Continuing our “discovering you” series, I’m excited to dive into a topic that I just realized I have never written about before. It’s almost amusing how, despite the years I’ve spent blogging about personal growth, I somehow managed to overlook a subject of immense significance – a subject that holds the key to understanding ourselves at a profound level.
Let’s talk about How to define core values and beliefs.
You might be surprised to find that the very essence of who you are rests upon this foundation. And honestly, looking back, I believe there’s a reason I didn’t explore this earlier.
If you were to rewind time and ask me about my core values and beliefs when I began my personal growth journey, I would have probably responded with an honest, yet hesitant, “I don’t know.” Back then, embarking on this path meant confronting questions that I was probably not ready to answer. I was not ready to be THAT honest with myself. Who was I, really?
In those initial steps towards self-discovery, I encountered a kind of uncertainty that seemed overwhelming. Defining myself seemed like a daunting task. As hard as this process was, I’ve come to realize that this confusion was a gift in disguise. It was an opportunity to dig deep and unearth the fundamental values and beliefs that would eventually shape my path forward.
The beauty of this journey lies not only in the destination but in the exploration itself. As someone still carving out their identity, it’s liberating to embrace the fact that you’re not alone in this search. Just like me, many of us have stood at this crossroads, unsure of the right path to take.
So, if you’re currently grappling with the task of How to define core values and beliefs, know that you’re in the company of those who’ve walked this path before. It’s okay if your answers aren’t crystal clear yet. In fact, it’s entirely normal. This is a voyage of self-discovery, and the process is as important as the outcome.
Losing Myself Amidst Growing Up
Over the past four years, I’ve dedicated myself to personal growth, shaping my mindset, fostering self-compassion, and nurturing self-love. The journey was imperative since, like many of us, I battle with being my own worst critic. Reflecting on my earlier years, I can recall a time when I possessed unwavering self-assurance. I knew who I was, and what I aspired to become, and cherished the freedom to express myself authentically. I was 3. 3 years old.
However, in a fleeting moment, I blinked and found myself navigating middle school. Suddenly, I was labeled the “ugly, fat friend” – a jarring twist of fate that thrust me into a realm of self-doubt and conformity. The constant need for approval led me to compromise my desires, conforming to others’ expectations to be accepted. I wanted a boyfriend, my first kiss, to have friends, and to be popular. Somehow, Someway I lost sight of my individuality. I blinked again and I was in my mid-30s, grappling with the question, “Who the fuck am I?”
My journey mirrored a distorted version of “13 Going on 30,” except I was 3 and then BAM! A 30-something-year-old woman having an identity crisis. Unlike Jenna who only remembered up until her 13th birthday…
I could tell you all the ups and downs I had. Happy moments, sad moments. I could tell you about it all, but I could not tell you one thing about myself then. I let everyone around me tell me what I liked, and what I didn’t like. How to dress, how to speak. Sit down, shut up, be quiet.
I listened to everyone around me and now I spent the last 4 years discovering me and let me tell you… I have barely scratched the surface, but what I can say is that I am liking myself a whole lot more now than I did then.
What Are Core Values and Beliefs?
Core values are the deeply ingrained principles that serve as a compass for your actions and decisions. They reflect what is most important to you and help you prioritize what matters in life. These values can encompass a wide range of areas, such as honesty, integrity, compassion, family, creativity, and more.
Core beliefs, on the other hand, are the underlying assumptions and convictions you hold about yourself, others, and the world around you. These beliefs can be positive or limiting and significantly impact your self-esteem and outlook on life.
In the journey of self-discovery, understanding your core values and beliefs plays a pivotal role in shaping your identity and guiding your decisions. Core values and beliefs are the fundamental principles that define who you are at your core. Think of them as the soul’s GPS system—guiding principles that influence your choices, and mold your character.
