Free Download: Discover Your Core Values and Love Your Authentic Life


Discover Your Core Values and Love Your Authentic Life | Little Miss Fearless


I go to Maui.

I sit on the black rocks that line the shore between Front Street and Wahikuli Wayside Park, a small picnic area just off the main highway in Lahaina that I used to run to from the house I lived in during the summer of ’07.

I’m wearing my running shoes, a tank top and basketball shorts (I hadn’t discovered real workout clothes yet). The sunlight beams on my arms and shoulders as the ocean gently spits on my skin. I take deep breaths that smell of sea salt and grilled pineapple, wrapped in a bun of humidity.


In my last blog post on cultivating authenticity, I mentioned how I often refer to my best self as “Maui Manda.” The 21-year-old version of me who discovered the kind of person she wanted to be while living in Maui—humble, confident, happy, compassionate, giving, loving, calm, Christlike.

That summer was monumental for my personal growth.

My time there wasn’t fancy. I didn’t frolic around The Four Seasons at Wailea and drink piña coladas by the pool, I lived in a sizable 4-plex home with roommates whom I didn’t know prior to my move there. Our washing machine sat outside on our back patio and we line-dried our clothes in our bedrooms, waking up to the sound of roosters crowing and a dusting of tiny insect wings on our blankets (I never figured out how those got through the screen windows). The house was hot during the day and the occasional cockroach encounter brought me literal chills and nightmares, but also some tear-jerking belly laughs that I’ll never ever forget.

I remember several moments of emotional struggle while in Maui. It wasn’t the “perfect” summer of my life, although it could certainly be disguised as such. I had moments where I felt very alone, misunderstood, like I didn’t belong or like I wasn’t enough. Feelings that, I’m learning now, are just part of life and part of my story.

But something I did there created a peace and truth inside me that guides me through each new struggle that comes. I was intentional about finding time to be present with God and with myself, completely grounded in nature, and reflecting on where I came from and how far I’d come while dreaming of where I’d go next and who I’d become.


I remember a few weeks before coming home, I was making plans to return to school to get my degree, looking up a 5k or two that I could train for and feeling not just content with myself, but excited about who I was. I didn’t just KNOW myself, I had fallen in love with myself in Maui. I owned my story.

I knew that I valued the simple things in life and I was proud of that. I didn’t need all the material things that were constantly in my face on the mainland (I loved being a “local” and referring to the rest of the country as “the mainland”). I knew I was imperfect, but I believed I was lovable.

I didn’t have the emotional vocabulary back then to put words or definitions to my values, but I always knew how they felt to me:

  1. Faith is power—act on it.
  2. Family is eternal—love unconditionally.
  3. Courage defines character—embrace it wholeheartedly.
  4. Authenticity breeds connection—let yourself be seen.
  5. Humor bonds us together—encourage it.

These 5 values make me feel the most alive. They are each deeply threaded throughout my life and make me who I am. I choose them again and again.

Discover Your Core Values and Love Your Authentic Life | Little Miss Fearless


I’ve been lost several times between Maui Manda and “Nowie Manda” (I know, I’m so clever). Whether it was changing my major, staying at an unhealthy job for too long or starting a fashion blog and completely losing myself in the desire for perfection, I’ve regrettably forgotten some of my values at times.

But when Brené Brown’s work inspired me to find a therapist last fall to continue working through my issues, one of the first exercises we did together was a clarification of values from Brené’s The Daring Way curriculum. I later signed up for The Daring Way group class and have been building on my core values, making changes to re-align my life to them (capsule wardrobe anyone?) and I’m so happy to feel authentically me again.

It’s still hard some days. I can’t take my lunch break on the beach and pretend to be oceans away from my shame triggers, the things that cause me to fear I’m not enough. But I am developing some rituals to more easily connect with my values every day (like prayer and quiet time alone) and I encourage you to do the same.

As I learned from Queen Brené, “There are no guarantees in the arena. We will struggle. We will even fail. There will be darkness. But if we are clear about the values that guide us in our efforts to show up and be seen, we will always be able to find the light. We will know what it means to live brave.”


When I started opening up about my struggles with perfectionism, that see a therapist, and how passionate I am about Brené Brown’s work, several people requested to know more about the values exercise I did that sparked all this change. I’ve put together a simple download that’s adapted from Brené’s curriculum, using my own experience with the exercise.

If you want to get clear about what values you hold most important so you can live more authentically, just sign up for my email list below to access the free download!


Discover Your Core Values and Love Your Authentic Life | Little Miss Fearless

Download the Free Values List Exercise

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  1. Ooh, I need to delve a bit deeper into MY five values now!
    Thank you for sharing this post, beautiful! ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Posted February 28, 2018 | Reply
  2. Will definitely try and download that. Love your thoughts on authenticity. I have also struggled a lot with perfectionism. It is a long but important process.

    Posted February 28, 2018 | Reply
  3. Lindsay Sova says:


    Posted July 18, 2018 | Reply
  4. Krista says:


    Posted October 23, 2018 | Reply
  5. Tenora Mead says:

    Thank you

    Posted November 20, 2018 | Reply
  6. Dawn says:

    Within the last four years, I have begun the process of rebuilding my life after finally acknowledging and seeking help for the sexual abuse I suffered as a child at the hands of my brother. My doctor told me to work on self worth and rediscovering who I am.

    Posted December 4, 2018 | Reply
    • I am so sorry that happened to you and think you are incredibly brave for moving through it and seeking help. What happened does not define you! And I truly believe it will all be made right in the end. Lots of love! xo

      Posted January 3, 2019 | Reply
  7. Tara Kennedy says:

    I need to understand my values and communicate them more effectively with my fiancee.

    Posted January 12, 2019 | Reply
  8. Shaindy says:

    As Brene says, it’s important to know my core values, so trying to figure out what the are.

    Posted February 17, 2019 | Reply
  9. Roxanne says:

    I am interested in your values statement

    Posted March 7, 2019 | Reply
  10. Elizabeth says:

    I am looking forward to dig into this material and narrowing down my values to the two I can lean into.

    Posted May 6, 2019 | Reply
  11. Kathleen says:


    Posted June 10, 2019 | Reply
  12. Vanessa says:

    Thank you

    Posted September 25, 2019 | Reply
  13. Christine says:

    Thank you for sharing your guide on defining core values

    Posted October 21, 2019 | Reply
  14. Matt L'Huillier says:

    Download please

    Posted October 30, 2019 | Reply
    • Hi, the download should have automatically saved to your computer after you submitted your name/email. Let me know if there was a glitch!

      Posted November 18, 2019 | Reply
  15. Staci Cordell says:

    I am eager to learn my top 5 core values!

    Posted November 12, 2019 | Reply
  16. Jan Janzen says:

    Look forward to getting it.

    Posted January 18, 2020 | Reply
  17. Nidhi says:

    Trying to know myself

    Posted July 26, 2020 | Reply
  18. Nita says:


    Posted October 13, 2020 | Reply
  19. maria says:

    Thank you

    Posted June 9, 2021 | Reply
  20. maria says:

    Thank you!!

    Posted June 9, 2021 | Reply
  21. Judy Ritts says:

    I want to learn more about how to identify my core values

    Posted November 3, 2021 | Reply
  22. Kim Humphrey says:

    core values

    Posted September 14, 2022 | Reply