How Your Core Values Help You Show Up

By Fifi Mason

How Your Core Values Help You Show Up

Core values are like our personal compass. They help us make decisions, guide how we act, and show us who we really are. But what does it mean to actually live by those values, and embody them as you show up? 

So, let’s dive in and figure out what your core values are, how to discover them and how they can help you show up more authentically.

What Are Core Values?

Let’s start by breaking down what core values actually are. Think of them as your personal set of rules or your non-negotiables. They’re are the things that really matter to you, like honesty, kindness, or maybe independence. 
 
These aren’t just random things though. They’re shaped by our experiences, the people we’ve met, and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.
 
For some, figuring out your own core values is obvious, for others it’s not as straightforward. This is where some introspection is needed, and us introverts a good at that! 
 
Why Do You Need to Know Your Core Values?
 
Before we get into the how, you might be wondering why you need to know your core values in the first place.
 
Well, knowing your core values is like having a roadmap for your life. It helps you make choices that feel right and avoid the things that don’t align with who you are.
 
They also help you understanding yourself better, and tell you why you might make certain decisions or why you feel a certain way about things. Not only that, but they also act as a guide for what you will or won’t advocate for, what you believe in and stand for.
 
Take my value of Freedom and Freedom of Expression, this is something that I feel a strong sense of purpose to advocate for, for myself and others. It is why I’m so outspoken about overcoming self-silencing, and stand against anything that might suppress people from voicing their thoughts, ideas or opinions.

How To Discover Your Core Values?

So now let’s get into how to discover your values. Have you ever thought that your toughest times could actually help you figure out what you truly value? It sounds a bit backwards, but sometimes, our negative experiences are the are the best reflection of our core values.

This method helps turn these moments into a powerful tool for self-discovery:

Step 1: Set Up Your Table

Grab a piece of paper, or open up a spreadsheet, and draw a table with three columns. Label them:

1. Negative Experience

2. Negative Qualities and Values Highlighted

3. Opposite Positive Value

Step 2: Fill in the First Column – Negative Experience

Think of a few challenging or negative experiences you’ve had. These don’t have to be life-altering moments; even everyday frustrations can offer insight.

Write each experience down in the first column. The goal here isn’t to dwell on these moments but to use them as a starting point for discovery.

Step 3: Identify the Negative Qualities – Second Column

Next, for each experience you’ve listed, think about what specifically bothered you about it. Was it dishonesty? A lack of respect? Maybe it was an instance of injustice. 

Write these negative qualities or values that were highlighted by the experience in the second column. This step helps you pinpoint what values were being stepped on.

Step 4: Discover the Positive Values – Third Column

Now, for the transformative part. For each negative quality you’ve identified, think about the opposite, positive value. If dishonesty was what got to you, perhaps honesty is a core value. If disrespect was the issue, respect might be what you hold dear. Fill in the third column with these positive values. This is where your core values start to emerge.

This approach turns negative experiences on their head, showing you what matters most through contrast. It’s easy to say you value something in theory, but seeing how its absence affects you can be a much stronger indicator of its importance in your life.

Plus, this method gives you a clear, visual representation of your values, making it easier to see patterns and themes.

Putting Your Core Values into Action

Once you’ve identified your core values, the next step is to bring them into your daily life. Reflect on how you can make decisions that align with these values, and consider setting goals that embody them.

Knowing your core values isn’t just about understanding yourself better—it’s about living in a way that’s true to what you hold dear. It’s about making a commitment to live by these values in every aspect of your life or business. Here’s how you can do that:

Be Transparent About Your Values

Start by being open about your core values. Share them on your website, in your bio, and in your social media profiles. But don’t just list them; explain what they mean to you and how they influence your work. This transparency not only attracts like-minded clients and collaborators but also sets a clear expectation of what you stand for.

Make Values-Based Decisions

Every decision you make in your business, from the clients you choose to work with to the projects you take on, should reflect your core values. This might mean turning down opportunities if they don’t align with what you believe in. 

It’s not always easy, but making values-based decisions is key to building an authentic brand that resonates with your ideal audience.

Embed Your Values into Your Offerings

Your products or services should be a reflection of your core values. Whether it’s through sustainable practices, your approach and methodology or the quality you provide, make sure your offerings embody the values you hold dear. 

This not only strengthens your brand’s identity but also builds trust and loyalty among your customers.

Communicate with Authenticity

In every piece of content you create, whether it’s a blog post, a social media update, or an email newsletter, let your core values shine through. Use your values as a lens to view and discuss industry trends, challenges, and successes. 

Authentic communication helps you connect with your audience on a deeper level and establishes you as a genuine voice in your field.

Lead by Example

Finally, the most powerful way to use your values in your personal brand and business is to lead by example. Be the living embodiment of your core values. 

When people see you consistently acting in alignment with your beliefs, you not only inspire them but also reinforce the authenticity of your brand.

Conclusion

By showing up authentically, based on a foundation of deeply held values, you pave the way for not just success, but significance in your professional journey. 

Remember, in a world where everyone is trying to stand out, authenticity based on your core values is your strongest asset.

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