The term “core values” is one that you will hear quite often, especially by life coaches and counselors. You may also hear them referred to as core beliefs. But what exactly are core values and how you able to determine which are most critical to your health and well-being?

Core values are emotionally charged one-word statements (value statements) that engage our hearts and minds and help to define our real Self. The most important ones are different for each individual person; the combination is never duplicated.

Core Values Drive Your Life

Some of the most common core values that people hold near and dear include Justice, Freedom, Safety, Family, Integrity, Accomplishments, and more. Only you, however, are able to articulate those that define your true Self. There are no “right” or “wrong” values for you to hold. Everything will feel right if you recognize and honor your core values. But your life will always feel “off” if you choose to ignore your core values.

I like to use an analogy most everyone is able to relate to – likening your core values to an engine that drives your life forward. Your many different values and beliefs are the many individual parts of the car. They are what keep you moving forward; and what keeps your engine tuned. It takes all the parts working together as a whole to provide the necessary energy and direction.

The Value of Values

Cars need regular and planned maintenance so that they are able to run well and reliably and so do your core values. Just like a vehicle can easily get out of alignment, so can your Self. One broken part will cause your emotional motor to seize up and stop your engine dead in its tracks.

If you ignore a core value, you’ll know it. This broken down part will rear its ugly head in a negative way. You will likely experience negative feelings, a loss of energy, a general feeling of discontentment or being “out of sorts” and even unjustified anger will pop up and work against you.

On the other hand, if you make sure that you keep your system of core values well tuned, you will enjoy that “wind in your hair” feeling as you step on the gas and race toward your goals and the future that waits just in front of you. Think of your Self humming down the highway in a convertible with the top down on a balmy day, moving toward your current destination without fear of breaking down – that’s what it’s like making sure you honor your core values and respect them for the genuinely important part they play in your health, well-being, and happiness. Your core values are interested in moving you forward toward your goals; they were never meant to be idle bystanders to your life or to keep you from your destiny.

By honoring your core values, you will experience wonderfully strong positive emotions. You will find yourself feeling happier and lighter, more content, and blessed with a general peace of mind.

Another way that core values provide value for your life is by directing your time and energy in a forward motion. Without being aware of your most important core beliefs, you are almost certain to flounder and wander aimlessly, always looking for something that will make you complete and never quite finding it. Core values are like your emotional GPS!

We all have different values and there’s no problem with this. We are able to find great peace by making sure we honor our own and by respecting those held dear by others. Defining, using, and honoring our core values is about giving ourselves the most choices and opportunities to feel good about our lives and Selves. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Author's Bio: 

Lori Chance is a collaborative writer and editor specializing in how-to, informational, spiritual, and personal development articles and books. Her self-coaching book for women titled Who Am I? is now available through Amazon and her website. Learn more about finding out who you really are and what you really want, and receive the Top 5 Secrets to Successfully Change Your Life for FREE, by visiting her website and blog at