Identifying and understanding your personal core values is an essential step in personal growth, self-awareness, and decision-making. By clarifying your values, you can align your actions and choices with what truly matters to you. The following four steps will guide you through the process of determining your personal core values:
Step 1: Evaluate and Expand
Take a moment to review a list of values or create your own comprehensive list. As you go through the table, circle any values that deeply resonate with you and that you would be willing to risk your life for. Don’t limit yourself to the given options; feel free to add values that are important to you but may not be listed.
Step 2: Prioritize and Narrow
Now that you have a list of circled values, carefully review them again. This time, focus on narrowing down the list to your top six values. Consider which values are most significant and hold more importance for you than others. Place a star next to these top six values.
Step 3: Determine the Essential Three
From the six values you have identified, imagine a scenario where you can only keep three of them. Ask yourself, “If all I have left in life are these three values, which would they be?” Cross out three of the six values, ensuring that your top three values remain.
Step 4: Rank Your Top Three
Now that you have your three core values, it’s time to rank them in order of priority. Reflect on each value and ask yourself, “If I had to discard two values and keep only one, which would I throw away first?” Label that value as “No. 3.” Then, consider the remaining two values and determine which one you would discard second. Label that value as “No. 2.” Finally, identify the one value that you would choose if you could only have a single value left in your life. Label that value as “No. 1.”
By following these steps, you will gain clarity on your personal core values and their relative importance to you. These core values serve as a compass, guiding your decisions, actions, and interactions with others. Revisit and reflect on your values regularly to ensure that they continue to align with your evolving aspirations and goals. Understanding your personal core values empowers you to live a more authentic and fulfilling life in accordance with what truly matters to you.
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