Core values are what determine our attitude and actions, inspire us to reach for unique goals, and motivate us to live a certain way. They dictate how we spend our time and money, how we interact with others, and how we approach challenging circumstances.
It’s important to know what you stand for — what governs your decisions and guides your actions. We know this on a corporate level, but how about a more personal one?
On the Weaving Influence team, we’ve been discussing recently what some of our top personal core values are. While our individual answers are varied, they all touch on some common themes: people, spiritual convictions, character, and personal development.
People, People, People
The resounding statement across the team was that people matter most. We strive to be intentional about building relationships and safeguarding our family time, sharing in each other’s stories and lives, and treating everyone with respect and compassion.
Value Others. Put people ahead of stuff or status. Intentionally seek to serve and encourage and build each other up. “I believe every single human being is made in the image of God and has intrinsic worth and value. This core value changes the way that I interact with people every single day. Because people matter, I do my best to approach interactions with sincere respect, and I am always looking for ways to encourage people in their value and let them know how much worth they have. This value also fuels my desire to serve and meet the needs that I see around me.” – Lindsey V.
Build Relationships. Prioritize time together. Support each others’ endeavors. Work life around family, rather than the other way around. “I’m an only child with tons of cousins who are quite a bit older than I am and didn’t live near me when I was growing up. It was really just my parents and me. I grew up and had these four amazing kids. My greatest hope for them on this Earth is that they will be close as adults and their children will grow up together and know each other.” – Amy D.
Many of us hold deeply held spiritual convictions. We find our identity in who God says we are, and our purpose in how He has instructed us to live. We implement those values by putting in place daily habits that strengthen our faith in God and ignite our love for His people.
Know God. Put our faith into practice everyday by intentionally learning how to love and follow God more. “God is worthy of my everything and bigger than my anything.” – Christy Lynn Wilson
Obey God’s Word. Trust the Bible as the ultimate standard of truth. Find purpose in how God tells us to live. “I try measure everything by ‘what does God say about that?’ He is our Creator, and He has authority to govern our actions and attitudes. He is loving enough to give us an unchanging standard of truth that provides all we truly need for life and godliness. Life is never easy, but it becomes a lot simpler when you test everything by the living Word of God.” – Elizabeth J.
Reflect Christ. Find confidence in who God says we are, and seek to live up that identity in every area of life. “The most important value to me is the value of knowing who I am in Christ — that my self-worth comes not from who I am, but because of Who He is. My faith is central to everything I do, every decision I make, every conversation I have. If people meet me, I hope they see my Savior, rather than this wreck that He rescued.” – Carrie K.
We value certain character traits highly enough that we dedicate resources to better developing them — and we (consciously or not) notice whether others value those traits as well. Those qualities touch us deeply, propel us forward, and motivate us to be better people.
Integrity. Not just refraining from verbal lies, but being trustworthy, authentic, and honest in every area of our lives. “For me, it encompasses not only being truthful, but also how I deal with other people, how I conduct business, etc. I want my interactions with other people to reflect Jesus. Do I treat ALL people with the respect, kindness, love, and forgiveness that He would? Certainly not always. But as Carrie often says, #WorkInProgress.” – Amy D.
Self-Reliance. Take ownership. Figure things out for ourselves. Be independent enough to move forward without needing other people’s direction or approval. “If you don’t know what something means, go look it up or Google it. If you don’t know how something works, take it apart and figure it out. If you’ve never done something before, don’t let that deter you from trying. I think that’s why I have loved working with WI for the last 7 years, because Becky gave me freedom and believed that I could do the work, and if I didn’t know how to, she trusted that I would figure it out or ask the right questions. I’m forever telling the kids, ‘Don’t ask me, figure it out for yourself’ . . . When they do figure it out (usually very quickly), I feel that I’ve taught them to fish rather than throwing them a fish.” – Carrie K.
Empathy. Work to understand people and see things from their perspective. Share in their stories and griefs and joys. “I think it is crucial to understand people. Some of the biggest problems I’ve found in life have been solved by looking at something from someone else’s perspective. The most fulfilled I’ve felt working on a project, whether I was writing, or speaking came from seeking to understand something about someone, or various others that I had not previously considered.” – Mike D.
Respect. Speak kindly of all people. Assume the best of others. Contribute towards a more equitable and egalitarian society. “We are all people and we’re all going through the same journey in life. We deserve to receive respect just as much as others deserve to receive respect from us. Without it, so much fails: trust, kindness, empathy, love, understanding, compassion, etc.” – Kelly E.
Steadfastness. Do what you promise. Fulfill your commitments well and with intention. “I will remain steadfast in the things and relationships that I am called to. I will be faithful in my commitments until I am assured that it is time to move on. This core value changes the way I approach work, tremendously. It makes work become more than a task to complete, but a mission that I am intentionally supposed to commit my time to during this season of my life. Remaining steadfast in my work is more than getting things done, but also giving my very best effort and working with excellence as my standard in all that I do.” – Lindsey V.
We want to be always moving forward, observing and learning and growing through every season of life. That might look like taking grad classes, trying a new sport, learning something creative, or simply figuring out how to live and work more effectively. The important thing is, we’re not letting ourselves become stagnant.
Stay Curious. Explore the world. Be open to new experiences and different perspectives. “I’m always trying to get the kids to be curious about different things and approaches, and learn new things. Those two really matter to me.” – Christy K.
Value Experiences. Try new things. Accumulate memories. Value firsthand knowledge over hearsay. “Experiences over things. It took me far too long in life to learn this, but when I did, it changed everything. Going places, doing things with my family (or even alone sometimes), beats stuff any day of the week and twice on Sunday.” – Amy D.
Choose Humor. Develop a lighthearted approach to stressful situations. Choose to laugh rather than cry. “When implemented with compassion and respect, laughter can ease social tensions, relieve mental and emotional stress, and even lower blood pressure. And learning to laugh at yourself (in a healthy, non-derogatory way) simply makes life a lot more fun. People who choose anger or tears over laughter don’t realize the simple pleasure they’re missing out on!” – Elizabeth J.
Pursue Excellence. Steward ourselves well in every area so we can live and work more effectively. “I will maintain my spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health so I can be the best version of myself for my husband, my family, my friends, and my community.” – Lindsey V.
Tell me something! What are some of YOUR personal core values?