They influence your thoughts and behaviors, and having a clear grasp of them can lead to greater self-awareness and personal fulfillment. Perhaps they may even determine your preference for crunchy or smooth peanut butter. Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but who’s to say for sure? Either way…
In this blog post, we’ll explore easy and insightful at-home methods to help you uncover your core values and beliefs, leading you in the right direction to a better understanding of yourself.
Ever Changing Core Values and Beliefs
Here’s the thing about discovering your core values and beliefs: they’re not set in stone, they’re more like a living, breathing part of you that evolves as you do.
Back when we were navigating high school and first loves, we had our own set of core values and beliefs – things that made our hearts race and our convictions strong. We had this end-all, be-all mentality. But as we fast forward a few years… those SAME values and beliefs that gave you your fighting spirit might shift. It’s not a sign of fickleness or inconsistency; it’s just the natural progression of life.
Think about it – your taste in music changes, your fashion sense evolves, and your choice of pizza toppings might even flip. And just like that, your core values and beliefs aren’t immune to change. It doesn’t mean you’re a chameleon, trying to blend into different environments. It means you’re growing, exploring, and embracing the full spectrum of what life has to offer.
Remember, there’s no cosmic rulebook that states you have to cling to your teenage dreams and beliefs forever. The very essence of who you are is allowed to evolve. And that’s where the beauty lies – in being true to yourself in each chapter of your life.
So, whether you’re reading this post as a 17-year-old navigating the whirlwind of high school drama or as a 37-year-old exploring the intricacies of career and family, know this: growth is a constant. Who you are today might not be who you are a decade from now, and that’s absolutely okay.
Just make it a habit to check in with yourself and constantly ask “Are your current values and beliefs aligning with the person you’re becoming?” If they are not its time to adjust. It’s not about erasing who you were; it’s about growing, changing, and learning to become wiser than you were before.
So, embrace the shifts, the changes, and the evolution. Your core values and beliefs are the compasses guiding you through the ever-changing landscape of your life. And the best part? You hold the pen to edit, rewrite, and revise your story. So go ahead, embrace the flow, ride the waves of change, and let your core values and beliefs be a reflection of your beautifully evolving self.
Why Defining Core Values and Beliefs Matters
Defining your core values and beliefs is crucial for several reasons:
- Guidance in Decision-Making: Think about it – life throws a barrage of decisions our way, big and small. From choosing a career path to picking weekend plans, each choice we make nudges us down a certain road. Now, imagine having a clear sense of your core values – those fundamental principles that light a fire in your soul. Suddenly, decision-making becomes less of a tangled maze and more of a straight path. Your values act like a compass, showing you the direction that resonates with your true self. Whether it’s choosing a job that aligns with your passion or deciding which opportunities to pursue, having your values in mind can make the difference between feeling lost and feeling empowered.
- Greater Self-Awareness: Picture this: You’re looking at yourself in a mirror, but it’s not just your reflection you see – it’s your thoughts, your habits, your actions. When you delve into your core beliefs, it’s like shining a light on those aspects of yourself that might have been in the shadows. Suddenly, you notice patterns, like a recurring theme in the books you read or the causes you care about. This self-awareness isn’t about critiquing yourself; it’s about understanding yourself. And with understanding comes the power to grow. You can shed old habits that no longer serve you and embrace new ones that align with who you want to become. It’s like renovating the house of your mind, one insightful revelation at a time.
- Improved Relationships: Ever had a conversation with someone where it felt like you were speaking the same language, even though you’d just met? That’s the magic of shared values. When you’re clear about what matters most to you, you start attracting people who resonate with those same values. It’s like finding your tribe in the midst of a crowded room. These connections go beyond the surface – they’re the kind that leads to heart-to-heart conversations, shared adventures, and a sense of belonging. Whether it’s a friendship that feels like it is destined or a romantic relationship that feels like a meeting of souls, your core values are the common ground where these relationships flourish.
