As women, we have values in our lives. We are born into our family values, beliefs, and ways of living — these are our original “core values.” Our legacy, our traditions may help us to identify these values and beliefs. We may not even identify them as core values, and it may be useful to think of them as such.
It can be surprising and even shocking to realize at some point that our lives are running on these inherited values. At some point, you may begin to evaluate the values that you inherited as well as other values that you’ve adopted to reflect who you are as you’ve grown up.
We start evaluating them when they’ve been habitual and don’t give us the results we desire. It’s a part of maturing. This may be a painful process of uncovering, rejecting, and discovering. An experience in your life might rattle you to the point where you begin this process. And your values can become something more significant to you.
Newsflash! — You can choose your own core values.
Your core values can come from your picture of who you are and who you want to be in the world – consistently in every area of life. Ask yourself, what are you taking a stand for?
For example, you could have a core value of Family – you are a stand for family. Or, you could have a core value of Social Justice – you are a stand for social justice. A personal core value of generosity will guide you to be generous in all areas of your life.
Find your core values – what are you committed to being responsible for in your life?
If you don’t consciously choose your own core values, you may be trying to live up to others’ ideas and expectations of who you “should” be. Doing something that doesn’t align with your values brings struggle. And, for better or for worse, society affects the values we have in our lives.
Values drive action.
Core Values are guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. They help us to distinguish right from wrong and to determine if we are on the right path to achieving our personal goals and objectives.
Out of our values we make decisions and take actions that may or may not serve us in what we really want our life to be about. Actions may lead to choosing a different value (as you see the good/bad that comes out of your choice). As we go through life, our experiences come up against our personal core values; they get tested. Choosing your own core values and living them allows you to be the authentic you.
Think of yourself as the CEO of your life as if it is an organization. Organizations must have Core Values so that they know they are on the right path to achieve their goals and objectives. What are your core values as you run the organization of your life?
The Family of Women holds the core values of Relationship, Service, Respect, Integrity, and Trust. Just as our personal lives are guided by our personal core values, the Family of Women is guided by our organizational core values.