I have been searching for a lllllooooonnnnnggggg time for a truly accurate test that determines individual core values. In my research, I’ve found mostly long lists of phrases or single words (“honesty”, “team building”) that instruct the user to choose the top 10 or whatever, then eliminate the 5 you can live without and then choose the top 2-3 of those that are left. This works in a perfect world where everyone is painfully humble, confident and honest about themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I think these lists are helpful if you are in need of words to describe or remind you of what you live by. I think this is a great start, but I’m not sure of the accuracy. I feel like you have to come already pretty self-aware in order for this to work consistently.
For instance, now that I am 50-something, I can clearly see that loyalty is a core value of mine. I can look over my life and see some big and small events that involved loyalty or a lack thereof, and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that loyalty is at the top of my core values list.
However, as I recently took a new core values elimination “test” that I immediately liked better than many others I had encountered, I overlooked one of the choices. The reasons for doing that are lengthy and discouraging, but I don’t think this is the only incident of this happening to someone using an elimination list type core values test.
The people in my life who know me intimately and well, would tell you that one of my top core values is health. I make my own kombucha, water kefir, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. I research any ailment that a person I care for is struggling with and find any and all natural, organic aid there is. It is truly painful for me to watch people I love reject help in the name of only trusting traditional “medicine” when it hasn’t helped them with their condition except to mask pain, etc. (* Now, before you decide I’m being mean to doctors and nurses, know that I believe there is a place for traditional medicine, but not in the all-powerful, all-costly way that our country has come to embrace. Also, that is not the point of this post.)
Like too many women in my age group, I have been struggling with my weight during the past several years in spite of eating a healthier diet than ever before. I’ve researched magnesium, hormones, diet, sleep deprivation, exercise, and many other topics, just trying to figure out why my body isn’t cooperating with me anymore. I’ve found myself holding back when people discuss this topic because my confidence has dwindled some as my girth increases… Truth is, I haven’t had to go to the doctor’s office in over ten years. I am rarely (like once a decade) sick, in spite of surrounding myself with small children regularly for years and years. My hair is healthy. My skin looks pretty darned good. I am reasonably active.
I could stand to lose about 30 pounds and that is why it never dawned on me that health is a core value of mine. And, even when it did, because some dear friends mentioned it, I felt embarrassed to claim it because on some level I believed the extra fluff in my middle excluded me from being legitimately knowledgeable and/or claiming health as a core value. I’m not the super skinny, walking around in yoga pants and a tank top kind of healthy that we see on magazines and books that advertise the latest diet or workout craze. On paper, I am fit. I went for a physical 3 years ago because our traditional medical insurance was about to terminate. The doctor marveled at my vitals. She couldn’t believe I hadn’t been to see a doctor for anything for over 10 years. She was impressed that I only take supplements, but no prescription drugs, and actually listened when I explained that Vitamin D is NOT a vitamin, but a hormone that we should NOT take in supplemental form. When I asked her what she suggested I do for my unexplained weight gain, she replied that this was a normal part of aging for most women and that I wasn’t terribly overweight. She reluctantly offered some kind of weight loss pill, but knew I wouldn’t accept it. The thing is, I know that I’m healthy by health standards, but the cultural view on what healthy looks like, almost caused me to miss acknowledging an important part of my self.
I’m gearing up for a women’s workshop this fall. I’m working with a truly amazing group of women to introduce several important awareness tools to other women in order to help them become more fully who Our Pappa calls them to be. We believe Core Values are a vital piece of this puzzle, but we’re still grappling with how to help women see themselves truly and clearly in order to recognize their own core values.
So, here are my questions for you:
How do you think we can best help women to see themselves and recognize their core values? How do we get the shame, the need to impress, the junk out of the way?
What is your shame thing? What stands in the way of you embracing who you are?
If you’ve taken any Core Values tests, would you recommend one?
What are your core values and how do you experience them?