Stress breeds disease. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’ve heard this time and time again. While there are many ways to reduce stress, one of the simplest and most effective ways to relieve stress is to live intentionally. To know who you are and what you want in life.

Step one of living intentionally is determining your core values.

What Are Core Values?

To put it simply, core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization.

They help guide how a person or business conducts themselves and can determine whether or not they are fulfilling their goals.

Have you ever stopped to think what your core values are?

Whether you have or not, each of us has our own set of values. They are what determine which aspects of life we regard as important, and greatly affect how we deal with day-to-day situations.

While some values are ‘superficial’, transitory, or fitting solely to the moment in which we find ourselves, others are deep-rooted within our being. Such values are considered ‘core values’, and stay with us throughout our lives.

Where Do Our Core Values Come From?

Our core values are influenced and shaped as we grow as children. Our parents, neighbours, friends, colleagues, and teachers all lend a helping hand in their formation. As time progresses and we grow older, our values become more fixed. The once elaborate list of learned traits is whittled down to the 6 or 8 values that we appreciate most.

It is these core values that determine what is really important to us as an individual. Sadly, many of us are disconnected with our own core values. This can lead to a life of unhappiness, discontent and lack of fulfillment. It may even lead to conflict and worse of all, stress!

Why, you may ask? Because the lives we are living are not in accordance with our own personal values. To be successful and live a happy life, we must know ourselves and what we value most.

How To Find Out Your Core Values Activity

Not sure how to determine your core values? I’ve put together a little activity for you!

Step I: Below are a list of words that may include one or more of your core values. On a piece of paper, write down all of the values that resonate with you most. Feel free to add any that are not there:

Positive Attitude Self-confidence Loving Belonging
Respect Innovation Trusting Bravery
Compassion Open-minded Optimistic Charity
Growth Responsible Affluence Clarity
Learning Committed Adventure Cheerfulness
Passion Professional Ambition Consciousness
Determination Humble Balance Creativity
Courage Loyal Benevolence Decorum
Dependability Discipline Endurance Enthusiasm
Fairness Fearlessness Flexibility Focus
Generosity Grace Gratitude Happiness
Harmony Health Honesty Independence
Inspiration Intelligence Kindness Leadership
Liberty Maturity Mindfulness Motivation
Obedience Organization Peace Perseverance
Philanthropy Pleasure Power Punctuality
Reasonableness Recognition Religiousness Resourcefulness
Self-control Sensuality Silliness Sincerity
Strength Sympathy Teamwork Thankfulness
Tranquility Trustworthiness Uniqueness Understanding
Vitality Warmth Wealth Willingness
Wisdom Winning Youthfulness Justice
Joy Excellence Rationality Rootedness
Risk-taking Safety Intuition Wellness
Equality Discovery Inner peace

Step II: Now it’s time to group your list! Group all similar core values together. Focus on grouping values together that make sense to you. Try to create 4-6 groups if possible.

Example of a grouping: 

Step III: Choose one word within each grouping that best represents the label for the entire group. Do not overthink your labels. You are defining the answer that is right for you.

Example of lavel: 

Step IV:  Write down the words that best represent your grouping and TA DA! You just created a list of your core values. Well done!

I hope this activity helped on your quest to live a life of intention. Stay tuned for more posts like this.

Talk soon,

Dr. Nathalie

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