What's the Big Deal About Core Values?Dec 19, 2022
Every so often, I’m invited as a guest on other podcasts. Usually, it’s just to get my story or share what Intentional Optimism is. But my friend and colleague Tabatha Perry (you’ll remember her from podcast episode 104), invited me to come speak to her audience specifically about Core Values.
And I thought - oooh, I've never recorded a solo podcast or written a blog post specifically on this subject. Why not?
I believe and teach that understanding your Core Values is literally the foundation for personal growth, and heading into the last two weeks of the year is the perfect time to share my thoughts on this topic.
So, this week on the podcast (Bonus - Episode 116) you can hear my conversation with Tabatha about Core Values. But I wanted to go into a little more detail here.
So today, we'll look at:
- What are Core Values?
- How do you figure out your Core Values?
- And then what do you do with them?
I’m so glad you asked! 😉
What are Core Values? They are your inner compass. Understanding them enables you to make decisions based on what is important and fulfilling - to you. Everything you do, including your purpose, vision and goals should flow from your values. They’re the foundation upon which you build everything else.
Many people talk about "values" as if they are morals or ethics. They're not. Morals and ethics are subjective ideas based on your values.
Others present "values" as your beliefs. But beliefs can be inherited from your family or community, or developed over time through experiences or circumstances.
Beliefs are changeable - Core Values, not so much.
When we purchased our house, back in 2012, we moved in with a very active 3 year old, and a beagle. Both needed a fence, but alas, the property had none. In order for the fence company to give us a quote, we needed to know where the property lines were. Granted, we had a general idea, because there are huge leland cypress surrounding the property. But no good fencing company will put up a fence based on a "general idea" of where the lines are.
Enter the surveyor.
In short order, the property lines were plotted, stakes were in the ground, and we knew exactly where our yard ended, and the neighbor's yard began. They showed us where we could put a fence if we wanted to. It turned out, all those trees - planted on the lines. Fortunately, our neighbors don't mind, but it also meant our property was just a bit smaller than we realized. You see, the lines were always there, we just couldn't see them. Knowing where they are gives us confidence that if we were to put up your fence, no one would dispute its location.
So, you can think of your Core Values as your property.
This is the space that is home for you. The space where you are at ease, comfortable, and truly yourself. They define you, in the most pure and perfect way. They have always been there, but sometimes you can’t see them. You may not be aware of them - but they are you.
How do you figure out what your Core Values are? Well, you need to do a little of your own surveyor work. You might have a general idea of what they are, just like we had a general idea of where our property lines were. Sometimes that's enough, but many times, it's not. Just like a surveyor, it takes patience, honesty and reflection.
Let me take this analogy just a bit deeper. In my backyard, is a pool - surrounded by a fence. This is the portion of our yard that needs the most protection - for children, animals, you name it. So out of safety (and, quite frankly the law) the pool fence is gated and fitted with a lock.
However, it’s not the whole yard.
What this might look like in your life is having something you protect at all costs - like a belief system, your family time, or a career choice. This is how many people establish boundaries - they put up specific and hard boundaries around things that FEEL important - most likely they're pain points that are at the center of a Core Value… or they're something that touches or causes friction, for one of your Core Values.
In reality, they’re just partial protection of your full property.
You need to know your full property lines. You need to do the work to find them.
You can do this on your own, by paying attention, looking deep and figuring out what lights you up and what ticks you off. But sometimes it's too much to do on your own, you're too close. So, it's this process I walk you through in the course Uncovering your Core Values - Live in alignment with your non-negotiables. I have a simple 4 step process that removes the overwhelm, and helps you survey your own property clearly and efficiently.
However, you might have a decent idea of your Core Values OR you might have your own “POOL” that you need to get a fence around RIGHT NOW…like the holidays…and THAT'S what you DO with your Core Values. When you know the definition of your most important pieces, you know “where you end,” that’s where you can put up fences - I call those boundaries. Unlike my yard - that still has no fence - you can quickly put up a simple "boundary" around the general property line to give you some peace and quiet.
If that sounds like exactly what you need, then Healthy Boundaries Make Happy Holidays is for you. I share some fantastic resources and simple steps for you to begin setting up healthy boundaries as you head into the holidays - In less than an hour.
There’s a reason they say “good fences make good neighbors.” It’s not because it keeps them separate, it’s because when we each know where our property lines are, we’re more likely to ask permission to step into someone else’s space. It’s much easier and organic to establish your boundaries in a way that honors you while still honoring others.
This is the freedom that comes with knowing your Core Values.
If you don't know yours, it's time. You deserve to know yourself. Understanding who you are will change your life. Everything else builds on this foundation.
You got this, sister.
Until Next Time!
P.S. When you purchase the Boundaries course, you’ll get a 20% off coupon for the Core Values course, which basically gets you both courses for the price of one.
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