Values are like guiding principles that shape how we live and work. They’re like the starting point for all the things we learn and the practical wisdom we gain. They’re at the core of who we are and help us stay strong in social and emotional ways. Sometimes, we feel unhappy because what we want conflicts with what we truly believe in.  

Some values are more important than others. There are two main types of values: intrinsic and extrinsic values. Intrinsic values are about accepting ourselves, connecting with others, and creating a sense of community. They lead us to do things that fulfill our psychological needs and make us feel better. Extrinsic values, on the other hand, are about material success like fame, being seen as successful, and having a certain image. These are more about achieving a goal and are often influenced by what society expects. However, they may not bring lasting happiness. 

Studies have found that people who focus too much on extrinsic values tend to feel less true to themselves and have lower levels of energy. They also have fewer positive experiences and are more likely to feel sad, worried, and be drawn towards using substances. The Theory of Self-Determination emphasizes that the kind of values we prioritize can greatly impact our well-being. It suggests that focusing on intrinsic values leads to more fulfilling and healthy feelings overall. Irrespective of what society and cultures dictate, the values are more effective when the person is conscientious and willing to own these values instead of showing values to avoid negative evaluations from others. So before diving into understanding why core values are essential, let us look into what actually core values are. 

What are core values?

Core values are like the inner compass that guides how we think and act. Different experts have different ways of describing them. For example, some say they shape our beliefs and choices. Others see them as our personal beliefs about what’s right and important, like honesty and kindness. It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all definition for core values. They’re unique to each person. They can also change over time as we grow and learn. When we’re young, our parents, teachers, and friends might influence what we see as important. But as we get older, our experiences shape our values too. The key thing is that core values help us set goals and make decisions that align with what truly matters to us in life. People would naturally not be thinking about core values consciously. However, acknowledging and being aware of the core values helps navigate the essential things in life, eases decision-making, ensures alignment in your path, and supports the authenticity of your personality. Bringing out the client’s core value in coaching is crucial for the positive outcome in several ways, and this paper will review three benefits: achieving clarity and alignment, effectiveness in goal setting, and self-awareness and discovery.  

Achieving Clarity and Alignment

Understanding a person’s core values is like turning on a bright light to see what really matters to them. It helps them see their deepest desires, beliefs, and priorities more clearly. This clarity then guides their goals, actions, and decisions towards things that truly resonate with them. This boosts their motivation, satisfaction, and overall sense of fulfilment. 

Think of it this way: if you don’t know what’s really important to you, how can you find true happiness and feel good about your choices? Discovering and defining your values helps you map out a direction in life. It lets you figure out what excites and drives you, what holds real significance, and what doesn’t. It’s really important for a person to feel the impact of their values and understand how they shape their life. Ignoring or not understanding these core values can lead to confusion, self-doubt, and a loss of momentum towards a truly fulfilling life.  

Effective Goals Setting

Setting goals should be done with confidence, knowing that what you aim for is truly what you want. Understanding your core values helps make goal-setting more meaningful and fulfilling. This boosts the chances of success, as clients become more motivated and committed to their pursuits. 

The International Coach Federation (ICF) emphasizes the importance of helping clients gain insights about themselves and their goals. This self-awareness is seen as a key aspect of coaching. But how can a goal truly resonate with a client’s core values if they’re not aware of what really matters to them? Goals and accountability go hand in hand. Coaches need to explore the client’s personal priorities to ensure that goals are rooted in their values and desires. The coach should verify if the client’s goals genuinely reflect their values rather than being influenced by external pressures. Missing this step can lead to an ineffective coaching session. 

Fulfilling the commitments towards defined goals can influence a client’s behavior. They might feel hesitant or struggle with emotions when trying to make this change. Without the internal motivation, the client may start doubting their ability to achieve the goals, which can impact their confidence, self-trust, and self-esteem. It’s natural for us to take failures personally, but it could indicate that the goals aren’t aligned with our true values and interests. 

Self-awareness and Discovery

Understanding and embracing your core values is closely tied to feeling fulfilled in life. When you recognize and emphasize these values, it leads to a deeper understanding of yourself. This means you can make choices with full awareness, and better understand why certain parts of your life bring you joy or pose challenges. When you integrate your values into your decisions, it gives you a stronger sense of purpose, integrity, and overall well-being. 

Sometimes, it might be uncomfortable to stick to your values, but doing so brings a sense of accomplishment, integrity, and alignment with what truly matters to you. Why? Well, people can tolerate a lot of disagreements or discomforts and keep going, but it often comes at a high cost – the feeling of betraying oneself, leading a life based on tolerance rather than true fulfilment. 

When you have a clear understanding of yourself, you become more confident in your strengths and better at handling your weaknesses. Dealing with failure is tough, and not knowing what to change can make you feel helpless. That’s why self-awareness is so powerful. It motivates you to go after the things that bring you a sense of achievement and satisfaction. 


Discovering your core values is a crucial part in coaching. It helps you gain clarity, set goals, make thoughtful choices, overcome obstacles, and live in a way that’s true to yourself and fulfilling. Knowing these values is key to your personal growth, feeling empowered, and undergoing positive changes. 

It’s important to recognize what might be holding you back. Paying attention to how your core values influence decisions, interactions with others, resourcefulness, and approach to challenges provides valuable insights. When facing tough personal situations, understanding how you core values relate to the context and challenges can provide comfort and guidance. Staying true to these values paves the way for greater well-being and positive emotional outcomes. 

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