What are your core values? The first time I really understood that question, it gave me pause.
Sure, I knew my values! I had inherited them, right along with my love of reading and my deep appreciation for fried okra. Hadn’t I?
Of course, that was during the years that I played the constant part of the Good Little Southern Girl. I kept my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. I dressed properly, including panty hose, slips, and girdles. I didn’t laugh too loudly in public, and I did as I was told. And when I moved out to my own three-bedroom house, I kept up the appearances of a perfect life behind the white picket fence.
I spent a lot of that time living like a chameleon. I changed my viewpoints and values based on those of the people who could punish me for not being Good – people like my parents and my (now ex) husband.
But the truth is, darling, our core values are as individual to us as our personality traits and the uniqueness of our fingerprints. Sure, we have some commonalities with others, but we are still unique.
The word values is tossed around by lots of folks. We all have them ingrained within us, but can you actually name yours? Better yet, can you define what they mean to you?
Values are who YOU are. Not who you think you should be in order to fit in. And values aren’t the same as morals, which are defined by society.
When you get clear about your values, not only do you get to be true to the deepest, soul-level core of yourself, you also get to align your actions with those values. That means that you will live a life that feels more peaceful and nourishing, because you are living within your own integrity.
One of my core values is freedom. It’s one of the major influences on how I structure my business life (and why I’ve been self-employed since 2003). But freedom goes beyond just work. It touches how I live my daily life, my belief that no one should have to follow cookie cutter rules that don’t fit, and even is reflected in my political views.
Since one of my other core values is connection, you can see with even more clarity why I’ve made the choices I’ve made – from keeping my client base small so that I can go deep to choosing to travel with JB when he goes on a business trip to finding the commonality in our stories.
If we don’t know what’s important to us, we spend a lot of time wandering and wondering what we should be doing.
There is tremendous power in discovering and living according to our highest values, and the inner peace we experience is the natural result. When actions and values are aligned, life feels content, in harmony with your purpose – you have peace of mind, even in challenging times.
I know that it can feel overcomplicated. Why can’t you just go with the flow? Well, you can choose to just go with the flow and see where life takes you, but if you want to live a life that is nourishing, loving, and rewarding, then, baby, you need to live life on purpose.
If you aren’t quite sure what your core values are, invest a little time in yourself to gain that clarity.
Values act as our compass to put us back on course every single day, so that day after day, we’re moving in the direction that takes us closer and closer to our definition of the “best” life we could possibly live.
Because, if you aren’t clear on your personal values, then how the heck can you figure out what you want really want?
Snag my new eBook: Become the Custodian of Your Time: Curate Your Life Through Core Values, Empowering Routines and Nourishing Rituals.
Not only will it help you name and claim your personal core values, but will help you make your actions congruent with them!