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As the saying goes, “If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.”
We all have a set of core values that are personal to us. They serve as guardrails that surround the framework of our lives and keep us from going too far away from those personal beliefs with the decisions we make. Moreover, having personal core values is essential to help us make intelligent choices that work in our favor. They are supported by our wants, needs, and strengths.
Others may view your values as just a fence you have put up and can be moved. They don’t realize just how important they are to you. However, they are the guardrail that keeps you from falling into something you feel is harmful or unacceptable for your life and the direction you desire to go.
Lastly, personal core values help us find our purpose. They remind us of what is important in life so that we can live a life that is aligned with those beliefs.
In this article, we will answer the question, what are core values? In addition, we will be looking at 5 reasons why personal core values are important.
What are Core Values?
Our core values form our beliefs at their foundation. But, in addition, they govern our conduct and guide us in making our decisions. This is why core values are essential. We apply those foundational beliefs to every area and situation we face. We make decisions based on these concepts and usually aren't influenced to deviate far from them if we have them at all.
Your personal core values are feelings and ideologies that you keep in the back of your mind and govern your life as you interact with others. They also influence how far you will go in various life scenarios. Our character and personal integrity are wrapped in our core values. Furthermore, through life experience, we discover our core values as we become more self-aware, and they change as our priorities change.
Core values can consist of religious beliefs, family, personal growth, inner peace, self-awareness, and longevity… to name a few. For more examples of core values, see 100 Examples of Values to Live By. They are beliefs held deep within us. And like pillars, they shape our view of ourselves and the world around us.
Personal core values aren’t values that we are born with, but developed over time. They can be shaped by the teachings of our parents and grandparents, mentors and friends. Personal core values can also form from personal experiences or a part of our religious faith.
Knowing your personal core values will simplify decision-making, giving us a clear right from wrong or this over that. For example, let’s take a look at the man who decided to wear tailored dress suits to work every day.
If that is what he prefers in clothing, his boundaries are set when he goes to the store shopping for work attire. He will not wander off into the ripped blue jean section looking for work pants, because his boundaries are clear and defined.
Life goals are easier to obtain because of our boundaries. That is why core values are important. For instance, if you value your health and make wise choices in your diet, chocolate cake and fast food may fall outside the scope of those goals. Therefore, you may turn away from those foods.
It may be difficult, just like sticking to core values isn't always easy. But you choose it because it is the right choice if you are to achieve your goal.
5 Reasons Why Personal Core Values are Important
1. They help us do an inner evaluation of ourselves.
Most of us sit back and evaluate our lives to see how we got to the place we find ourselves at any given moment. We are where we are because of a series of decisions we have made, and those are usually based on core values.
However, suppose we are disappointed with our current lot in life. In that case, it is common to re-evaluate our core values and past decisions to see if adjustments need to be made in the future.
2. They aid us in making decisions.
As stated previously, our core values are important to our choices. Powerful results can be achieved when focused on your core values. We tend not to be easily influenced when sticking to what we believe in.
They help us make the right decisions when things aren’t going well in life, on the job, and in our personal relationships.
3. Keeps you motivated in the face of adversity.
People who become very successful in life usually value persistence, perseverance, consistency and demonstrate remarkable resilience.
All of these are excellent core values to possess. They keep us motivated. As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Lastly, they cause us to be strengthened by our faith to guide our choices when faced with hardship.
4. They help us set healthy boundaries for ourselves and those around us.
Many of us value family and make decisions that are best for them. For instance, we may take one career opportunity over another due to the work-life balance. Because the choice we turned down would take us away from spending quality time with our loved ones.
Those same also values help us shape decisions surrounding the people we have as part of our lives. They must be people of unquestionable character and personality to place them as someone who significantly influences our family and us. They shouldn’t take us away from or set a bad example for those we value the most. So, we set healthy boundaries and find balance within our relationships.
5. They give us an inner peace that we are making the best decisions.
Staying true to what we believe gives us inner peace. At the end of the day, if we have held on to our integrity and things didn't go as planned, we can still have peace in knowing we “stuck to our guns” concerning our personal values and beliefs. Nothing gives greater peace than to have a clear conscience.
When we have done something not so commendable, we have an inner critic (our conscience and core values) to keep us in line. It's like a silent alarm that alerts us and gets louder and louder as we get closer to giving in to something unbecoming of us.
Similar to a home or business, our inner alarms are uncomfortable and unnerving to the one who sets them off. However, a clear conscience gives us the ability to live comfortably and be confident in our decisions.
Final Thoughts on 5 Reasons Why Personal Core Values are Important
When pondering over why core values are so important, remind yourself that having a great set of personal core values can help you take on anything. You will find the strength, determination and passion to stay the course when times get hard.
In addition, you will see significant personal growth and development, as you hold yourself personally accountable for your actions. You will find it refreshing to be honest with yourself, holding on to your personal integrity.
Personal core values can improve the relationships with other people in your life, as well asset an excellent example for your children and others who you are influential with. You may not even be aware of the people you influence, inspire and draw respect from.
Moreover, you can prioritize your life better – not giving your energy and effort to people, places, and things that drain you. This is a big reason why core values are so valuable. People who don’t appreciate and respect you, or try to steer you off course, are false beacons on your life’s truth path.
To give you more insight on its importance, check out these quotes about core values that define your personality.