the sacred places where I can relax and focus on myself.
Lastly, and an important component to consider, is that physical location can also trigger specific somatic responses and emotional responses - for example, if I experience a traumatic event in a space, I often relive the moment (emotionally and physically) every time I visit that location. Bottom line: physical space can impact our emotions and thoughts - if we're trying to get in touch with ourselves to find our core values, we need a place that has no previous stigma attached to it so nothing can impact the validity of our thoughts.
3. Be Vulnerable
This is WAY easier said than done; however, the next time you're feeling a big emotion stop for a second and ask: What's is the best OR worst part of this? Then, to go a step further, ask: What is the best OR worst part about that?
People are often scared of emotions, or only see emotions in a very black-and-white sense. "This is good. That is bad." However, there are a range of emotions we can feel and ALL emotions are neutral - they're neither good or bad. Once we're able to see emotions in a unbiased way, we automatically create a space for vulnerability because there is no judgement about what we're feeling. Once we're able to be honestly consider our emotions and what they mean for us, we will ultimately be a step closer to understanding our core values.
Want more help diving into your specific core values? Check out my downloadable Core Values Pack Here.
Want to talk in real life about your results during a private professional coaching session? Click here.
Thanks for reading - stay greatHER.
All my love,