5 Easy Steps
to Overcome Perfectionism
by Creating Value
Earlier this week I posted a Blog Post called “What to do when everything is a priority” - you can catch up by reading it here (insert Link). One of the first steps I covered in finding clarity, balance and focus to your life is identifying your core values - but this can be tricky for perfectionists who are struggling with the desire to seek external validation. So today I wanted to break down exactly what core values are and give you a Free Printable so you can discover what your core values are.
Click on the image below for instant access to your free copy of the Core Values Worksheet:
Here are 4 steps to get your core values identified and integrated into your daily life:
Step 1: Shift your mindset from achievement to value
Perfectionists need to re-frame what’s important in life - moving away from “accomplishment” and “achievement” and towards the specific core values they are looking for. Recognition, challenge, status, leadership or contribution are underlying examples that might result in accomplishment and achievement. Ask yourself why it’s important that you achieve or accomplish something and you will get closer to uncovering your core values.
What’s a big goal you are either working on right now, or have attempted in the past? Why did you decide to set that goal? What were you trying to achieve by accomplishing it? These are great questions to ask yourself to start unpacking what type of motivation lies beneath the goals you are setting.
Step 2: Start Brainstorming:
Jim suggests identifying all the core values that speak to you and writing them down. You can find a great list of core values in my free printable right here:
If you aren’t sure what your core values are, and nothing is popping out at you - try these two exercises that Jim suggests, as well as one of my personal favorites:
Exercise 1: Your ideal Day
Write out your ideal day from start to end. When do you wake up? What is the first thing you do? What space are you waking up in? What are your physical surroundings like and what is your emotional state like? Work your way through your whole day, identifying all the details you can. What car you drive, where you work, who you interact with and what those interactions are like. Then go back over what you have created as an objective outsider. Looking at what is documented - what would you say are the core values of the author?
Exercise 2: The Funeral Question
Life coaches often ask you to identify what you would want to be said at your funeral. Think about if your best friend or spouse gave a eulogy. Don’t focus on what they would say - focus on what you would want them say. Then go back as that objective observer and see what values might be hiding there.
Exercise 3: The Wheel of Life
I love this exercise and I’ve mentioned it on the blog before because I think it's really valuable for the visual learners out there! To do this exercise, download and print a blank circle from the link below. The circle is divided into pie shapes based on different sectors of life. These categories include: family and friends, significant other/romance, fun/recreation, health, money, personal growth, physical environment and career.
For each category you rank your current level of satisfaction between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the most satisfied). You document your ranking for each category and then draw a line connecting these dots. This gives a great overview of where you have chosen to dedicate your time, energy and focus to date. Is your family and friends rating really high? You might value community, connection and relationships. Do you have a high rating in fun/recreation? You might value challenge, discovery, activity, joy, amusement or rigor. Look closely at where you’ve spent your time, chances are your values are closely linked.
You can download the Circle of Life Exercise to try on your own completely free via coactive.com at this link:
Circle of Life Exercise
Step #3: Group your values
It can be a bit overwhelming if you’ve just created a list of 25 values, all of which resonate with you. How can you possibly value all these things at once? Which ones do you prioritize over others? Categorizing and grouping your core values is the next step here, and one that will help you streamline your focus.
If you value inner harmony, being centered, having focus, and balance - you could group all of those values into one category called “well being”. Similarly if you value adventure, boldness, challenge and pushing your personal limits, you might have a category called “badassness”.
Once you’ve created your categories - rank them in order of importance. Can you be a badass if your wellbeing isn’t in tact? Probably not. Think about how your core values build on each other and which are connected.
Step 4: Come up with a phrase or mnemonic to help you remember your core values
Even if you’ve narrowed your core values down to 5 groups - it can be hard to remember these during your day to day life. I love the idea of assigning a mnemonic to your core values to help you remember them and keep them at the top of your mind.
If you value Fitness, Authenticity, Integrity, Trust and Honestly - you might assign your core values a “FAITH” mnemonic. Play around with the order of your values and see what kinds of words you can create. If you can’t find a word - make a sentence that represents them. For “FAITH” you could also say: “Finally, Alberts Is Taking Hits” (this is a reference to a past Vancouver Canucks player named Andrew Alberts!). You might not find your first creation really rings true - and that’s okay. Play around with your values and put them together in a way that feels right to you.
Step 5: Create value based goals
This step brings it all together and provides that clarity and focus that you are looking for!
Once you have your value categories clearly identified. Ask yourself what your goals are for each. What is your overarching goal that ties them all together?
Setting goals with your values as a foundation will provide you with purpose, drive and internal motivation. You will be amazing as your pulled towards your desired outcomes by positive emotions and energy, instead of constantly pushing and forcing results in an effort to outrun jealousy, envy and fear.
Always remember to keep your goals as specific as possible - with clear deadlines and actions that will make the chances of success high. I’m not going to suggest “SMART” goals here because I think being overly realistic can sometimes keep us too safe, and therefore in our perfectionist comfort zone!
I would love to hear what your core values are, so drop us a line in the comment box if you feel like sharing. Did any of your values surprise you? Have your actions been value based to date?
And don’t forget to grab your free printable guide to core values right here: