How to find your core values


How to find your core values

Early on when I work with coaching clients, I enquire about their core values. Most of the time, people do not know what they are. So I wanted to create this guide, to help and get started.

What are my values? 

Core values are what drives you, what motivates you. You can think of them as your North Star, or your guiding light. They help you navigate through difficult times and important decisions. Not just in the workplace, but rather, generally in your life. Your core values represent what is the most important to you. They are principles that you hold to be of worth in your life. Values are not chosen. They are intrinsic to you. Your individual values are as unique as your fingerprints.

How Can I Find My Values? 

There are a variety of techniques to discover your values. It is important to note that your values are already there, inside of you. This means that you do not develop or acquire a value – they are expressed in your everyday life.
(values are different to strengths)

It is helpful to find a word to express our values, however, because the meaning of a value is so personal, it is best to write down what a value truly means to us. You can think of using a word as a shortcut, if you wish.

You will find below a sample list of words that may resonate with you or spark something. Remember that the purpose of the exercise is to identify which personal value you resonate the most with.

Source for the list of words:

Finding Your Values: Instructions

1.Read the whole list of words. Try each word and see how it feels.

2.Identify approximately 10 values that are important to you.

3.Then, narrow the list down to three or four values. When narrowing down, the following questions may be helpful:

  • What’s crucially important to me?
  • What’s non negotiable? (think about your life, work, how you show up for important relationships)
  • When do I feel the most alive or the most satisfied? (this could be a cue that there’s a core value being met)
  • When do I feel the most upset or irritated? (this could be a cue that there’s a core value not being met)
  • How do I want to be remembered? (look at which adjectives come up when you answer this question)