How To Determine Your Core-Values In Life

How to determine your core values in life

Do you know the values that drive you in life and work?

Had you ask me this question 2 years ago I wouldn´t know what to say.

It’s interesting that most people know what their favorite food, car and sports team is.

However, when it comes to deeply knowing yourself and what brings joy into your life, most people don’t have the answer to this question.

Funny right?

How we focus on external things, instead of going within.

I can tell you from my perspective that going inside and learning about what my core values are, changed the way I perceived myself and the external world.

That was actually the first time when I really got the chance to get to know myself.

Knowing what drives me in life helped me to learn to trust myself. Especially, in situations where I don’t have time to think and where I have to listen to my gut feeling and trust myself that I am making the right decision.

Moreover, I’ve been living each day happier and aligned with myself.

I believe that if you identify the core values that drive you in life and work, it’s going to help you have a more fulfilled, purposeful, and joyful life.

What do you say?

Are you finally ready to find the answers to what drives you in life and work?

How To Determine Your Core-Values In Life

Why do Your Core-Values matter?


Your Core Values help you understand your personal motivations that shape how you live and how you feel.

Living and leading according to your values will enable you to experience balance and satisfaction internally and externally in your life.

Moreover, knowing and living according to your values will serve you as a blueprint for effective and faster decision-making in your life and work while honoring yourself.

If it wasn’t for my values and knowing them I can honestly tell you that I would have made some decisions that probably would have harmed me and caused a lot of pain to others.


Knowing and being aware of your values is going to force you to live more aligned with yourself.

You are going to be aware of when you are compromising them and you cannot pretend anymore that they don’t exist.

The only thing that is negative is that you cannot hide anymore or dishonor a value of yours without consciously suffering the consequences.

Even your body will have a reaction when you compromise your values, which will be a pain in the ass.

For instance, every time I am not honoring one of my values for example “honesty” I get stomach pains.

Funny right.

Until I figure out what value(s) I am compromising, and I don’t take action in the direction of honoring that specific value, those stomach pains won’t go away.

Actually, I see this as an opportunity to reflect on myself and try to figure out what I’ve been doing, thinking or which emotions I’ve been suppressing that are causing these pains.

Did you know that an accumulation of studies over several decades state whether you are experiencing sadness, frustration, anger or even grief, suppressing your emotions actually affect your body and mind.

If you are interested in this matter there is an incredible documentary called “Heal” on Netflix, which explores and explains what happens when you suppress your emotions.

Fear-Based Vs Conscious-Based Values

There are two types of values: fear-based & conscious-based values.

Fear-based values are based on the past. Those values try to protect you by taking action through avoidance. They are “have to’s, need to’s, should to’s” values.

Conscious-based values are aligned with your desired outcomes. Those values serve and support you to take positive actions. They are “want to’s” values.

It’s clear that if you focus on taking actions according to your fear-based values you will live in fear and most of the time you will feel a lack of joy and happiness in life.

However, it’s up to you to decide how intentionally you want to live your life according to the values you’ve chosen.

How To Determine Your Core-Values In Life

Step-By-Step Process To Identify Your Personal Core-Values

Here is a list of Values I want you to take a look at, and use this list for the step by step guide to identifying your personal core values in life.
Core Values List

By the way, I created a value assessment that includes the exact method used down below, which you can access for free.

1. Pic 10 Values from the list

Work yourself quickly through the list and go with your gut feeling.

When something strikes you as a value write it down.

Give yourself 5-10 minutes for this step.

Don’t worry too much about the 10 values you pick.

The values you choose will give you more clarity in moving forward.

2. Choose your top 5 out of those 10 Values

Make sure to pick your top five values that are the most important to you, and describe who you are now, not who you wish to be in the future.

Sometimes some of those 10 values you picked have a similar meaning.

Just pick one that resonates with you the most.

For me in this case “Joy”, “Humor” & “Fun” had a similar meaning to me.

So I listened to my gut and pick one of those three that connected with me the most.

I picked joy.

However, this doesn’t mean joy is the word you have to go with if you would be in the same situation.

Always go with what feels right for you.

3. Define and understand each of your 5 Values

Understanding each of your top 5 values is going to help you identify if it is a fear-based or a consciously based values.

This is going to help you understand yourself better and the way you want to live your life.

Here are some questions to ask yourself in relation to each of your top 5 chosen Values :

  • Describe what this value means to you?

  • Why is this value important to you?

  • How is this value showing up in your life now?

  • How might you react if this value wasn't being honored by others?

    Describe your feelings, thoughts, and actions.

4. Take action and live them out

Finally, in order to live aligned with your values, you need to take actions towards them.

I hope this makes sense to you.

You cannot know for sure if you don’t try it out and live according to the values you picked.

Actions speak louder than spoken words.

Again here are some questions that will help you come up with actionable steps.

  • What benefits might you see if you're able to honor this value more?

  • What could you start doing now to live more aligned with this value?

  • What actions in the past helped you out to live more aligned with yourself?

How To Determine Your Core-Values In Life

Personal Tip:

Observe yourself and experiment with your values.

See what happens when you dishonor your values purposefully.

It’s going to help you get more aware of how you react and feel when you don’t live accordingly to them.

Moreover, don’t worry about the values you picked if they aren’t the “right one”.

Usually, they might change and grow with time and you will become more clear about them and which important role they play in your life.

As I like to say: “Know your values know yourself”.

Bonus: Another method to find your Core-Values

Before I share another method, I want to make sure that you know that there are online values assessments you can take to discover your core values too like, and

Your core values not only show you what drives you in life and work but also they tell you what type of people you feel most attracted to and which don’t.

For instance, I feel captivated by people that are “honest” no matter what happens even if what they say might trigger or hurt my feelings.

That’s one quality that I don’t negotiate when it comes to building a relationship, friendship or even a supportive environment.

Your core values will guide you and help you understand why certain relationships and friendships work out and which don’t.

Step 1: Identify & write down six people, who are inspirational, important role models or valued connections to you.

Step 2: Think about the values they express.

For instance, my list might include: my mom for her honesty and service towards others,” my aunt and uncle for their joy and openness in life,” “my friend for her loyalty and humor,” and “ Eckhart Tolle for his inner peace and trust in the process ”, to mention just a few.

Of course, you can write more than one word to each person, and the people in your list don't have to be family related.

Step 3: Identify the values that you are drawn too, which you like to surrender yourself according to the list.

Overall, I like this approach, because it helps you to get clear why you actually are friends with certain people.

Moreover, it also tells you more about yourself why you surrender yourself with certain people.
How To Determine Your Core-Values In Life

Now let’s talk about you

What are your personal Core-Values?

Do you struggle with living aligned with your values?

What are your key takeaways from this blog post?