“Once you know who you are, you can stop trying to be someone else.”Darius Foroux
In the bad old days my personal life and career felt like one of those horror movies where you’re running like crazy in the dark foreboding forest. Getting hit by heavy branches and eaten by forest demons every few months when each new job or project didn’t pan out. Among the stress and confusion, I remember choosing careers based on salary, work/life balance, dragging myself to networking events, and collecting professional qualifications. Friday night drinks would drown out my discomfort, and allow me to tend to my wounds, but on Monday, I was back in that forest staring into those red demon eyes! I remember rationalising my experience by thinking: ‘everyone else is doing this career thing,’ I just need to try harder!
One time I accidentally fell over and landed on the right path and the forest became an oasis of light and hope. I became a freelancer running my own consulting work, but without any guiding light to save me, I slipped back into the shadows of working for other people and had a breakdown a few months later! (No fun at all!)
Things changed for me when I delved into personal core values. They led me back to myself, gave me a torch to see the path ahead and vanquished my confusion. Imagine waking up knowing who you are and who you need to be, with 100% conviction. That’s what I enjoy now. It was like an exorcism.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”Aristotle
Yep, I know what you’re thinking – sounds awesome, but it’s not an easy task – there’s so much noise clouding who I am! I don’t know what I value, feel, want, who I am or why I’m here! Does it matter?
I felt the same way for so, so long. Firstly it’s not your fault you may feel a bit lost, and you’re not alone. Secondly, yes, core values matter because every single person has a unique path and purpose. Thirdly it’s your birthright to be fulfilled and happy. Finally, a key aspect in attracting great peace is embodying your true self because (quite honestly) you’re pretty cool!
Here’s the thing; well-meaning friends, traumas, family, teachers, society, and internet algorithms tell you all day long who you should be. All this noise and distraction clouds your vision of who you are. It took several years before I finally emerged from my cave and delved into brave self-discovery.
I think this is true for many, many people, life has gotten too busy for us to self-reflect and that’s a really bad thing. Luckily, in 2011, Executive coach: Denis Healy started talking to me about core values and got me really curious (Thank you, Denis!) Eventually, I took the blindfold off and used this website to uncover 30 values that identify my core.
This awesome self-coaching tool by Scott Jeffrey has changed my life in so many ways:
- Set me on the right path: turns out my values had nothing much in common with jobs/careers I had fallen into. The whole time I was doing sales jobs and analyst work, I should have been focused on personal development, helping others, creative expression, and being my own boss!
- Core values are a touchstone for making better life choices and decisions.
- Core value alignment attracts experiences, people, and work that feel good.
- Knowing my true self blitzed stress and anxiety – a huge win.
- Core value knowledge helped me choose a lovely life partner who also aligns with who I am / who I need to be.
- Checking my value list protects me from getting distracted or derailed when corporate offers/money/conflicting emotions threaten or tempt me to go backwards.
- No more Sunday night feelings of dread – I love Mondays!
- No more Saturday morning hangovers. I don’t drink anymore as I have no stress!
Here’s the link if you feel called to get busy with this right away because the demons are looking at you:
7 Steps to Discover your Personal Core Values:
“My list of core values is a pocket travel guide to my true self.”Morvana Zaahira Goodman
I’ve used my values to make numerous decisions, for example using my personal growth journey to help others through www.precious-self.com evolved from honouring my value of ‘Concern for Others’ / giving back. Being my own boss grew from honouring my values of Freedom, Privacy, and Independence.
“It’s not luck or an accident that I now wake up each morning feeling excited about who I am and what I’m doing.”
I pull out my pocketbook on the regular these days. When random requests come through that require a yes or no – my list of values has the answer. When I have a bizarre, whimsical urge that may not serve me, the pocketbook comes out and saves the day. (That trip to the moon I was planning wouldn’t match well with my core value of Security now, would it Morvana!)
Never copy someone else’s values. Looking at other people’s values for inspiration is great, but this remains an inherently internal practice. Your goal is to find the values that already exist inside of you—and strengthen them – live by them – use them to make hard decisions.
If you’d like a core values session or any other mentoring, don’t be shy – send a message via the Contact page / don’t forget to subscribe to catch all the juicy articles coming up. My clients tell me the mentoring process is uplifting and fun along with a few tears and ah-ha moments. Don’t leave it any longer!
© Morvana Zaahira Goodman 2021