- Enhanced Confidence: You know that feeling when you’re wearing an outfit that just feels right, like an extension of yourself? Well, imagine that same feeling, but for your life choices. When you live in alignment with your core values, you’re like a well-tailored suit – you exude confidence from within. It’s not about seeking validation from others; it’s about knowing you’re staying true to yourself. When you take actions that resonate with your values, you stand a little taller, speak a little clearer, and tackle challenges with a newfound strength. It’s not about being flawless; it’s about being authentic. And authenticity radiates a kind of confidence that’s infectious and inspiring. Know that you’re in the midst of an incredible journey – the journey of defining yourself. Your core values and beliefs aren’t just words on paper; they’re the threads that weave the tapestry of your identity. Embrace them, refine them, and let them guide you through the remarkable adventure of self-discovery.
Examples of core values and belief
- Integrity: Imagine integrity as the backbone of your character – it’s the quality that keeps you standing tall even when the winds of temptation blow. Integrity isn’t just about doing what’s right when others are watching; it’s about doing what’s right even when no one is around. It’s about adhering to a code of ethics that you’ve set for yourself, regardless of the circumstances. When you prioritize honesty, ethics, and consistency, you’re weaving a tapestry of trust that others can rely on. This belief is your north star in a world that sometimes tests your resolve.
- Respect: Think about respect as a currency of kindness that you invest in others. It’s not just about holding the door open or saying “please” and “thank you.” It’s about acknowledging the worth of every individual, valuing their opinions even if they differ from your own, and creating a space where diverse voices can thrive. This belief fosters connections that go beyond the surface – it’s the glue that binds friendships, family bonds, and collaborations that change the world.
- Responsibility: Responsibility isn’t just a word – it’s a contract you sign with yourself. It’s about holding yourself accountable for your choices, even when the going gets tough. When you prioritize responsibility, you’re not just ticking off tasks on a to-do list; you’re building a legacy of reliability and dependability. This belief ensures that you don’t just go through the motions, but actively contribute to the betterment of your surroundings.
- Compassion: Compassion is like a warm embrace for the soul. It’s the empathy that drives you to reach out to someone in pain, to lend a hand, to listen without judgment. This belief transforms you from a passive observer to an active participant in making the world a better place. It’s a reminder that in a world that sometimes feels indifferent, your capacity for kindness can be a game-changer.
- Growth Mindset: A growth mindset is your inner cheerleader, always whispering, “You’ve got this.” It’s the belief that every challenge is an opportunity to learn and that setbacks are simply stepping stones toward progress. Embracing this belief means you’re open to continuous self-improvement and willing to put in the effort to hone your skills and evolve. It’s a belief that keeps your curiosity alive, ensuring that every stumble is just a part of the dance toward success.
- Gratitude: Gratitude is like a treasure chest of positive vibes. It’s the act of acknowledging the good that comes your way, whether big or small. When you embrace gratitude, you’re not just focusing on what’s missing; you’re celebrating what’s present. This belief has the power to transform your perspective, filling your days with joy and contentment.
- Courage: Courage isn’t about being fearless; it’s about acknowledging your fears and taking that next step anyway. It’s the belief that your voice matters and that your actions can spark change. When you embrace courage, you become a beacon of inspiration, showing others that even in the face of uncertainty, standing up for what you believe in is worth it.
- Humility: Imagine humility as a bridge that connects you with others on equal ground. It’s the belief that you don’t have all the answers and that you’re open to learning from anyone and everyone. Humility is about recognizing that every person’s story is valuable and that each perspective adds to the richness of life.
- Authenticity: Authenticity is like the freedom to dance like no one’s watching, even if the whole world is. It’s the belief that you’re most powerful when you’re true to yourself. This value encourages you to express your emotions, own your quirks, and build relationships that are grounded in sincerity.
- Perseverance: Perseverance isn’t just a quality; it’s a superpower. It’s the belief that setbacks are temporary and that with enough determination, you can overcome any obstacle. Embracing perseverance means you’re not giving up at the first sign of a challenge; you’re digging in your heels and saying, “I’m in this for the long haul.”
- Family and Community: Family and community are the threads that connect us to a larger tapestry of human experience. This belief recognizes that your well-being is interconnected with those around you. It’s about building relationships that are nurturing, supportive, and mutually uplifting.
