One aspect of authenticity is being true to our personal and spiritual values–sharing our true self with the world. Have you ever considered what your top five core values are? Businesses frequently review and post their core values to remind employees and customers of the guiding principles of that company. But have you ever considered what core values govern your life and business?
Many times we decide to start our businesses because we want more time, freedom and perhaps flexibility. Yet, some of us find that we are experiencing anything but those things.
Why not make a conscious decision to build your business around what is most important to you? In order to do that, you will want to identify your core values. Living by your core personal and spiritual values will fuel your quest for an abundant life. They are at the root of who you are–your true essence. While many of the values listed below are appealing and viewed with high regard in our culture, be honest with yourself about which ones have meaning for you. They are the values for which you would likely fight, quit a job, or leave a relationship. You may or may not be living a particular value at this moment, but the aim is to identify those values that are most significant to you.
There are 32 values listed; however, feel free to add to the end of the list if something you value is missing. Also, feel free to adjust the definition of a value to fit your interpretation.
There are three steps to this exercise:
- Identify 10 values that resonate deeply with you.
- Of your list of 10, reduce it to the five that are most important to you.
- Of your list of five, rate each value on a scale of 1 to 10 based upon how well you are living that value today (with 10 being optimal).
Achievement/Excellence: to accomplish important things; mastery
Abundance: to believe that the universe provides enough for everyone
Adventure/Excitement: to explore new frontiers and discover new things; to find excitement; to take risks
Aesthetics/Beauty: to enjoy or be inspired by the beauty in things, ideas, surroundings
Affluence: to pursue high income, financial success, prosperity
Authenticity: to be yourself and behave in a way consistent with your ideas and values; authentic
Autonomy/Freedom: to act on personal priorities and time schedule; self-sufficient; self-reliant
Balance: to have a lifestyle allowing balance of time for self, family, work and community
Challenge: to be involved in interesting and challenging work; to face complex tasks continually
Community: to participate actively in a community; to have a sense of belonging
Courage: to have faith in yourself and tackle difficult situations with confidence
Creativity: to express yourself; demonstrating innovation and imagination
Expertise/ Recognition: to be respected for your competence; to be a known authority
Family: to spend time with your family; to have strong family ties
Friends/Relationships: to have strong and meaningful relationships with others
Fun: to enjoy life; fusing each activity and each day with joy/laughter
Generosity: to share yourself, your gifts and your possessions with others
Honesty/Integrity: to act within your convictions; to be honest and sincere; to stand up for your beliefs
Humility: to be grateful and modest; lack of pretense
Leadership/Power: to be in charge, motivating and influencing others
Life-Long Learning: to be constantly learning and developing; the pursuit of knowledge
Loyalty/Commitment: to be faithful; dedication and commitment to individuals, traditions and/or organizations
Novelty: to seek out new situations, meet new people, and have new experiences
Order/Organization: to have a need for structure and a routine; to have things in order
Passion: to care deeply for something; to live/work your greatest passion
Personal Growth/Self-Realization: to develop to your full potential personally and professionally
Privacy: to keep to yourself, to be on your own and not to rely on others
Respect: to earn the respect of others; to value others and honor their individuality
Romance/Intimacy: to be intimately and romantically connected to another person
Security: to achieve a secure/stable home, work and financial situation
Self-Care: to take exquisite care of yourself physically, emotionally and/or spiritually
Service: to help other people; make a contribution to the well-being of others; help improve society
Spirituality: to be strong in spiritual or religious beliefs; inner peace and harmony
Trust: to be able to rely on others and have others rely on you, knowing that you will be true to yourself and to them
Do all that you can to orient your life around your values. Values give our lives meaning, joy and happiness. Ideally, our values should guide every decision we make–especially those around how we will spend our time, energy, money and other resources. As you set your goals for your life and business, make sure that they are aligned with your values and you will find yourself feeling more alive, energized and fulfilled than you may have in the past.
If you are not living by these values in your business, you will not have integrity with what is important to you and ultimately will not be happy. So, pay attention to these. Post them somewhere you can see them all the time. And choose to make choices that are in alignment with them.