Core Values

Core Values

 Take a free Core Values Index to learn more about yourself!

     Our values define us!  Our values influence our attitude and perception; and they are the vehicle that drives our thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  Perhaps most of the time people pay attention to the thoughts and feelings we express; however, there are more important communications that may go unnoticed.   The deeper connections we create in life arise out of our shared values.  Sometimes we intuitively know this, other times we do not and if ignored we can miss the opportunity for wonderful and joyous life experiences.  Our values reside where we live—at the core of our identity!  This is the place where we are most authentic and can truly be ourselves.  When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and relate at this deep level; we are at our best.  It takes courage to be vulnerable; because we leave ourselves open to loss, failure, or rejection.  Fear can block us from reaching the depth where we can thrive and live to our fullest potential.  Sometimes we lack the necessary support to be fearless, that allows us to let our values guide us in becoming the best human we can be. 

     Life experiences change us and can impact our values system.  We are not stagnant in life; so life influences us.  We can choose how we are influenced by our experiences, and the more confident we are in our own skin the closer we can remain in the integrity of our true being.  Each of us presents a compilation of values that make use unique and different from one another.  Understanding how we differ and valuing those differences offers the opportunity for respect and empowerment to occur.  The deepest relationship come out of mutual respect for our individual differences and the gift each of us bring to one another.  We do not need to be symbiotic in order to love one another; we only need to understand and value our differences.  When we appreciate these differences there is room to grow and develop.  If we try to box one another into roles that do not recognize individual strengths and preferences we stifle the opportunity for creativity, intellectual and social development. 

     The Core Values Index (CVI) is an assessment that goes beyond identifying thoughts and feelings and gets at recognizing values that exist at the level of our true identity.  The information it generates allows us an opportunity to appreciate ourselves for the unique individual we are in life.  Armed with information that assists us in seeing one another for who we truly are can enable to move from a position of empowerment, love, knowledge, and wisdom.  Knowing our strengths and potential areas where we do not function as comfortably can allow us to avoid unnecessary pitfalls, relationship foibles, or make healthier life decisions and choices.  The CVI is an important piece of the puzzle in offering support to individuals and families that can be accurately assess how to best communicate, offer opportunity, and guidance. 

     Life is complex; people are complex.  No one person’s experience exactly mirrors another, even when there is shared experience.  The filter through which we measure life is colored by perception, social memories, loss and trauma, joy and support, and numerous other factors.  We form values connected to life experiences that change and develop and we grow.  At times we are in a position to offer support to another human being and assist them in creating opportunity by extending Family of Choice.  The gesture doesn’t always need to be grand—it may be simply validating some aspect of how they differ from you in a way that is appreciated or respected. 

     Our families and communities are in need of healing; surely, this is something most people can readily recognize.  The starting place is to identify your own values and strengths and make a choice as to how you can contribute to the mission of healing.  Identify an area where you can reach out and become a Family of Choice.  Perhaps you are in need of a Family of Choice; there is no shame in needing a family.  We are social animals and do not have the ability to pick our family of origin.  In some cases, we may not be able to pick our life situation; therefore, we may need the support offered by Family of Choice.  Even if you previously made poor life choices; you have the ability to change and make healthier choices (see  The start line is with family, which is one of the places where we first acquire life values.  Social institutions also offer support that helps us develop values.  These are a few places where we learn or are influenced to develop values, but they are not the finish line.  We live in a global world and can expand our horizons in reaching and offering support. 

   Like many social movement, Family of Choice is at a grassroots level.  It is an outgrowth of Coaching Choice College, which serves to train life, business, and wellness coaches.  Coaching is a growth field and an area in which mentoring can occur in many arenas.  The concept of choice as key to individual freedom is an instrumental critical thinking skill.  We need to have choice to access our core identity, and tap into the values that define and allow us to rise above fear-driven thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  Creating support through Family of Choice opens the door for us to develop resiliency, and courageously live life to the fullest.  For more information on becoming a coach go to  Call:  Clare E Steffen, Ed.D., BCC, CADC II
 (541) 221-3408

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