Better Understanding Your Core ValuesThere’s a common thread that runs through low gym retention numbers, western medicine’s struggles with resolving physical illnesses, and psychologists’ and psychiatrists’ poor track record in dealing with the subjective, yet very real challenges of human life.

It’s a lack of knowledge of core values — the beliefs and people we are willing to live and die for — and a disharmony between the life one actually lives and the values one claims that creates so many problems.

If you want to genuinely address the needs of your clients, it makes no sense to treat them without understanding and addressing the core of their being: Their core values.

Core values are defined as those that determine how you choose to invest your time, energy and money. They also define your needs relative to your wants, including the essential components of life.

By answering these five simple questions, you’ll be well on your way toward defining your own core values.

  1. What, where, when and how will you feed yourself?
  2. What are you willing to spend time studying?
  3. Whose dreams are you are willing to work for? (We are all contributing to someone else’s dreams one way or another.)
  4. How do religious beliefs guide where you invest your life force?
  5. How much of a consumer versus a generator of resources do you want to be?

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Understanding Self-Awareness and Core Values

Historically, individuals without intention and awareness training seldom establish their own core values. Most of us, as children without ideas of our own, adopt the core values of our parents and families. Typically, these adopted core values dictate what our religious, social and environmental behaviors will be.

When an individual’s beliefs are congruent with the core values they express through their actions, they exhibit what I refer to as body-mind-soul alignment. Such people seldom suffer from illnesses. When they do, they recover quickly.

Why? Being clear about who they are and what they stand for as human beings makes them very aware of and resilient to what drains them of their vitality. With their core values as their compass, little energy is needed to get them back on track again.

When you become clear about your own core values, you’ll become just as passionate about your chosen direction in life.

When you are certain it is your life, not one imposed by your mom, dad or any other social group, you really become free, an individual with self-awareness.

From a position of self-awareness, you know what you bring to your personal, professional and spiritual relationships. It is only by becoming self-aware that you can ever define what you offer to your clients.

Succeeding With a New Client

When you take on a new client as a trainer/therapist/doctor with this sharper self-awareness, you’re equipped to offer your own sense of safety and peace in your professional relationships with clients.

Beyond this, as a self-aware practitioner, you can offer a heightened ability to understand and act on the needs of your clients.

With these personal tools in place, you can determine the needs of anyone with health and wellbeing challenges, and formulate a plan of action that offers resolution.

In my experience, until someone truly becomes an individual by defining and living according to their core values, they can never achieve inner peace and wellbeing.

This is why it is terribly common to hear, “I don’t know!” from clients when we ask them what their goals are. And, this is why it’s so very common to have dissatisfied clients.

After teaching them how to better care for themselves in previous sessions, many still won’t follow through on their own, and return for their next session displaying antagonism.

Ask them why they didn’t follow through on all of your work together, and the most common answer you’ll get is, “I don’t know!”

Again, they don’t know because they haven’t defined their core values.

The Difference Between Success and Failure

On the other hand, healthcare practitioners who are truly successful and happy in their personal, professional and spiritual lives exhibit these qualities (not just talk about them!):

  • A strong set of core values, fueled by self-confidence and healthy levels of self-esteem stemming from a clearly defined sense of self.
  • The courage and wisdom to establish your personal needs and self-management as a prerequisite for helping others. Typically, the blind don’t do well leading the blind.
  • An open-minded attitude toward yourself and others. Any philosophy worth living needs to be challenged constantly because improvements happen no other way. You can’t be dogmatic — people who make the same mistakes repeatedly — and expect to change.
  • Virtuous behavior. Your actions, if repeated by society at large, are more likely to create unity and decrease stress at all levels of existence.

I hope what I’ve written here explains the importance of defini