In my search for my core values I kept making list after list after list of values not really loving any of them. They didn’t feel like…..Wait. Let me back up for a second. This feels like I am starting at chapter two. Want to go back to chapter 1 and catch up? Find out why I’m researching values by reading the beginning of this post.
Here’s an excerpt if you don’t want to head over there just yet:
Figuring out what makes you tick, about what drives you individually is the keystone to living more intentionally. It all hinges on knowing that about yourself. I began book after book and part way in that theme would surface. How did I ever think I was going to decide what went in or out of my house, my body, my mind, my calendar….without having a rubric to guide me?! I was going to end up right where I started. I needed to figure out what was important to me, now, and let it flow from the inside out…In preparation for this experiment I realized that finding out my core values was the very very first step before I could move on to all the nitty gritty purging and cleaning and centering.
Ok. Let’s continue.
They didn’t feel like…me. Even though I really had no idea what that was exactly I could tell what it wasn’t…you get me right? I began to realize that what I was thinking were my core values were just aspirational values (things I or others deemed good to be/have) but were not what really truly drive me deep down. What I surround myself with, talk about and make decisions by. I felt frustrated. This sounds like it was years ago but it was like weeks everyone, just weeks ago. This is my journey journal.
And then I came across a little tiny book- literally it has 73 pages including the glossary- called “Discovering Your Authentic Core Values” by Marc Alan Schelske. So I thought what the heck and followed his step by step guide.
Here is basically what he recommends, but this is my own take, so if you want it exact go get the book.
(I’m not affiliated so this is not a plug)
First– find time. He recommends a mini retreat if you can, but I just had to carve out little bits during my days as a stay at home mom. Get a journal or notebook, and start
Write down the emotionally important moments in your life starting now and working backwards. Write down every major choice/decision and every traumatic memory. Just a word or phrase or sentence or two. Like a job you took or a relationship you started or separated from or a child you adopted. A big move or maybe simple memories that stuck with you! Then look back over your list and think of the details- the whys to those decisions or impactful moments. Try to make this why into a single word or phrase like “belonging” “acceptance” “health” “forgiveness” “wanting to be loved” “beauty” “learning/education” “grace” etc.
Second– if you are so inclined-is to
your very closest relationships, those you trust implicitly, for their input about what they think motivates you in life. (if you want tips on how to do this- message me!) I got very valuable feedback that aligned in many ways with my own reflections and some that helped me see what I had seen in myself in a more positive way.
Third– Now armed with reflections, possible outside insight, and a favorite drink- start the
ment process. He advises to look over the list again and see if you can see recurring themes coming out, duplicate ideas. Start to name the themes. I thought about why those memories were stuck in my brain. Really hone down the list and figure out, perhaps by re-reading your answers to those initial questions, what those deep values are. Start a separate list of these recurring themes and whys. It may come slowly. For me it took about 2 weeks to really get my list refined. I would ponder my list, read books and blogs, and ponder some more. Then one value would hit me and I’d run write it down on my white board. Relationships/Love, Belonging, Learning, Contribution, Beauty. And so on and so forth.
I began to see values that I had tried to fulfill in not so great ways growing up. I learned this does not make them shameful values. I just have to use my values in a positive way to be happy. Schelske stated in the intro that your real core values are “the qualities and desires that really, truly motivate your current behavior. Sometimes these values lead to wonderful, noble acts. Other times they lead to choices you are ashamed of. They represent what is authentically true about you, both light and dark.”
Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It is your masterpiece after all.
-Nathan W. Morris
As I have begun turning the light on inside of me my happiness and confidence in who Iam has grown one hundred fold! I am simply…Taylor. And actually that is just fine.
I wake up more excited to be me and to figure out how to make the things I need to do align with my core values. I decide to do things or buy things based on these same values. They have become my new rubric. I have also started to figure out a couple of the values of my spouse and children and when I speak about things I need- but in terms of their values- mountains move I tell ya.
So go find your values. Move your own mountains.
You can find a list of my core values here.