The Secret to Making Better Decisions: Identify Your Authentic Core Values and Make Them Explicit

The Secret to Making Better Decisions: Identify Your Authentic Core Values and Make Them Explicit
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Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what their core values are.

Be honest…if I asked you right now what are your authentic core values, could you rattle them off without hesitation?

Could you tell me how you arrived at the core values you hold? And could you tell me how you use them to navigate your daily decisions?

The truth is, most people can’t. Sure, we have an intrinsic idea about the values we hold, but do we know them explicitly, in other words, can you really articulate them, and do you know how they play out in your day to day life.

What are core values anyway?

A simple definition: your core values are the fundamental beliefs you hold as centrally important to your life and well-being. They are the guiding principles that dictate your behaviour and they help you understand the difference between right and wrong within the context of your life.

There are several reasons why it’s important to explicitly name your authentic core values:

  1. They help guide your life toward more noble goals rather than self-serving motives, bad habits, impulses or accidental occurrences.
  2. They inspire you to live a more meaningful life.
  3. When you live up to your core values, it boosts your self-esteem.
  4. Vaguely knowing your values causes you more stress and sets the conditions for you to lose your way a lot in life.

3 Useful Similies

I picked these up from Marc Alan Schelske. In his book, Discovering Your Authentic Core Values, he likens authentic core values to a compass, a water filter, and a homing pigeon.

Like a compass, your core values can help you re-orient yourself when life becomes confusing.

Like a water filter, your core values help you decide how to spend your time wisely. As you know, there’s a lot of competition for our attention, explicitly knowing your core values helps you decided what gets your attention and what you can walk away from.

Like a homing pigeon, your core values help draw you back to who you’re supposed to be according to what’s centrally important to you.

It’s important that you do the work to explicitly identify your authentic core values. Schelske’s book is a good place to start if you need help.

Likewise, identifying core values is part of the coaching process I take my client through. Give me a call if that’s something you’d like to discuss.

Peace and love to you,

Clay

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