So you ask…Exactly what are core values? I will tell you that they are probably the most important thing about an individual. They are the foundation of a person (or company) affecting how we perform at work, how we conduct ourselves on a daily basis, and clarify who we are as an individual while guiding us through life. Each individual has their own set of values that are based on what is important to that person. Our values come from several sources, our parents/ family, school/peers and also religious affiliations.
Core values (and beliefs) can change as we grow through many different stages of our life.
Core Values are self orientated and directed inward, guiding behavior and decisions. Some examples of personal values are integrity, honesty, loyalty, purity, serenity, stability, affectionate, independence, efficiency, merit, order, freedom, wealth, wisdom and the list goes on. But what this helps to uncover is the fact that there are many values and combinations of values that can go into an individual, creating many complex personalities. But do not let that get ahead of you. We all have many values but we probably have a top 10 or 5 and most likely top 3. (More on this later)
Core Beliefs, more outwardly directed are person’s rules for daily living; they are our individual thoughts on how life is and how it should be. More like a point of view and you can change your mind and therefore your beliefs as well. Examples can be personal beliefs such as “I am wrong”, “I am not good enough” “____is good” “___is bad” “that is the way it should be” or may be a cultural, religious or even racist.
Values and beliefs are both important parts of a person.
It is not a bad idea to do a quick inventory of what your values and beliefs are just to evaluate that you are headed in the right life path initially intended and desired. You might find that you need an adjustment, and that is fine too. Often that can be accomplished with the use of meditation, life coaching or quite simply completing a self evaluation/examination.
First ask your self these three questions, without too much thought write down your answers.
Who are you?
What is important to you?
What do you need to be true to your self as an individual??
Next determine your personal core values, take some time to reflect on this, and do not answer too hastily. Really try to determine the most important things about yourself. Do you practice kindness, mindfulness and compassion? Is honestly something that you live by? Are you able to forgive and forget? Do you live life responsibly?
There are many answers to this and I ask that you begin with your top ten.
There is a Core Value Assessment that you can take on the website www.ethicalleadership.org.
I found it to be pretty enlightening and suggest this as a starting point. It is through this self examination that we are able to realize and develop our true core values.