A different approach to core values and being your true self

Last week was an eventful week. I’ve (not literally) been hit in the face pretty badly – but I got out of the dump quicker than I thought I would – and found myself on top of a mountain again. One of my new year’s resolutions was to adapt to change more quickly. Maybe I’m getting better at this.

I also read “A no BS guide to finding and living your own truth” by John Kim or “The Angry Therapist”, who is my absolute #1 favourite writer. I love the way he conveys his messages and he already taught me so much about life, love and myself.

Due to the recent events combined with how I related to his book, I want to put a message out there that will be of incredible value to you, if you truly understand it and implement it into your life. If you implement it into everything you do.


There are some terms in the personal development space that I’ve always struggled to apply to my life and get a benefit from. One of them was values. Gurus keep writing that everyone should have their set values which they – no matter what happens – stick to. Their basic beliefs.

Write down all your core values. What do you believe in, what do you stand for, who are you?

If you already find that helpful enough, great. Skip the rest.

I however, never knew what to really do with my “values”. I believe in honesty, in always being myself, in following my passion blablabla. But I never figured out the value of core beliefs. Get the pun?

John Kim approaches them as non – negotiables. There’s a difference between being stubborn and unwilling to make any compromise with anyone – ever – and having non – negotiables

“Non – negotiables are things that you are no longer willing to negotiate about yourself because that shit didn’t work.”

They are different from values because no one can ever take them away from you. Not you, not your boss, not your partner, not your friends. No one can do it in a split second, nor gradually. They are based off your story. They are based off where you draw a line with a sharpie, instead of chalk.

Here are few of my non – negotiables to give you an idea.

  1. I will always fill up my own cup before anyone else’s. I cannot pour from an empty cup.
  2. I will not work for anyone else’s dreams.
  3. I will not sacrifice my growth for someone else.
  4. I will not give to anyone who doesn’t value me and make him/her part of my life and future.

And more. They are set in stone. Whatever decision I will make in the future, the outcome needs to align with these statements. It needs to align with the stance I take regarding my personality, the way I want to live my life and how I want to interact with others. Things become non – negotiable if they haven’t worked (multiple times) in the past or are currently not working – at all!

Let’s talk about you.

Think about what you’re questioning in your life right now: Is it your study? Is it your career? Is it your partner/relationship? Is it yourself and the decisions you’re making? Your goals? Is it your social life? Is it your health, lifestyle and diet? It can be as simple as your time management!

Now, what would you change? What would you do if you didn’t negotiate all the things you’re questioning? Would you still be in your relationship, at your job, continue your study?

It’s about not negotiating certain parts about yourself, because they are your building blocks. Anyone or anything that doesn’t fit in, doesn’t fit in. It’s simply about having principles for yourself, values that protect you from “dealing with the same shit again and again”. It’s being true to yourself.


Most things in life is are a choice. You can go left or right, make or waste time, give or take. You can choose how you feel, you can choose who you spend your time with, to a certain extend you can choose your profession and your lifestyle.

Your non- negotiables are not a choice. You cannot choose to follow them like rules. They’re an obligation. Having non- negotiables and sticking to them means you’re being true to yourself. And being truly yourself. They’re not limiting you. They’re enabling you to grow. And if you want to create your life, success and healthy relationships, you’ll need to grow.

Being true to yourself consists of many more things besides your core beliefs and values, or, what I love to call “non- negotiables”. But they’re your stance. They’re your building blocks. Without a solid self, without a solid foundation, every crack added to your story will add a crack to the house. Don’t gradually compromise with your Self. Make compromise with others, but don’t compromise who you are.  


Write down your non – negotiables. Define them in detail. Think about your story. Think about the shiny things and about the grey areas. When did you compromise yourself in the past? Are you questioning yourself and your life right now? What are some things that completely go against your principles? What are things that feel completely right and align with your “purpose”? That align with how you want to spend your life and how you want to share it with others?


Every decision you’ll make in the future, align it with your non – negotiables. Commit to being your true self. Even if it means rejection, loss, fear or insecurity. You owe it to yourself.

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