I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about core values before. Maybe you’ve even thought about them a bit. Unless you know, core values are the values that affect your whole life. They are values that guide you through your whole life. They are usually unchangeable. Your core values help you to define what’s wrong and what’s right. Also, you probably make all major decisions based on those values, whether you know it or not. Even though our core values have such an important role in our everyday lives, it’s possible that we actually have no idea what our core values are. This can be a problem.
I identified my own core values quite recently. Before that I had no idea what they were. I had made a lot of decisions in my life. Some of them were successful and some of them weren’t. Sometimes I felt good about my decisions and sometimes I felt bad about them. But I had no clue where those feelings came from. Well, now I know that when I felt bad about my decision I had made it against my own values. But since I had no clue what my values were, I couldn’t identify the problem.
When I finally started reading and exploring my own core values I learned to understand my own choices so much better than before. It was an eye-opening experience. It has also helped me to make better choices and decisions that are well-aligned with my own values. Knowing my own values has helped me to live a better, happier and more fulfilling life. Whenever I have a tricky decision to make, I ask myself what I should do based on my values. It doesn’t solve everything but it’s a good start.
How I recognized my own core values
When I started to build my own personal brand, I started to research my own values. That’s because I strongly believe you can’t build an effective personal brand without knowing who you are and how you want to live your life. If you try to build your personal brand without knowing those things, it’s very hard to keep it authentic. In the worst case scenario you end up building a brand that requires you to live against your values. If this happens you’ll end up feeling miserable all the time. And that’s not what you want.
At first I took a piece of paper and started to write down things that are important to me. It was actually quite easy. I wrote down my beliefs like “learning new things is key to success” or “People should make bold choices without asking anyone’s permission”. Then I tried to identify the values behind those beliefs. It wasn’t actually that tricky at all, but it took some time to identify all my core values. But I was able to do it anyway. Here are the five most important values that guide me through this life.
- Hard work. If you want to be successful, you can’t be afraid to work hard every single day.
- Constant learning. You should learn new things weekly. Accept that you’ve never finished with learning.
- Taking responsibility of your own actions. You’re responsible of your own life. Stop blaming others and take responsibility of your own happiness.
- Freedom. You have a freedom to make your own choices as long as you are not purposefully hurting other people with your choices and actions.
- Being brave. You should follow your heart when it comes to your dreams and goals. Never be afraid to be brave and make your own choices.
The benefits of knowing your values
When you identify your own core values, life becomes much easier. Your core values tell you exactly how to react when something happens in your life. For example, when I feel unhappy, sad or frustrated, I try to avoid blaming others, because I know that I am responsible of my own happiness. I am the only one who can change things and make my life better. That means I never expect my boyfriend or anyone else to make me happy. That’s my own job.
Knowing your values also helps you to understand your own reactions better. For example, I have quit jobs that were’t aligned with my values. At the moment I didn’t understand why I did it and I blamed myself for giving up too easily. But now I know that for me freedom is so important that I can’t stand working in an environment where your employer wants to control every minute of your workday. As long as I do my job well I think no one should be able to control whether I checked my phone or not. (Of course this depends on your job, but I was working at the office and not with the customers.)
When it comes to making important decisions that will affect on your whole life, knowing your core values is a must. Making choices that are well-aligned with your values makes your life happier. When you follow your values, you don’t have to feel bad about your choices ever again. Now I know that quitting those jobs years ago were probably the best decisions I’ve made. I quit because I wanted to be more free. And I made a brave choice. Making a decision based on my core values has always made me happier.
What are your core values? Did you have a hard time trying to identify them?