Discussion
  • I really like the topic of this blog and your suggestion to examine our core values a little more closely. I think it’s rather easy to voice a belief or set of priorities and then fail to live by them. It’s definitely something to think about and work on. Thanks Lisette for another great post!

    From Stacey Sevel
    October 2, 2012

Core Values Compass

Have you ever really done an inventory of your core values? If not, there’s no time like the present. It’s important to truly acquaint yourself with your core values. Being especially familiar with your guiding principles is a way to avoid loneliness and dysfunctional acting out such as excessive eating and drinking. You may wonder why that might be the case. How can knowing your core values keep you from overeating and feeling isolated?

Our core values act as a compass, directing us to make decisions that are in alignment with our heart and spirit. When we live in a way that is incongruent with our fundamental values, it creates negative emotions such as shame, anxiety, and fear. Shame often has us feeling we don’t belong or won’t be accepted. Shame is the home where loneliness likes to dwell. Anxiety and fear are not emotions we like to marinate in for too long — food and alcohol are ready numbing agents we frequently seek out when experiencing those emotions.

Instincts are the sensors that let us know if we are making decisions that reflect our core values. When we have clear insight with regard to our guiding principles then it’s easier to follow our instincts. Following our instincts always leads us to better decision making.

So what are your core values? If you are unclear, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I believe in?
  • What really matters to me?
  • What values help govern how I live my life?
  • What values do I want to pass on to my children?

Core values can include personal traits such as being honest, having a strong work ethic, being fair, or being loyal. They can also include priorities such as family first, being of service to the community, pursuit of education or religious/spiritual beliefs.

Once you’ve sat down and really reflected on your core values, then take a look at your lifestyle and how you spend your time. How well does your life reflect your core values? If you discover some incongruences or contradictions, then most likely those are the places in your life where healthy living is compromised. When we live in alignment with our values, we live a healthier life.

Below is a link to a Core Value Worksheet:

http://www.ripon.edu/academics/special_programs/ethical_leadership/Students/documents/core-values-worksheet.pdf

 

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