- Environmental Responsibility: Environmental responsibility is like leaving footprints of care on the planet. It’s the belief that we’re stewards of this Earth, and our actions impact its health. This value drives you to make choices that honor the environment, ensuring that the world you pass on to the next generation is as vibrant as the one you inherited.
So, whether you’re sipping coffee in your favorite café or pondering life’s mysteries under a starlit sky, Taking the time to define your core values and beliefs statements are your companions in the journey of becoming. As you navigate the rollercoaster of life, remember that these values are like constellations – they’ll guide you even when the path ahead seems unclear. Embrace them, live by them, and let them be the compass that keeps you true to yourself amidst the ever-changing tides of life.
How to define core values and beliefs
- Reflect on Past Experiences: Think of your life as a story – now, flip through its pages and stop at the chapters that made your heart race with excitement or swell with pride. Those moments of pure fulfillment are like clues pointing you toward your core values. Remember that time you volunteered at that animal shelter and felt an overwhelming sense of connection? That might hint at your core value of compassion. Reflecting on these moments allows you to connect the dots and identify the values that were present during your happiest times.
- Journaling: Consider your journal as a private conversation with your true self. Write about your dreams, your fears, your passions – pour it all onto the pages. Over time, patterns and themes will emerge, painting a picture of what truly matters to you. Your journal becomes a treasure trove of insights into your evolving beliefs. Revisiting these entries can be like revisiting your own history, and understanding the threads that tie your experiences together.
- Values Assessment Tools: Think of these tools as a map – they offer you a starting point in your quest. Online assessments and questionnaires are designed to spark introspection and provide you with a list of potential core values. While these can be insightful, remember that they’re just a guide. Complement them with your personal reflections to create a more accurate portrait of your values. I created an assessment that you can use to help define core values and beliefs.
- Observe Your Reactions: Life’s a rollercoaster of emotions, right? But those intense feelings can be powerful signposts to your core values. That surge of indignation when you witness an act of injustice? That could be your value for fairness or equality coming to the forefront. Pay attention to your emotional compass – it often points you toward what matters to you.
- Talk to Trusted Friends and Family: Sometimes, those close to us hold mirrors up to our souls. Reach out to your trusted confidants and ask them what they think your strengths and values are. They might offer perspectives that you’ve never considered. Remember, those who know you well can provide valuable insights that might lead you closer to your core.
- Imaginary Obituary Exercise: It might sound morbid, but this exercise is a beacon of introspection. Imagine yourself at the end of your journey, and envision what you’d like your legacy to be. What do you want people to remember you for? This can unveil the values you want to prioritize and guide you in making choices that align with those aspirations.
- Create a Personal Manifesto: Think of a personal manifesto as a guiding mantra for your life’s journey. Sum up your core values and beliefs in a few powerful sentences. When you create this manifesto, you’re distilling the essence of who you are and what you stand for. Think of it as your own personal compass – a tool you can turn to when life’s decisions feel overwhelming.
So, whether you’re sipping coffee in a cozy corner café or gazing at the stars on a quiet night, these methods are your companions in the exhilarating adventure of self-discovery. Just like a detective unraveling clues, you’re piecing together the puzzle of your identity. Embrace each method as a chance to understand yourself a little better, and remember that your core values and beliefs are the foundation upon which you’ll build a life that’s truly yours.
Putting Your Core Values and Beliefs into Action
This phase is where the real magic happens – it’s like taking those hidden treasures you’ve uncovered How to define core values and beliefs and now can turn them into the building blocks of the life you’re crafting in your 20s and 30s.
- Align Your Goals: As you set goals, both short-term and long-term, ensure they resonate with these values. Imagine having a road map that not only leads you to success but also fills each milestone with a deep sense of purpose. Whether it’s embarking on a new career path, starting a business, or even planning a vacation, aligning your goals with your values infuses each endeavor with a profound motivation that keeps you on track.
