We all know what it means to have values. To strive to be a good person. To abide by the golden rule. But what about your own, personal core values? The things that are absolutely non-negotiable? What are the three principles that speak to you and your heart the most? Each one of us is unique, with interests, talents, and gifts that are all our own.
Me personally? I have a ridiculous amount of drive and energy. I’m naturally caring and enthusiastic. I genuinely care about others and want them to succeed, however that looks for them. And I’m an incredible encourager. All of these things make me, well me, and help shape my core values because if I know what my strengths are, then I can use them to the best of my ability as I lean into my life’s calling.
Because my core values guide my decisions and my pursuits day in and day out. What if you could name your three core values too? Would that make decision-making easier? Or give your life direction and purpose? Or lend you confidence when most needed? It just might friends, and today I’ll share a little of how that’s worked for me.
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Let’s Chat Core Values – What Are They And Do You Have Them?
So, what are core values? I personally like YourDictonionary.com’s definition:
Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. These guiding principles dictate behavior and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Core values also help companies to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their goals by creating an unwavering guide. There are many different examples of core values in the world, depending upon the context.yourdictionary.com
Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. These guiding principles dictate behavior and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Core values also help companies to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their goals by creating an unwavering guide. There are many different examples of core values in the world, depending upon the context.
In the past few years, especially since our boys came into the picture, my husband Dennis and I have both on our own pinpointed our own core values. It’s almost as if having kids forced us into getting really clear on our own personal priorities and values since we now have less time for ourselves, so we have to be really purposeful with our pursuits. Time is the highest value of currency. And how we spend our time is informed, in part, by our core values.
So, what are my personal core values?
Family – Which also includes my friends who are family too. The way I approach this value is by saying,“What’s important to the people I love is important to me.” In this way, I can meet the people I love on their level and can be genuinely interested in what’s most important to them too.
Purpose – I see this as living fully into the calling on my heart. When I lean into my life’s purpose, things start to align and I feel vivacious and full of life. I do this through encouraging other, mentoring, and teaching!
Passion – This encompasses everything that brings me into a flow state. That place where time melts away and you’re just gloriously in the moment. I ask myself, “How can I cultivate passion and the associated joy?” I do that in so many ways. Horseback riding. Art. Running. Writing. Reading. Podcasting. Teaching yoga. Practicing yoga. Because these are the things that elevate me and make me a better person. Which allows me to show up even better for my first two core values.
So, how do you discover your core values?
I’d venture a guess you already know or can feel what they are, and you might just need to do a little soul searching and getting quiet to articulate them into words. Which is what this week’s mini meditation will do.
Listen to the mediation when it drops on Thursday. Or to start on your own, pour some coffee and journal it all out. Or take a walk, alone, and in the quiet listen to your heart. Or record a voice memo to yourself as you talk it all out. Whatever method works best for you. But most importantly, you must get quiet in order to hear yourself. Block out the distractions of the tv, your phone, social media, heck even podcasts! Get quiet. And in the quiet, listen to your inner voice. Because she’s been there all along waiting for you to pause long enough to listen. Then think about what makes you, you. Another way to think about it is, what would your closest friends and family say makes your special or what your talents might be? That’s usually a good way to know what your gifts are. And they might help guide you when defining your core values.
Once you take the time to think, reflect, and feel, write down your core values. There’s so much value in writing things out. In seeing them in hard copy, in your own handwriting. And then they’re always there to return to when you need a reminder or when you’re making a big decision and want to know that it aligns with who you are and what’s most important to you.
And what’s beautiful about that is, that even if a decision you make seems big or outlandish or too audacious to other people, so long as you know that it aligns with your values and you have a plan in place to make it happen (and back up plans for when life inevitably happens), then their opinion can’t touch you because you have peace with your decision and confidence in yourself to make it happen. At the very least, if you’re anything like me and know your core values, then if anyone ever questions a decision you’ve made that’s in alignment with your values, it’ll only serve to empower you forward, it won’t shake the conviction you have because what you know in your heart to be true can’t be put into doubt by anyone other than yourself. Because when you tune into your inner compass, when you get quiet enough to listen, it won’t steer you wrong. So friends, get quiet and find your true north. As someone who’s tapped into hers time and time again, I can tell you the work to getting there, to stilling the cacophony of noise we live in day in and day out, and listening to your heart is worth it every single time.
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Well friends, it’s time for Joyful Corner! My chance each week to share with you something that’s brought me joy or that I’m grateful for experiencing, so we can all learn to celebrate the good, big or small, in each and every day.
Two weeks ago we received some really disappointing news in regards to a big goal we were chasing professionally, which would have had some big impacts on us as a family too, so it was kind of a professional and family goal. Ultimately, the process of attaining this professional goal was ended by the other party, and while we’re sad to have to let go of that dream, we’ve been doing a lot of reflection on what we’ve learned over the past almost two years spent in pursuit of this goal. And what we learned along the way, even without the outcome we worked so hard towards achieving, makes the journey worthy of taking.
In the past two years, personally, as a couple, and as a family, we’ve learned discipline. So much discipline. We’ve practiced unwavering support. And actually, funnily enough, even though this goal was very time-consuming it made us focus our energy and prioritize our lives in such a way that our core values as individuals and as a family became very clear.
While not all goals are ultimately attained, this is a great reminder for me personally that the growth that comes from reaching for something big is always worth the effort. And that pivots, both professionally and personally, are a part of life and might in the end lead to so much more than you ever thought possible.
So going forward, we’re taking all we’ve learned from this process and choosing to live recklessly brave and wildly by design as we make some big decisions this fall. I’m not at liberty to share more just yet, but suffice it to say that it’s life-changing and exciting and I’ll take you along for the entire ride.
And this week’s listener voicemail is brought to you by my sister Laura! All the way from Deland, FL. Laura shares with us her joy over being healthy and safe while finishing her senior year of college during the pandemic. And to commemorate it, she and her roommates cooked a delicious meal and shared a special evening together!
And if you enjoyed the episode, take a screenshot and share it on social! Tag me @livebydesignpodcast and let me know what you enjoyed most. And once you complete this week’s challenge send me an update so I can personally cheer you on and celebrate your goals!
Next Week on The Live by Design Podcast
Thanks so much for joining me this week friends, and be sure to tune in this Thursday for our Mini Meditation Episode where I’ll guide you into stillness, so you can better listen to your inner compass and tap into your core values. It’s an especially fun episode, as I recorded it in my car, during an epic rainstorm, while my boys napped in the backseat. In this family, we don’t wake sleeping babies, so instead of trying to transition them to their rooms I just put the car in park and hit record. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed recording it!
And until then friends, spread some joy, make someone smile.