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What are your Core Values?

Let's talk about core values! A couple of years ago I wanted to figure out what mine are, and how they could help me create a life I want to live.

So, what are they and how do we get some?

Brené Brown has done beautiful and extensive research in this field and I used her discoveries to figure mine out. There are over 100 values one can have! They all seem important, but they can't all be equally important. How would I ever make a decision to do anything? The trick is to reduce them to 2-3 core values. Those are the values that are most important to you. The ones you can use as a jump off point when making any sort of decision.

I will share my 3 core values, and then go through the process of figuring them out, so you can do the same if you wish!

Core value #1: BELONGING Belonging is wildly different than fitting in. Belonging means to be accepted, celebrated and acknowledged for who you are. Your crazy, weird, colourful self. Fitting in means to change yourself, hide your glorious weirdness to be accepted and included. I have been in many situations (especially in the construction world, school etc), where I would try to fit in, and I knew I didn't belong. It's not a nice feeling. I’m sure you are familiar. I don't want to fit in anymore, I want to belong. Wherever I am, whatever I do, I can check in with myself and see if this feels like belonging. If it does - awesome! Continue the colourful weirdness! If not, I know I can leave, and don't have to feel bad about it. Because the people I am leaving probably don't care anyways. Staying true to me, surrounding myself with people where I, and they belong - that makes my heart sing and fills my cup!

Core Value #2: FREEDOM The obvious part of this is: freedom & peace. My ultimate Freedom is to do what I want, where I want, when I want. That's something I am working on creating everyday. Some people might scoff at this being some unattainable thing. That's cool. That's just not me. I truly believe that we can all create that sort of a life if we really want. I'll go ahead and work on it, so I can be an inspiration and role model to whomever wants this kind of a life too! It's not just about the doing though. It's about the freedom to be able to be me. Openly gay. Married to my beautiful and awesome wife. The freedom to choose whether I want kids or not. To look after myself, and make decisions that are best for me. Because ultimately, I am a much better person when I do things when I DO want to do them. And when I don't do things when I DON'T want to do them. Freedom of judgements, of scrutiny, of whatever other people think I should & shouldn't do. Freeing myself from my caring ego. Living my life on my terms.

Core Value #3: Wholeheartedness This is a juicy one! It comes from Brené Browns guidepost to wholehearted living. Here are the details: #1 Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think #2 Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism #3 Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness #4 Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark #5 Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty #6 Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison #7 Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth #8 Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle #9 Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To” #10 Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control” This is a big one, and I am always learning, forgetting, re-learning, and trying again. This doesn’t mean that I have it all figured out. I am on this humbling and wild adventure too!

Ok, so how do you figure yours out now!? Follow this link to Brené Brows list of values: This is what I did: Scan the page, and circle everything that applies where you think: "Sure, that feels important." Don’t think too much about it just yet, go with your intuition. Great! Now put it away for a while. Come back a day (or a few) later, write all the circled ones in your journal (or on any other paper). Same thing! Scan & circle! Do this until you are down to the last 5-10. Now it’s time to really deeply think about what each of these mean to you. Listen to your body, your intuition, talk to someone you trust. Have conversations with your animals. Go from here! Whittle down the list until you have 2-3 values left. Those are your core values! They are part of your compass. You can use them to help guide you in this world. A safe place where you feel at home to come back to.

I am so curious! What are yours? And why? If you are willing, you are invited to share your core values in the comments, I’d love to know.

Jani is a certified ICF & Martha Beck Life Coach, and offers a free 60 min discovery session for anyone who is ready to create their best life.

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