Core Values - Vital to your Decision Making Process
Have you ever had a time in your life when you had a decision to make and you just can't seem to work out what is the 'right' thing to do, you worry, you spend time hitting the solutions back and forth, like a mental tennis game?
One of the reason this happens is the thing you are worrying about and the options open to you, or at least some of them don’t sit right with your core values. The truth is most people spend a lot of time second guessing themselves wondering if they have made the right decision.
Knowing your core values are fundamental to the development of any successful business and to your emotional health and wellbeing.
There is a common misconception about values, not all the things we think of as values are values at all. Core values are what you truly stand for, they are fundamental to happiness and wellbeing, they are the feelings we want to experience all the time.
For example you may say you value family, but family itself is not a value, it is the emotion that family gives you that is the value. For some that value will be, love and connection, for others safety and security or certainty.
Values are feelings and core values are those 4 - 6 values that are essential to your emotional well being and do not change. Values could be; happiness, safety, security, love, connection, creativity, freedom, achievement, contribution, adventure, joy, passion, compassion, gratitude, peace, contentment, the list goes on.
Knowing your Values
When you know your values, you know what drives you, you know what it is you are looking to experience, what is acceptable in your life. Values draw a line in the sand that you can stand behind and back yourself when you need to make a decision. Living by your core values it being true to yourself it 'feels right.'
As an example if one of your core values was excellence, how would that have an impact on your business or personal decisions? Essentially, it means that each time you need to make a decision you can measure it against all your core values including excellence.
Will that decision or action contribute to the your outcome or your clients outcome, will it improve customer service or customer satisfaction, will it contribute to creating excellence. If the answer is no then the decision is ‘clear cut.’
Do you know your top 6 core values? Could you say why they were important to you?
Six simple steps to identifying your Core Values
Put aside some time when you will not be distracted, take something to document your thinking, pen or paper or computer, even a digital recorder.
- Think of a time in your life when you were feeling great, confident, sure of yourself, it could have been a life changingmoment, an important decision, or it could have been something very simple. You could have just made a significant business decision, been by yourself, with your favourite pet or with other people, you could have been at home, or work, or in a far flung corner of the globe. Write down the event, in one sentence.
- Now, repeat this exercise again until you have at least six to ten events. If you come up with more keep documenting, if you are struggling keep going the events are there waiting to be remembered.
- Go back to the first event take the time to really see, hear and feel that event. What made it so important, special, or different? What were the feelings you were experiencing then? For example were you confident, happy, safe, loved, connected, courageous, exhilarated. If you don’t know imagine, or sense what it could have been and write down those feelings. Take your time, you will end up with a list of feelings that feel ‘right.'
- Look at your list and place the feelings in order of importance to you right now, this may take longer than you think. What are your top 6 core values?
- Write up your values and place them where you see them daily. You could use white board markets or washable crayons on your mirror or fridge. Make up a small card and place it in your wallet, or make up a screen saver using images to capture these values. Be creative.
- Refer to them when you have a decision to make. Ask yourself... Does this decision fit within my core values? Using this process and matching your decisions against your core values makes the decision process easier.
In life there are some times when you would rather not do something or that thing you need to do could be a challenge, it could even be a ‘must’ do, with your values uncovered you will understand why you feel off balance, why you feel anxious or worried, you can choose your next steps in alignment with your core values.
If you are ready to ‘Live the Dream’ and take your life to the next level contact LifEthereal we work with women globally to inject passion and laughter back into their lives to create successful professional and personal lives, because you deserve it. www.lifethereal.com.au; Face Book; Email