How to Identify Your Core Values

Your core values are your “must-haves” in life. One’s values and beliefs may change over a lifetime, however identifying at least five unchangeable core values is important to increase self-understanding. Values and beliefs that you will never, ever compromise, no matter what societal, cultural or work-related pressures you may face. They are the core of your internal belief system and when you are in alignment with them, you know that you are living in integrity and honoring your authentic self.

When you haven’t identified your core values – or living contrary to these core values – problems arise. For example, if a core value is being close to family and don’t fit time with your family in your schedule, eventually if one of your values is family and you work eighteen hours a day at the office, and you spend 18 hours a day at the office, eventually life becomes unbalanced and your belief system and integrity may be compromised.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to discover and honor your core values. To do this, I recommend writing in a journal as a way to externalize your internal thoughts and feelings. Each evening, write about which situations throughout the day triggered thoughts or feelings, i.e. when you felt frustrated, sad, or angry. By examining your triggers you are able to identify when you compromise your values and gain insight as to how to adjust your thoughts and behaviors in order to life an authentic life.