“Who are you?” he asked me. My coach and his darn questions! I pondered for a moment and responded, “What do you mean?” He repeated the question without further explanation. I replied, “Do you mean at work? Or my family situation? What do you mean?” Infuriatingly, he just repeated the question.

Who are we, really?

It’s a challenging and profound question. Until I faced the question, it hadn’t occurred to me that awareness around exactly who I am is vital for my well-being.

Are we defined by our past? Is it where we live or where we work or who we hang out with? Or do our families define who we are? Perhaps we are defined by the activities we do? Maybe all of the above?

Is our own opinion the real truth about our authentic selves? What about the views of friends, family and colleagues?

My coach and I worked around this topic for some time. In the end, it seemed to make sense to define myself – my authentic self – by my core values. If I can live up to those values, then it’s pretty safe to say those values accurately describe who I am, on the inside and the outside.

So, what are core values?

Core values are our root beliefs about ourselves and who we aspire to be. They are analogous to the constitution of a country. Core values are non-negotiable foundational cornerstones that guide our beliefs and actions. Being an authentic person means consistently living our core values.

Fortunately, I already knew my core values:

  • Self Care
  • Love
  • Kindness
  • Tolerance
  • Integrity
  • Strength
  • Curiosity
  • Humour

Use your core values to guide your responses

In the previous Uprighting blog post, we discussed Responding versus Reacting.

Life inevitably throws challenges at us. All of us. Nobody escapes. If we have some foundational beliefs and values to guide us, we can always respond from our core, from our authentic selves. Our superpower is knowing our core values and keeping them front and centre as our guideposts. I don’t always succeed, but I strive to bring forward my core values in everything I do and say.

If we can act and speak from a base of our core values, it pretty much guarantees that we will respond successfully, and a successful response delivers significant benefits: personal peace and tranquility.

What are your core values? Write them out. Memorize them. Post them somewhere visible.

What strategies could you employ to mindfully recall your core values when you need to respond to life’s challenges?

With loving kindness,

Coach Billy T.