Getting Grounded in Our Values


I am struck over and over by how much value there is in returning to core concepts. We shouldn’t overlook their benefits. In my own efforts to get and stay grounded this year, I’ll be writing about some of these concepts in the coming weeks. Today, let’s start with getting grounded in our values.

Values = Inner Standards

What guides your actions? What guides how you evaluate (judge) the actions or words of others? What causes you to feel good (or bad) about a decision?

Spoiler alert: it’s your values.

These core values reflect what’s really important to us. They serve as a moral compass. They are the lens through which we see and evaluate the world around us. Whether we are conscious of those values or not, they are there. Not to be confused with intentions, which are expressions of what we desire.

They come from our life experiences

How did you grow up? Who raised you? What was that like? What and who influenced you as a young person? What and who influenced you at other stages of life?

These factors and their many layers of complexity form our core values from the time we’re very young. Long before we’re able to articulate what those values are, we’re guided by them. Sometimes we develop a core value in opposition to things we experience. We also change and grow with more life experience, and values shift and change to reflect that.

What you do is all that matters

“Words are from the lips, actions are from the heart.” – Rashida Costa

When our words don’t match our actions, our words are not reflecting our values. They’re reflecting something else. Maybe intentions, maybe what we think someone wants to hear, maybe what we think we need to say in order to be safe. But not our values.

What are your core values? I invite you to take some time this week to reflect on that. Maybe make a list or journal your thoughts about it. With greater awareness comes increased opportunity to stay grounded in those values.

(P.S. My dog, Eloise, clearly holds loyalty as a top value. And therefore, she’s featured as this week’s photo, where she’s looking at me in a way that speaks it to my soul.)

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