You’ve had a tough day at work. You could stay late and dedicate another three or four hours to make sure you start tomorrow with a clean slate; however, your autistic child has had a meltdown and your spouse is home and worn to the core. Do you head home and provide respite to your partner, or do you remain at work and make your work life easier the next day?
If your core values are family, love, responsibility, and teamwork, you may make the decision to go home on time and forgo work until the following day.
If your core values are duty, financially secure, hard work, prosperity, and success, you might be driven to work longer hours and forgo family responsibilities.
Sometimes, it feels like a very fine line when making these decisions, but awareness of your core values helps.
What are Core Values?
Core values are principles that give meaning to our lives and the choices that we make. Core values give us inspiration and guidance to live according to our own truths. Core values are never what someone else has imposed on us.
When we honor our genuine self with honesty and truth, we live our lives according to our core values, which are a mix of what we think, feel, say and do.
Through sheer dedication to our core values, we live our lives with authenticity, purpose, and fulfillment.
Parents, for example, confirm their standards and recognize the real goals that they have for their children in alignment with core values.
How to Find Your Core Values
Do you know your most important values in life? Are you living in alignment with your values?
If you don’t know your core values, you can choose values that are important to you from our common list, and then add any values important to your life that aren’t on the list.
Try starting with these questions:
- Think back to when you were a child from age 6 to 12 years old. List 5 to 10 qualities (core values) that were true of you. Which qualities are still true about you?
- What do you do that people cannot stop you from doing? For example, you may feel energized by writing, reading, exercising, taking care of children, or studying a particular topic. What core values drive you to do these things (i.e. Family, Achievement, Adventure, Creativity, Tradition)?
- Name several characteristics of when you were at your best over the past two decades. These are examples of when you were living your best self out of your values.
- What values are you driven by that aren’t on this list? You may exercise daily, for example, and you may be driven by the core value “health”.
- Summarize your values. Go back through the first four steps and think about your top five values. Are these values non-negotiable in your life? If yes, you have identified your core values.
Using Your Core Values
Once you’ve identified your core values, you have a foundation in place that helps you to live intentionally.
Intentional living consists of living with purpose: being mindful, acting on needs (not wants), setting boundaries, and protecting yourself and your loved ones based on your core values.
With core values identified and in place, you can recognize your real goals and dreams for both yourself and your children.
We are Here to Help
Sometimes we all need a little help. The Family Guidance & Therapy Center is a place where loving-kindness reigns; where labels and diagnoses are simply bits of information on your journey towards greater health and happiness.
Our clinicians create treatment plans with your values and our expertise. We are working hard to make a difference in the lives of our clients and the way the world sees mental health treatment.
There are three easy ways to make an appointment with us, online, call 619-600-0683, or text 619-607-1230.