In the journey of self-discovery and personal growth, it’s important to consider and understand our core values. In fact, they serve as a language for understanding ourselves on a deeper level. They are the essence of who we are, reflecting what truly matters to us at our core. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of core values, their role in our lives and relationships, and how to live in alignment with our values.

What are Core Values?

Core values are the fundamental beliefs and principles that guide our actions, interactions with others and decision-making. They represent our deeply held convictions about what is important and meaningful in life. These values are shaped by our upbringing, experiences, culture, and personal reflections.

Examples of core values can include integrity, honesty, compassion, resilience, authenticity, creativity, justice, and respect. While the specific values may vary from person to person, they serve as the moral compass that directs our actions and shapes our identity.

Why are Core Values Important?

Core values play a crucial role in shaping our lives and defining who we are as individuals both consciously and unconsciously. They provide clarity and direction, helping us navigate life’s challenges and confidently make difficult decisions. They serve as a filter through which we evaluate opportunities, relationships, and experiences. They enable us to prioritize what truly matters to us and avoid compromising our integrity or happiness for the sake of external pressures or expectations. When we live in alignment with our core values, we can experience a sense of fulfilment, purpose, and authenticity.

How to Live in Alignment with Your Core Values

Living in alignment with our core values requires self-awareness, intentionality, and commitment to action. We can integrate our values into every aspect of our lives – from our career choices and relationships to our daily habits and decision-making processes – by making them actionable and describing how we will live those values.

For example, if your value is “balance” your action might be to create space for both work and play in your day. Or if your value is “freedom” your action might be to reserve unscheduled time for yourself where you get to do whatever you want or to permit yourself to change your mind when you make a plan. 

It’s also important to check in with ourselves and regularly assess whether our actions and choices align with our values while staying open to make changes when necessary.

How Core Values Apply to Our Relationships

Our core values influence not only how we perceive ourselves but also how we relate to others. In relationships, shared values form the foundation of trust, understanding, and mutual respect. When our values align with those of our partners, friends, or colleagues, we can experience deeper connections and harmony.

In relationships, conflicts may arise when there is a mismatch of values or when one person acts in a way that contradicts the other’s core beliefs. Open communication, compromise, and empathy are essential in finding common ground and resolving differences. There are times when values may not be aligned and counselling can support people in navigating the challenges that might arise from this. 

What are YOUR Core Values?

Discovering and honouring your core values is an ongoing journey of self-discovery and growth. By understanding what truly matters to you – what your core values are – you can help cultivate a sense of authenticity, purpose, and fulfilment in your life.

Curious about learning more about your core values? Download this 4-step exercise to discover the values that are most important to you and how to apply them in your life.

The counselling space is a place to discover and learn more about yourself.

Request a consultation with one of our Steadfast Counsellors. We offer in-person counselling sessions for couples, individuals and families in New Westminster, Langley, Vancouver and North Vancouver and are available for online counselling sessions with clients across British Columbia.