Listening time 5:22
Values Inventory: Personal core values are strongly held beliefs and characteristics that motivate and guide our decisions and behaviors. Our core values are the things we believe to be important in the way we live our lives.
We all have personal core values whether we recognize them or not. While core values are typically constant, they may change as we change course throughout our lifetime.
The results of a personal core values inventory test performed when you are a young adult may yield very different results than one performed when you reach middle age.
Why Knowing Your Personal Core Values Matters
Knowing and understanding our core values can help us to make decisions about how to live a happy life. Our core values provide us with guidelines for influencing our personal decisions. Living in alignment with our core values, keeps us moving along our path to a happy life.
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” ― Roy Disney
When our behavior and actions are aligned with our core values, we find that life usually goes well and flows smoothly – we feel content. But when the things that we do are not a match with our personal values, things seem to go poorly for us and we may not quite feel like ourselves. This can lead us down a path of unhappiness, which is why identifying our values really does matter.
When we acknowledge our core values and use them as a guideline for making decisions, determining our priorities and making choices that respect them, life is much easier.
Exploring Your Core Values
Identifying and understanding our personal core values can be a challenging but important process. Our personal values make up a central part of who we are and who we choose to be. By exploring and discovering our personal values we can use them as a guide for making choices that will lead us to more happiness. Identifying the priorities in our life helps us to determine the best direction for our life goals.
Answering these simple questions can begin to help you take stock of your personal core values. Take your time. Be thoughtful and truthful with your answers.
To discover and take inventory of the values that are truly important to you, look back and reflect upon the times in your life when you really felt good, and confident in your decisions.
- Where were you?
- What were you doing?
- Why were you doing it?
- Who were you with?
- Why did it feel so good?
- What precisely were the good feelings you experienced (pride, joy, love, fulfillment, etc..)
Then ask yourself the bigger questions: Try not to answer too quickly. Sit with your thoughts to be certain that your feelings truly and accurately align with your answers.
- When are you the happiest?
- What do you enjoy most?
- What makes you angry?
- What makes you sad?
- What makes you proud?
- What’s most important in your life?
- What is your dream job?
- What do you dislike about yourself?
Examine your answers, and then compile a list of what you consider to be your “most” core beliefs and values; not simply the things that make you happy, but the things that make you the happiest. These are behaviors you admire about yourself, a code of honor by which you want to be seen that are reflected in your words, thoughts and actions.
Compare and organize the items on your list in order of priority until the list accurately reflects your vision of yourself. Are you proud of these values? Does this list make you feel good about yourself?
Living in alignment with these values will provide you with personal integrity as you approach life decisions with confidence.
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