How to Figure Out Your Personal Core Values

  •   |   Meghan Freed

blue border with black writing that says "determine your core values"Understanding your personal core values is essential for living a purposeful and authentic life.  When you’re making a major life change like divorce, your core values can serve as guiding principles that shape your priorities and help you make decisions and take actions in line with your true goals.  They can provide clarity and direction, and enable you to make choices in line with your true self. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical steps to help you figure out your personal core values and unlock a path to a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

Reflect on What Truly Matters to You

Start by reflecting on what truly matters to you. What brings you joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose?  What resonates most deeply?  Ask yourself meaningful questions such as:

  • “What do I value most in relationships?”
  • “What activities energize and inspire me?”
  • “What kind of impact do I want to make in the world?”
  • “What do I stand for?,” or
  • “What values do I want to embody in my life?”

Your reflections will provide valuable insights into your core values.  Jot down what you come up with.

Identify Your Peak Experiences

Recall moments in your life when you felt most alive, fulfilled, and aligned with your authentic self. These peak experiences often highlight moments when you were living in harmony with your core values. Take some time to reflect on the circumstances, activities, and relationships that contributed to those moments of joy and fulfillment.  Then, analyze the common threads to gain clues to the values they embody.  Add the potential core values you develop to the list.

ID Your Non-Negotiables

What principles and beliefs are non-negotiable in your life?  These are the values that you hold dear, regardless of external circumstances or societal expectations. They represent the foundation of your identity and define how you live your life.  Please put them on your list.

Role Models and Inspirations

Who inspires you?  Think about people you admire and respect, be they historical figures, public figures, or people you know personally. What qualities, characteristics, and values attract you and resonate with you? Identifying the values your role models embody, can provide valuable insights into your own core values.  When you add them to your running list, do you notice any overlap with values you identified above?

Pay Attention to Your Emotional Responses

Pay attention to your emotional responses in different situations. When do you feel enthusiastic, content, and aligned?  By contract, what makes you uncomfortable, frustrated, or disconnected?  These emotional reactions can serve as clues to the values that are being honored — or disrespected — in those circumstances.

Prioritize and Narrow

Now that you have a list of the insights thanks to the last steps, it’s time to prioritize your core values.  Identify the values that came up the most, and that are most important and resonate the most with you.  Then, narrow down your list to 3 to 5 core values that truly represent you what makes you tick.

Core Values and Daily Life

Once you have identified your core values, integrate them into your daily life. Use them as a compass to guide your decision-making, goal-setting, and actions. Regularly check in with yourself to ensure that you are making choices in alignment with your core values.

Next Steps

Your personal core values are the key to a more empowered, authentic, and joyful life. Through self-reflection, examining meaningful experiences, identifying role models, defining and testing your values, and revisiting them as you grow, you can unlock the guiding principles that shape your identity and choices. Embrace the journey of self-discovery, and allow your core values to illuminate your path towards a more purposeful existence.  Remember, your personal core values are unique to you, and they have the potential to shape the way you navigate relationships, pursue goals, and make a positive impact in the world.

Freed Marcroft LLC

Freed Marcroft LLC