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One of the things I can't stand is being phony. Being phony ties in with lying since you're not being truthful to yourself or others. It's one of the reasons I believe that honesty is so important, and it's also a core value of mine.
Having a decent set of values can keep you out of a lot of trouble in life and makes it easier to live with one's self. In a world that is inundated with bad behavior in the media and at work, it can be difficult to figure out what your values are – especially when such bad behavior is often rewarded.
It seems that everything we see or read about is in some way, a negation of values. This is one of the reasons why maintaining a decent set of values is so important. It can be a touchstone to help you make decisions, both large and small.
Plus, if you decide to have a family, you will influence the values of your children.
There are many ways to develop your own set of values. If you had good parents, think about what you learned from their behavior since childhood.
You may also find inspiration from public or historical figures who stood firm in their beliefs even when it didn't benefit them. Someone like Harriet Tubman, clearly had a set of personal core values that she lived by which were higher than her own self-interest.
What are Personal Core Values?
Your personal core values are the things that you believe are important in your life. They guide how you behave and make decisions.
As mentioned earlier, I am an honest person, so I am usually true to my feelings. I am mindful of having to be careful about expressing honesty in different situations. I would rather remain silent than tell a lie to appease people. However, if I am honest and it does hurt someone's feelings, then I will apologize.
Despite having core values, life can sometimes test us and how we live up to our values. For example, let's say someone left a wallet full of cash by accident and no one is around. What would you do?
Someone who values honesty and integrity would return the wallet to its rightful owner. If you want to set your core value system in stone, it may be time to learn how to write personal core values!
Why Is Having a Personal Core Values Statement Important?
A personal core values statement is important because it helps you stay true to yourself. It can be easy to get caught up in what other people want or expect from you. However, if you have a personal core values statement, you can always refer back to it and remind yourself of what's important to you.
Your personal core values statement can also be a helpful tool in decision-making. Whenever you're faced with an internal conflict that may contrast your beliefs, you can consult your statement as a guide to make the best decision.
For example, let's say someone offers you a job that would require you to sell products to people. The products don't do what they claim and will end up hurting the people who buy them. Even though this job pays well, you may have to turn it down because it doesn't align with your personal core values.
How to Write Your Personal Core Values Statement
Step 1. Know Yourself
The first step to writing your personal core values statement is to know yourself. That might sound like a no-brainer, but it's important to think about the things that are important to you. What do you value most in life? What qualities do you want to be known for?
One way to get to know yourself better is to take a free core values quiz. This quiz will help you identify your top core values and how they might show up in your life.
Another way to get to know yourself better is to reflect on your past experiences. What were some of the most meaningful moments in your life? What did you learn from them?
You can also think about people who inspire you. What qualities do they have that you admire? I certainly admire many things about my parents, such as work ethic, family values, and perseverance. When it comes to public figures, the late Maya Angelou possessed qualities such as courage and reflection that I find inspiring.
Step 2. Choose Your Top Core Values
Once you've taken the time to get to know yourself better, it's time to choose your top core values. This can be a difficult task because there are so many values to choose from! To narrow things down, consider how each value feels to you. Which values resonate most with you? There is no set number to pick, so just focus on what sincerely resonates with you.
If you're having trouble choosing your top core values, our core values list can help. This list includes over 100 values, including education, congruence, and service. Who knows – you may relate to values that you didn't even know existed!
Step 3. Write Your Statement
Now that you know what your top core values are, it's time to write your statement. If you need some help getting started, our core values worksheet can walk you through the process of writing your personal core values statement step-by-step.
Begin by introducing yourself and why you're writing the statement. For example, you might say “My name is Jane Doe and I am writing my personal core values statement.” Next, list your top core values. You can either list them in order of importance or just write them as they come to you. Finally, conclude your statement by reiterating why these values are important to you.
Here is an example of what a short core values statement might look like:
“My name is Jane Doe and I am writing my personal core values statement. The values that are most important to me are honesty, kindness, and respect. I believe that these values are important because they help me to be a good person. They guide me in my interactions with others and help me to make decisions that are best for me. I am committed to living my life according to these values.”
Step 4. Review and Revise
Once you've written your personal core values statement, it's important to review it and make sure that it feels right to you. Does it accurately reflect who you are and what you believe? If not, don't be afraid to revise it until it feels like a true reflection of yourself.
Your personal core values statement is a living document, which means that you can change it as you grow and change. As you go through life, your values may shift and you may need to revise your statement to reflect those changes.
Step 5. Share Your Statement
The final step is to share your personal core values statement with the people who are important to you. This could be your family, friends, or even your co-workers. Sharing your values with others can help them to understand you better and can also help to hold you accountable to live according to your values. You may also get some useful feedback from others that can help you to refine your statement.
You may even want to get together with friends or family and do a group activity where everyone creates their own personal core values statements. This can be a fun and meaningful way to connect with the people you care about!
Who Should Write a Personal Core Values Statement?
A personal core values statement is a helpful exercise for anyone who wants to get to know themselves better. It can also be helpful for people who are trying to make difficult decisions or who want to create a more meaningful life.
If any of these things resonate with you, then writing a personal core values statement may be a good idea for you.
You may have recently experienced a trauma or a life-changing event. If so, writing a personal core values statement can help you to make sense of what has happened and can give you a sense of direction for the future.
Young people about to make the transition from teen to adult face many pressures and decisions. Your personal core values statement can help you to navigate these waters by providing a moral compass that you can refer back to when needed.
Tips for Writing Your Personal Core Values Statement
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you write your personal core values statement:
- Be honest with yourself.
- Don't worry about what other people will think.
- Write down your values in order of importance.
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Make sure it feels like a true reflection of yourself.
Remember, your personal core value statement is about you. Sure, you can think about how others inspire or influence how you live your life. But, at the end of the day, it's up to you to decide what values you want to guide your life.
So, be honest with yourself and don't worry about what other people will think. Just focus on creating a statement that feels true to you.
Final Thoughts on a Personal Core Values Statement
Writing a personal core values statement is a great way to get to know yourself better and to make sure that you're living according to your values. If you've never written one before, now is the perfect time to get started.
Use the tips in this article to guide you through the process of writing your own personal core values statement. Also remember that it’s adaptable… meaning, as you change, your personal value system may evolve along with it.
Just make sure to revisit your statement from time to time and revise it as needed. Doing so will help you to stay true to yourself and will ensure that your values are always guiding you in the right direction. Read more about values in the article 65 Core Values Quotes That Define Your Personality.
Finally, if you need help with building habits, then check out this nine-step blueprint that walks you through the entire process of creating lifelong habits.)