Determining Your Core Values: Part 2 of 3

determining your core values part 2 of 3

Your values form the foundation of your life. They dictate the choices you make and determine the direction your life takes. They influence your decisions related to your relationships, career, and social activities.

What were the values you were raised with? What values are you presently living in accordance with? Are they the same or different? Do they bring you happiness? These are essential questions that you must ask if you are to find meaning, happiness, success, and connection in your life. Yet, finding the answers to these questions is a challenge and then changing your values in a way that will lead to fulfillment is an even greater challenge.

Understanding Your Values

Looking openly and honestly at the way you were raised is a step in identifying the values instilled in you growing up. What did your parents value and what did they impress upon you—achievement, wealth, education, religion, status, independence, appearance? Think back to your childhood and ask yourself several questions. What values were emphasized in the way your parents lived their lives? What values were stressed in your family? What values were reflected in the way you were rewarded or punished? For example, were you rewarded for being highly ranked in your high school class and for winning in sports, or were you rewarded for giving your best effort and for helping others?

Your next step in understanding involves looking at your present life and the values your life reflects. What do you do for a living?  Are you a corporate employee?   Business owner?  Teacher?  Salesperson?  Caterer?  Social worker?  A common question people ask others is: What do you do for a living? I have seen people get defensive in response to this question. They say, “Who cares what I do?  What I do is not who I am.”  I would suggest otherwise, at least to some degree. Assuming people have choices in the career paths they take, what they choose reflects who they are and what they value. For example, though a bit of a generalization, it is probably safe to say that someone who becomes an investment banker has different core values than someone who becomes an elementary school teacher. Someone who becomes a construction worker values different things than a nurse. Underlying values vary and create common interests, lively dinner conversation and in the end, tension in relationships – at home, at work and in friendships.

  • Where do you live? Apartment?  In the suburbs?  In the country?  What led you there?
  • What activities do you engage in most? Cultural, physical, religious, political, social? What values are reflected in those activities?
  • What do you talk about mostly? politics, religion, the economy, other people—and what does that tell you about your values?
  • What do you spend your money on? a home, cars, travel, clothing, education, art, charity? Because money is a limited resource for most people, they will use their money in ways that they value most. Over and above what people say and other indicators in their life, where they spend their money says the most about what and whom they value.

How did you learn to define success? Some families define success as winning, wealth, job status, physical appearance, or popularity—the more money and power you have and the more attractive and popular you are, the more successful you would be. Growing up with these definitions, success was largely unattainable for most people. As an adult it is imperative to review your core values.

Look at the chart below. Fill it out for yourself, your parents, your employer and others. You will see where areas of relational conflict are, and where there are differences in what you and others value.

In the process of discovery and understanding, please remember that personal coaching and counseling is often helpful. Call, text or email me to set up an appointment. I am also available for online appointments at your convenience.
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When we feel most alive and authentic, it is because we are living in alignment with our values.

  • Love (compassion, unity, helping others)
  • Success (achievement, accomplishment, power)
  • Independence (freedom, autonomy, working alone)
  • Security  (safety, loyalty, order, consistency)
  • Flexibility (change, adaptability, optimism)
  • Power (confidence, wealth, reputation)
  • Faith (trust, spirituality, conviction)
  • Compassion  (kindness, empathy, generosity)
  • Well-Being (health, energy, joy)
  • Peace (presence, contentment, calm)
  • Significance (contribution, influence, recognition, power)
  • Balance (flexibility, harmony, resilience)
  • Growth (wisdom, progress, learning, action)
  • Creativity (inspiration, imagination, originality)
  • Resilience (perseverance, hope, strength)
  • Responsibility (choice, consistency, justice)
  • Integrity (authenticity, truth, fairness)
  • Simplicity (calm, silence, peace, free time)
  • Adventure (bravery, courage, action)
  • Family (tradition, connection, relationships)
  • Helping Society
  • Team Work
  • Other

Exploring Values

Your values are the beliefs that define what is most important to you. They act as a guide for your decisions. Oftentimes, they are greatly influenced by important people in our life, and our society.

Fill in the blanks for each topic below:

My mother’s values:                                                      My father’s values:

1.                                                                                         1.

2.                                                                                        2.

3.                                                                                        3.

4.                                                                                        4.

An Important person to my values:                           Society’s values:

1.                                                                                         1.

2.                                                                                        2.

3.                                                                                        3.

4.                                                                                        4.

The values I would like to live by:                              The values I actually live by:

1.                                                                                         1.

2.                                                                                        2.

3.                                                                                        3.

4.                                                                                        4.

Determining Your Core Values – Part 1 of 3

what are your values

How Would You Define Your Values?

Before you can answer the question about what you value, you need to know, in general, what values are.

Values are the things that we believe are important; our fundamental beliefs about life. They determine our priorities and contribute to what we do and what we don’t do.

Have you ever wanted to change something about your life, but somehow felt like you were unable to? Maybe you’ve wanted to quit smoking, or start saving part of your earnings, or get out of debt, or get into a relationship, but felt stuck every time you attempted it?

Let’s look at your values. Values influence you and drive decisions that you make in your daily life. They may be values that you hold because they were your parents’ or peers’ values, or because of what you were taught or decisions you made long ago.

The path to intentional change always begins with awareness. There’s no need to berate yourself for choices you have made in the past. Just be aware of them, and learn from them.

When we feel most alive and authentic, it is because we are living in alignment with our values.

  • Love                        (passion, playfulness, connection, self-expression, compassion, unity)
  • Success                  (achievement, pride, self-worth, contribution)
  • Independence     (self expression, freedom, openness, autonomy)
  • Connection           (intimacy, belonging, honesty)
  • Security                  (trust, loyalty, confidence)
  • Flexibility           (adventure, courage, excitement, adaptability)
  • Empowerment     (confidence, self-esteem, fulfillment, self-worth)
  • Passion                   (excitement, fulfillment, aliveness)
  • Faith                        (trust, comfort, ease)
  • Compassion          (kindness, empathy, generosity)
  • Well-Being            (health, vitality, energy)
  • Peace                       (presence, contentment, balance)
  • Significance          (contribution, charity, influence, gratitude, recognition)
  • Balance                  (flexibility, wholeness, harmony)
  • Growth                   (wisdom, progress, expansion)
  • Joy                           (delight, humor, happiness)
  • Creativity           (inspiration, curiosity, power, innovation)
  • Resilience             (perseverance, hope, strength)
  • Responsibility (contribution, choice, empowerment, providing)
  • Integrity                (authenticity, balance, truth) 

In an effort to determine your personal values, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Where do you spend your money?
  2. How do you spend your time?
  3. How do you spend your energy?

This is Step #1 of a three step blog.

In this step, identify your values. Choose your top 5. Write them down on an index card. Consider every day how they influence the decisions you make. The complete list of values follows below.

If you could choose something to hold as your highest value, what would it be?   I choose faith. At times, even though I wanted faith to be my highest value, the truth is that it took a back seat to success. Once I saw how that operated in my life, and the impact it had on me, I was in a position to choose differently. We always have a choice when we are aware and authentic.

In step #2 we will go further into the study of values, as it affects relationships.

If you could benefit from coaching or counseling, please email or contact me here.

I sincerely appreciate you forwarding this to your friends as well.

Values List











Being the best






































Financial independence



















































Risk Taking
























5 Ways to Choose a High Quality Life Coach

how to choose a life coach

Today, I am sharing an amazing article originally posted at Enjoy! 


The research confirms what we all know either anecdotally or intuitively – that great teachers/mentors/coaches make a real difference in our lives.

The hardest part is finding great teachers, mentors, and coaches to guide you in your personal growth.

Here’s some excellent advice from expert Daniel Coyle on how to find high quality teachers, mentors, and coaches.

1) Avoid Someone Who Reminds You of a Courteous Waiter

This species of teacher/coach/mentor is increasingly abundant in our world: one who focuses his efforts on keeping you comfortable and happy, on making things go smoothly, with a minimum of effort. This is the kind of person who covers a lot of material in a short time, smiles a lot, and says things like, “Don’t worry, no problem, we can take care of that later.” This is a good person to have as your waiter in a restaurant , but a terrible person to have as your teacher, coach, or mentor.

2) Seek Someone Who Scares You a Little

In contrast to encounters with courteous waiters, encounters with great teachers/coaches/mentors tend to be filled with unfamiliar emotion: feelings of respect, admiration, and, often, a shiver of fear. This is a good sign. Look for someone who:

  • Watches you closely: He is interested in figuring you out – what you want, where you’re coming from, what motivates you
  • Is action-oriented: She often won’t want to spend a lot of time chatting – instead, she’ll want to jump into a few activities immediately, so she can get a feel for you and vice versa
  • Is honest, sometimes unnervingly so: He will tell you the truth about your performance in clear language. This stings at first. But you’ll come to see that it’s not personal – it’s the information you can use to get better.

You’re not looking for a buddy or a parent figure. You’re looking for someone solid, someone you trust, someone with whom you take a journey.

3) Seek Someone Who Gives Short, Clear Directions

Most great teachers/ coaches/ mentors do not give long-winded speeches. They do not give sermons or long lectures. Instead, they give short, unmistakably clear directions; they guide you to a target.

4) Seek Someone Who Loves Teaching Fundamentals

Great teachers will often spend entire practice sessions on one seemingly small fundamental; for example, the way you grip a golf club, or the way you pluck a single note on a guitar. This might seem strange, but it reflects their understanding of a vital reality: These fundamentals are the core of your skills. The more advanced you are, the more crucial they become.

5) Other Things Being Equal, Pick the Older Person

Teaching is like any other talent: It takes time to grow. This is why so many hotbeds are led by people in their sixties and seventies. Great teachers are first and foremost learners, who improve their skills with each passing year. That’s not to say there aren’t any good teachers under thirty – there are. Nor is it to say that every coach with gray hair is a genius – they’re not. But other things being equal, go with someone older.


Ten Lessons to be Learned from Effective Leaders

you are a leader

Of all the responsibilities that a leader may have, mentoring those around them is perhaps the most important. After all good leaders not only have a love of learning themselves but should also strive to inspire others to have that same love of learning and self development.

Following are ten essential lessons every leader should be teaching.

How to give praise

Just as students tend to respond better to praise the same holds true with your team members. When the people in your organization receive praise and encouragement from you they come away with the sense that you have their backs. Give those around you praise and give it generously.

How to listen

Listening is one of the most important skills that you will develop as a leader and really as a person. Many leaders like to talk but you are guaranteed to be a much more effective leader when you learn to listen and really hear what others have to say. This will help to make more informed decisions in the future.

How to say no

Leaders (and parents) are probably the best when it comes to saying “no”. Listening may be one of the most important things to learn; saying no will be one of the hardest. as a leader, you may receive many recommendations, suggestions, invitations etc. and you won’t always have the ability to say “yes” for whatever reason. It is important to teach your team that how you say no is important.

How to work hard

Your team members will learn more from your example than by your words. Teams whose leader don’t work alongside them typically suffer from communication issues and a lack of respect for their leader. A great leader won’t ask their team to do something they would not do.

How to let things go

As a leader you will face many challenges and have many frustrations. Just as in everyday life, people will get on your nerves and annoy you. You’ll have pressures, deadlines, and disappointments, and obligations. Teach your team how to let things go and not get so stressed out over every little obstacle that comes along. Teach them to create a plan but to always expect deviations from that plan.

How to confront

Most people don’t like confrontation. We’d much rather give praise because confrontation can be anxiety provoking. But there are those times as a leader when you must confront others for whatever reason. How you confront them should be a teachable moment that shows how to be firm, how to be fair, and that you have accountability measures in place that you are not afraid to enforce.

How to say thank you

This one simple act can make a world of difference. If you want to see the atmosphere in your office or even your home improve, then take the time to thank those around you for all of their hard work. Gratitude and appreciation can go a long way.

How to forgive

Hang around in leadership long enough and you will understand the power of forgiveness. Life is simply too short to hold grudges and hold on to the hatred. Do it for yourself if not for anyone else.

How to set priorities

Setting priorities is extremely important to being productive. People in your organization need to see that you have a set of priorities that you live by. You teach priorities by your routines and time management. What’s important to you is given priority.

How to delegate

Delegation is the key to your success and that involves everyone in the process. Delegation is not just assigning the work you don’t want to do. It’s about matching the right people with the right skills to maximize productivity and results. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your business.

What do you think? Are there other essential lessons that leaders should be teaching.

Amazing Life Lessons: “Finish Well”

"finish well"

You can ask any triathlete and they will tell you that training takes tons of preparation and hard work. They have to train their bodies by working them out on a daily basis so that they can stay physically fit. Eating healthy is also a must if they plan on reaching peak physical agility and fitness. And they even have to stay mentally fit as well. They can’t allow their opponents to psych them out.

They do all of this so that they can be well prepared to do their best race day. Even though they do not know the outcome, they still get out there knowing that they have put in all the preparation that they need to be a contender, and they give it all they have.

The future can be a pretty scary thing for athletes, and it can be equally terrifying for us. We don’t like the unknown or uncertainties.

We know what has happened in the past because it already happened. We know what’s going on in the present because we’re living it.  The future will now and forever more be a mystery – which is unsettling.

Even though triathletes are uncertain of their futures, in the same way that we are of ours, one of the things they say when they get into the race is that they have learned from past mistakes. They know to watch out for. And they have trained.

They realize that they cannot expect to win if they do the exact same thing that they did in the past, so they change it up and adjust their techniques and tactics based on the lessons that they learned. And even though the outcome of the next race is uncertain, they can go into  it with more confidence. The goal is to “finish well”.

Good things have happened to us in the past and so have bad things and we often think about these things. When we think about the good things we smile as we look on at these memories with fondness, but when the bad memories enter into our consciousness we often times become scared of them. We hold on to these bad memories, but most of the time we don’t use them to benefit us in some way like we do with our good memories. So, instead of holding on to the bad things from the past, you should let go of these bad memories. Let go of the memories, but carry any and all lessons that you have learned from your painful past into the future with you.

The future may end up seeming a little less scary when you show up each day with an arsenal of life lessons that can help you to combat any potential threats that you might face. Remember you don’t ever want to show up to a race unprepared. Even the smallest bit of preparation can give you an edge over whomever or whatever you’re facing, and when you come to your race with your lessons in hand you will end up having just a little bit more of advantage to help you “finish well”.