Tune Up Your Core Values

Defining Core Values

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article400_Man_happiness-420x0The term “core values” is one that gets used quite often, especially by life coaches and counselors. Some people also refer to them as core beliefs. But what exactly are core values and how you can determine which are most important to your health and well being?

Core values are emotionally charged one-word statements (value statements) that engage our hearts and minds and define our real Self. The most important ones are different for each person; the combination is never duplicated.

Core Values Drive Your Life

happiness-heart-sunsetSome of the more common core values that people hold dear include Justice, Freedom, Safety, Family, Integrity, Accomplishments, and more. Only you, however, can articulate those that define your Self. There are no “right” or “wrong” values to hold. Everything will feel right if you recognize and honor your core values while your life will always feel “off” if you ignore them.

I like to use an analogy most everyone can relate to – likening your core values to the engine that drives your life forward. Your many different values and beliefs are the parts of the car. They are what keep you moving; what keeps your engine tuned. It takes all the parts working together as a whole to provide necessary energy and direction.

The Value of Values

reality-alignmentCars need regular maintenance to run well and reliably and so do your core values. Just like a vehicle can get out of alignment, so can your Self. One broken part will cause your emotional motor to seize up and stop your vehicle dead in its tracks.

If you ignore a core value, you’ll know it; this broken down part will manifest itself in a negative way. You will likely experience negative emotions, a loss of energy, a general feeling of discontentment or being “out of sorts” and perhaps even unjustified anger.

On the other hand, if you keep your system of core beliefs is well tuned, you will enjoy that “wind in your hair” feeling as you step on the gas and race toward your goals. Think of your Self humming down the highway in a convertible with the top down on a warm and sunny day, moving toward your destination without fear of breaking down – that’s what it’s like to honor your core values and respect them for the integral part they play in your health, well being, and happiness. Your core beliefs want to move you forward toward your goals; they were never meant to be idle bystanders to your life.

yogaBy honoring your core values, you will experience positive emotions. You will find yourself feeling happier, more content, and blessed with a general calmness. Another way that core values provide value for your life is by directing your time and energy. Without being aware of your most important core beliefs, you are bound to flounder and wander aimlessly, always looking for fulfillment and never quite finding it. Core values are almost like your emotional GPS!

We all have different values and there’s nothing wrong with this. We will find great peace by honoring our own and respecting those held dear by others. Defining, using, and honoring our core beliefis about giving ourselves more choices and opportunities to feel good. Doesn’t that sound great?

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