* Do you feel like something is missing from your life?
* Are you unhappy and yet can’t pinpoint what would make you satisfied?
* Have you ever wanted something and yet not been able to achieve it? Worse….
* Have you worked so hard to achieve a goal, only to feel unfulfilled and frustrated that it didn’t satisfy you like you thought it would?
Now, if you’ve been following my posts for a while now, you’ll know that I tend to talk a lot about B.S. — limiting belief systems and blind spots caused by fear, that is. They are the silent killers of your dreams, hopes, and aspirations.
Do you want to make 6 figures a year? If your childhood programming says that people from your neighborhood just don’t make that kind of cash, your B.S. will stop you from earning 6 figures.
Do you want to have a career speaking on stage and writing best-selling books? If you have an unconscious fear that it’s not safe to play in the big leagues, your B.S. will keep you playing small … and safe.
Then there is a very powerful type of belief system B.S. you’re likely not even aware of.
One where you get in your own way because your unconscious mind can’t reconcile your goals with your core values.
If you don’t, you’re not alone.
Or maybe you have a vague idea that they might include something like love, family, health or community. And those are great values, don’t get me wrong.
Yet there are many more that may be so important to you that they are the standard against which every goal you create is measured. And they determine your success or failure in attaining your goals.
How do I know how powerfully influential your core values are?
For as long as I could remember, I wanted to live in a waterfront home. And yet, growing up in a poorer rural community, I was taught to resent the “Have’s” who could afford the exclusive waterfront properties around our lake.
I was taught that, if it wasn’t inclusive, it was bad. Greedy. Selfish.
Guess what. No waterfront home for me because obviously, inclusiveness was one of my core values at the time.
A client of mine thought his family was the most important thing in life to him.
He loved his family and wanted to provide the best for them. So much so, that he would spend most of his time traveling for his business so that he could provide the best for them.
The missing key was that one of his unconscious core values was freedom.
While he loved his wife and children, his marriage and home life unconsciously felt like a prison to him. He traveled more and more with the well-intended rationalization that he was providing for his family.
Is this ringing a bell for you? Are you seeing a familiar theme with your own life?
The good news is that you can use your core values to work for you instead of against you.
The first and most important step is awareness of what your core values really are. You just may be surprised.
To support you in this, I have compiled an extensive list of over 280 descriptive words which describe most people’s values. Use the following exercise to determine your own core values so you can make them work for you rather than against you:
a. Print the exercise at the end of this article so you can mark it up.
b. Circle all words with a blue pen which resonate with how you want to live your life. Feel free to add any words you feel may be missing. There is space at the end. Write in the margins if you need to!
These are your general values and are not limited in number.
c. Using a black pen, underline 20 words which feel the best to you.
d. Using a green pen, place an asterisk beside your top 15.
e. Using a yellow highlighter, narrow your list down to 10.
f. Finally, take a red pen and draw a heart beside your top 5 descriptive words.
On a score of 0-10/10, rate each value as to how well it is being met in your life currently.
If there are core values you scored as 7 or less, they are actually an Unmet Need in your life.
Meeting those unmet needs is your next step to living your best-fulfilled life for now. Your values may change over time, and we’ll save that for later.
Another client did this core values exercise, and it highlighted that she valued freedom. On scoring the core value, it was 4/10.
It was a massively unmet need.
On further questioning, she described how she had always lived the life of an artist and loved thinking of herself as a free spirit.
Now she was happily married with a husband and beautiful son she loved above all else. And yet, she was feeling restricted and caged by the routine and responsibilities of family life.
Is there any hope of turning that unmet need into a fulfilled core value? Yes!
After working with my client further, she was able to see that the core value in question was actually flexibility rather than freedom. She realized she could choose a career in which she could live and work anywhere in the world, on her own schedule, and take her family with her.
Using this important knowledge, my client revamped her vision and goals to reflect her need for flexibility in her life and career.
Just as my client needed to make sure her career and life visions were in line with her core value of flexibility, so you need to review the visions you have set for your life.
If you don’t already have one, create one. If you believe that visions are fru-fru, think again.
Read my article, 8 Reasons Why You Need to Create a Vision NOW, to learn the science and logic behind creating a vision to enhance your success.
In part 3 of our Big Picture series, I walk you through how to create a blockbuster vision for your life.
Now that you have created your visions, do they fit with your core values?
If not, your unconscious mind will do its best to block the achievement of your goals.
Or maybe, you’ll muscle through and win your prize — only to find out the victory is empty.
Use your Five to Thrive values as your framework to build your vision around and set yourself up for success.
Keep this Core Values exercise handy and redo it at least once a year before you set your new visions and goals.
What you valued years ago has likely changed. You’re constantly evolving without even realizing it, especially as you move into different phases of life, career, relationships, and parenting.
You want to make sure the juice is worth the squeeze. In other words, are the results worth the effort and sacrifices you will make along the way?
For instance, another client had wanted to be a successful musician since he was in high school, performing with his band. Fulfilling his dream life as a musical artist was a huge unmet need that festered as he instead fell into a different career for the money, got married and had children.
The client used this Core Values exercise to give him greater clarity on what he really wanted. What he found surprised him.
He realized that his love for his family and his need to be there for them topped his core values list — and was in direct contradiction to the dream of being a traveling musician.
For him, the juice (his career as a musician) wasn’t worth the squeeze (possibly hurting his family life) because his core values had changed over the years.
With this new-found clarity around his core values, he was able to transform his dream of fronting a successful band into being a music producer for other up and coming bands, all while still maintaining the family life he valued so highly.
Now, that juice was worth the squeeze!
Therefore, look at this list with fresh eyes and perspective each time you set new visions and goals. Be curious and open to the shifts you experience!
And know that you will be far more successful and fulfilled when your goals are in line with your core values.