The Impact Of Your Core Values On Your Life
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
A truncated and simple version of the definition of values is a standard or code of behavior. Easy peasy, no muss no fuss. For many of us, the only times we find ourselves intentionally pondering what are our values is in a job interview when asked to state them.
Whether we give it a lot of thought or no thought at all, our values are ever present and actively impact the way we do things. It’s like gravity (whether you think about it or not, it’s there). There are different categories of values. You have moral values, social values and core values. A lot of our social values are taught. Our moral values are sometimes inherited but our core values are things we have to discover. They are unique to each individual and it is the driving force of behaviour.
Our core values impact our lives overtly and covertly. A person who has not yet clearly defined what their values are will be covertly affected. This can be very disruptive as often times, living at odds with our core values brings about a sense of unease and unfulfillment. When a person’s actions are aligned with their core values, that changes the entire game!
When you are living within your values you automatically become:
● More decisive
● More confident
● More productive
● More secure
● More at peace
Your core values will play a major role in the nature and quality of your human interactions. Your friendships will oftentimes be tested by the values that each person has. When two persons with undefined values become friends, there will either be a power struggle or mere “go with the flow” vibe that looms over decision making. However, a person with clearly defined values, will assess each person they interact with to determine what place to give each person in their lives. If you evaluate your “bff” you may find that you share more core values with that person than your other friends.
This is particularly true with romantic relationships. If the words “let’s just see where this goes” are ever uttered, that can be an indicator that values have not yet been defined. When we choose a partner (I’m not talking about casual partners now, I’m talking white dress, black tux and a baby stroller), the aim should be to find someone whose values align with yours. Many relationships fail because over time partners realize that their core values are significantly different. It is not fair to either party to expect them to give up their core values. This is why it is critical to have them clearly defined and acknowledged from the start.
Your values will also impact the way you respond to obstacles. This is the case because your values will determine what you perceive to be an obstacle to begin with. Your perspective is tied up in your values, your thought process is affected by your values and therefore your instinctive reaction will reflect what these values are (whether you’ve clearly defined them or not.
Your values are not a burden to you, instead they are pillars on which you can build your life. Values take the hassle out of some tough decisions and automate your responses. If one of your core values is your family security, then you’ll never have to struggle with making a decision that compromises their safety. You instinctively know that it goes against your core value and you’ll find another way. If you know that one of your core values is freedom, this will guide the way you date and colour what you look for in a significant other. If one of your core values is good mental health, then you will actively try to avoid things that will negatively affect your mental health.
When I ask many people what their core values are, they’ll respond with things like, “working hard” or “honesty” or “being punctual”. That’s all great but what do your actions reflect? If you say your core values are one thing and your actions don’t reflect them it either means you’re struggling internally or you’re lying to yourself. Neither of those options is good.
It’s so very important that we take the time to get to know who we are, what our building blocks are emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. When we bring our entire being into alignment, we’ll find that we can significantly improve the overall quality of our lives. This is how powerful and important values are to our existence. I hope you’ll give your values some thought today.
“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.”-Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart