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  • Writer's pictureTalia Cooper

3 Things About Values

Three things about values:

  1. Core values are what matter most to us. They are similar to needs.

  2. Values don't change that much over a lifetime

  3. Values are not better or worse than other values

1. What are core values?

Values are essentially the things we care about, like "Community," "Respect," or "Adventure." Values are pretty similar to human needs, except that values are the things we need over a lifetime, as opposed to moment by moment. Core values are the things that are the most dear to us-- that we need to to make life sweet and meaningful. What's considered core varies person to person.

2. What we value doesn't actually change that much over a lifetime.

What we value tends to carry us through a lifetime. How we enact our values and which values we prioritize are what can vary over time. That's why it's a good idea to get to know your core values now so you can learn what they mean to you throughout your life.

3. Values are not inherently better or worse than other values

Everyone has different core values. For some people Authenticity is the most important– getting to show up as their full selves. For others its Mastery– the experience of learning something damn well. These values are are not superior or inferior, and they are not inherently good or bad.

If a core value seems "bad," there are two possible things going on:

  1. It hasn't been stripped down to the essence: for example some people might say they value Money. But Money is not a core value. Safety and Security are. Thinness is also not a value. When I ask clients what's important to them about Thinness, their answers vary, with things like: Love, Freedom, Connection and more.

  2. There are some values that we've been (incorrectly) taught are negative: For example some people value Beauty, but have been told that this is a superficial value. This is not true. It is a human need to appreciate beauty in the world. Another example is Recognition. As a woman, I've been told to be humble, to not care about such things. But being honest that I like to be seen and acknowledged for my gifts has helped me shift from subconsciously chasing recognition to voicing what I want. It also means I love recognizing other people for who they are and for their contributions.

No values are better or worse than any other. They just are. Once you get clear on your values you can lean into them as your superpower.


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