- Set Boundaries: Think of your core values as the architects of your personal space. They help you construct boundaries that ensure your well-being and happiness. Whether it’s in the workplace, relationships, or even your precious personal time, your values serve as your guardian angels. You know that saying “no” isn’t a rejection; it’s a defense of what matters most to you. These boundaries become your shield, protecting you from the chaos that can sometimes swirl around you.
- Make Decisions with Confidence: Your core values are a pair of glasses that help you see clearly in a world filled with choices. When life presents options, both mundane and life-altering, you can put on these glasses and evaluate each one through the lens of your values. Suddenly, decision-making transforms from a daunting task into a confident stride. Each choice becomes a reflection of your authentic self, steering you away from paths that don’t resonate with your values and guiding you toward those that do.
- Continuous Reflection: Your core values as living entities that grow and evolve with you. Just as you wouldn’t wear the same clothes forever, your values might change as you progress on your journey. Regularly reflect on them – not as a rigid checklist, but as a dynamic part of your identity. Is that value of growth still serving you, or have you outgrown it? Is your belief in community still strong, or has it deepened? These reflections keep you connected with yourself and ensure that your values stay aligned with the person you’re becoming.
All of these are tools to help you, helping you build a life that’s authentic and fulfilling. As you integrate your core values and beliefs into your daily routine, you’re crafting a masterpiece – a life that’s a reflection of who you are, what you stand for, and where you’re headed. Embrace each step as a brushstroke on the canvas of your journey.
A Guide to Defining Core Values and Beliefs
Navigating through your 20s and 30s can sometimes feel like wandering through a vast maze of choices and uncertainties. In the midst of this whirlwind, there’s an exciting and transformative journey waiting for you—one that’s all about discovering the essence of who you truly are. It’s about uncovering those fundamental building blocks that shape your decisions, actions, and the way you experience life. This journey is all about defining your core values and beliefs, and trust me, it’s a game-changer.
Picture this: You’re embarking on a quest of self-discovery, peeling back the layers of societal expectations, parental influences, and external pressures. As you take each step, you’re not just finding out what you like or are good at, but you’re delving into the core of what makes your heart race with excitement and what ignites that fire within you.
So, how do you go about it? It’s not about having all the answers in an instant; it’s a process—a beautiful, messy, and liberating process. Start by looking back at your life experiences. What were the moments that left an indelible mark on your soul? Jot them down, and capture them in a journal. These are like the breadcrumbs that lead you to your true self.
And here’s a cool tool: assessment tools. It might sound a bit official, but these are like those intriguing personality quizzes you’ve probably taken online. They’re designed to decode your inclinations, preferences, and tendencies. They’re like a flashlight in the dark, helping you uncover the parts of you that might have been lurking in the shadows.
But hey, remember this isn’t a solo expedition. You’ve got your squad—trusted friends, mentors, family members. These are the folks who know you, who’ve seen you grow, and who can offer insights you might have missed. They’re like your backup dancers, adding their perspectives to the dance of self-discovery.
Now, here comes the real magic: integrating these insights into your everyday life. Imagine waking up in the morning and knowing exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your choices align with your values, and that, my friend, is like having your own personal compass guiding you through uncharted waters. It’s liberating, and empowering, and it brings a sense of authenticity that’s like wearing your favorite worn-in jeans—it just feels right.
Yet, remember, this journey isn’t a one-time deal. Just as you evolve, so do your core values and beliefs. What might resonate with you today might have a different tune tomorrow, and that’s perfectly okay. Embrace the growth, welcome the changes, and use them as building blocks for the masterpiece that is your life.
So, here’s to you—explorer of your own identity, curator of your values, and architect of a life that’s uniquely yours. It’s not about having all the answers, but about daring to ask the questions that lead to a life that’s not just lived, but truly felt. You are your canvas, and your values and beliefs? They’re the vibrant hues that will paint the picture of your authentic, fulfilling existence.
Until next time, Have a great day! Remember you are a badass!