I recently did a live video in my Facebook Group, Live Your Fullest Life - Transformation Life Coaching by Sarah on why it is so important to know what your core values are, especially in regards to making decisions in your life.
Have you ever been in a job that you just dread waking up to and going to every morning, but you do it because you have to pay the bills and it provides you a level of security? Or, have you been in a relationship in which you find yourself compromising your values leading you to feeling dissatisfied and frustrated in life, but you stick to the relationship because of connection and the security it offers?
If so, you are not alone. Most people have done something similar, if not the exact same thing. This boils down to lack of self-awareness and confusion about one's core values.
Do you know what your core values are? If I asked you to define them, or give me your top ten would you be able to?
Core values aren't your wants, they are your deepest needs for self-expression, what drives you to do what you want, and ultimately, as Mahatma Gandhi said, "...your values become your destiny." I would add to that by saying, they (your core values) determine your destiny if you stick to them. In fact, Gandhi did say more or less the same thing.
Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist, asked the question, "What motivates people?" and in his quest to answer this, came up with a Hierarchy of Needs which he published under the title "A Theory of Human Motivation" in the scientific journal, Psychological Review in 1943. Later, after further development of his ideas, he published this concept again, in his book called Motivation and Personality, which was published in 1954.*
Maslow's idea was a classification system of five levels of motivational behavior that humans go through on their journey to self-actualization - a goal of life. These five levels can be divided into three groupings of basic needs, psychological needs, and self-fulfillment.
In order to move from one stage to the next, each stage has to be fulfilled within a person. In reality, life doesn't work this way and it is never that simple because at any moment in time the lower levels can take precedence over the top level, the goal of self-actualization.
Below is an info-graphic with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs with additional explanation.
If you notice in the above, the physiological needs correlate with the most basic of needs such as food, rest, procreation, and clothing. The need for safety correlates with having security and comfort. These are the basic needs and values that deal with these areas such as security and sex are lower values that every person needs to have fulfilled in order to survive.
In relation to psychological needs, the need for connection and intimate relationships as well as making a name for yourself and prestige are paramount. Again, values dealing with these areas are on a lower level and deal mostly with the ego and not the higher self.
The final level, the need for self-actualization, is hand in hand with self-fulfillment, which leads to maximizing one's potential through higher values such as making a difference and an impact in the world, acceptance of facts, lack of prejudice, morality, growth, integrity, and compassion.
If you notice, basic and psychological needs can readily be seen in the Animal Kingdom, where the drive for food, shelter, a mate(s), and being an alpha male for example, lead to a fulfillment of sorts in which survival is the goal. Humans are separated from the Animal Kingdom by the goal of self-actualization, in which we can maximize our potential as long as we stick to and make decisions according to our higher values. While there is nothing wrong with valuing food, procreation, safety and security, settling for those things while neglecting or compromising our higher values will never lead to fulfillment of potential.
No one knows the potential inside of each person but if everyday you make decisions contrary to your highest values, you will wind up limiting yourself and in so doing, your potential. If, for example, you are sacrificing freedom for security by being in a job that doesn't fulfill you because you are more motivated by taking care of your basic needs you are limiting yourself.
In order to truly experience a transformational life and to maximize your highest potential I encourage you to get honest with yourself and define your highest values. While choosing freedom over security may involve risk and discomfort, ultimately the growth you will achieve from stepping out of your comfort zone will lead you to your destiny. Are you ready for a transformational life? The choice is in your hands.
References: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs
Sarah Rezonzew is a Holistic Life and Transformation Coach specializing in online and in person coaching, helping people bust through limiting beliefs so they can live life on their terms, gain/build their confidence, achieve their goals, feel empowered and live life to the fullest. You can reach her by visiting her website Your Next Best Life or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org Join her Facebook group, Live Your Fullest Life - Transformation Life Coaching by Sarah to gain more insights, tips, and freebies on a weekly basis. Click here.