Let Core Values Be Your Compass

—video transcript—

In the midst of situations that are truly beyond my control, but that at least to a degree affect my everyday life, how do I pull myself from reaction mode to response mode instead?

Let me state out of the gate, that reaction mode is fueled by visceral emotion that erupts really unintentionally it, It may be fueled by implicit memory and experiences from the past. That makes it an automatic, instinctive reaction to what’s going on, where a response is what I choose to bring to a situation after I allow the pause and intention into the mix. The greatest human superpower is the ability to move beyond instinctive reaction, to allow the pause and then choose a response.

Recently, I had a lot of things going on—some rather sizable in nature. There were circumstances beyond my immediate world that were, to a degree, bringing me to points of decision. And very honestly, I found myself being quite reactionary. And in being reactionary, there was unfiltered emotion. There was a level of anxiousness, hurriedness—and that is not how it like to manage my life and my moments. So I stepped back. I very intentionally was aware that this was not true to my core. And I stepped back and went “wait a second. I need to right the ship.” And how do I do that? I revisit my core values.

Know what you value, so you won’t settle for what you merely want in the moment.

That’s a principle by which I live my life. What do I value? And those values will meaningfully drive the wants and the situations that I create for myself. Those values are like the GPS. They’re like the compass that guides me and helps me decide in advance and decide in the moment. They help me cut away what doesn’t fit—edit with wisdom for my life to make lasting choices that serve me well and keep me in the right direction of my most important desires and goals.

Wants are best when they are born from the values that I’ve defined and selected for myself that I know to be so very true to who I am. Wants are not bad; wants are wonderful. But if they’re made instinctively and reactionary in the moment—maybe based on a little bit of pride, a little bit of cultural influence, a little bit of peer pressure—really typically no bueno, not the best. There’s no right or wrong there. It’s just, what is gonna help keep you going, keep me going, in the direction of my real intentions for myself? 

So a lot was going on, and I was feeling out of sorts. So I paused, and I did the wonderful process of revisiting what I know to be my core values: what I value. I added too and edited that list and it—oh my gosh, you guys—it helped me so much to pause and bring out my deepest intelligence and tap into the core of me and not react instinctively and emotionally, but instead make really lasting high perspective decisions for myself.

Knowing what I value informs my wants. My wants are fun; my wants are like the fruit that pops out on the branches, but the roots are what I value. The roots need to be healthy and strong, and then everything that comes from that is right on the target.

So where are you in your life? Are you facing some changes, decisions, big, small? I invite you—if you don’t have a list of what you value, it doesn’t have to be anything formal or fancy, but do you know what you value? I encourage you to take precious time and discern what you truly value. If you’re not sure by all means, start with a list of wants . Wants can tell you; they can be a peek into the deeper values that are there. Like for me, a want is…I love vintage fashions. I love, if I’m going to an event, putting an outfit together. That is certainly what I would discern as a want. It’s something I really like to have. It’s not a must. But what does that tell me about me? I love self expression. I value creativity. I value being unique.

So the want helped me go, “oh, that reflects a value.” It’s important for me to have ways to be unique. self-expressive, creative, different. Those are part of my core values that expresses— that manifest—through how I dress. Maybe you want a really cool car and certainly, you know, something like that can be, oh, so very fun. But perhaps that car reveals that you appreciate luxury. Maybe that reveals that you desire to hit the road. Freedom—where are we gonna go? 

So again, if you don’t have that list of values, but you kind know some stuff you’d really like to have, you want, by all means go in reverse. But those values—we need them to be that guiding light, the compass to help keep us on track. 

So in the midst of all my very intense, kind of big decisions, like they were big financially and they were big, you know, based on my, where I’m going with my business and career, going to the values was essential to help me get back in, on track and in alignment with my integrity. And by integrity. I mean my structural integrity, what keeps me up flying in the air. This is not like a moral character.—you’re good, you’re bad.. This is like, what is true to me? So I wanted to share with you when I went through my process of revisiting my value list, what’s on my value list, because it may help you awaken to what some of your core values are. 

I value independence, uniqueness, originality, self advocacy—standing up for myself. I value me and that integrity I just mentioned. I value options, always having choices. I value freedom of self expression. I value my time and keeping it as open as humanly possible. I value humor and creativity. I value learning. I could get into specifics about what I love to learn about. But then I love to a process, put a framework around what I’ve learned, apply it and share it. That’s why I’m here with you today. I value aesthetics and order. I value togetherness with those most dear. I value nature and very particularly birds. I value being the class act In any situation in life. I value being generous and sweet and kind to people. I value simplicity and ease. I value personal peace.

That’s my most refreshed list of personal values. And the practice of going through that list was so informative as I have been facing these issues. It really helped me get on course, stay on course, so that I’m making really excellent decisions that respect and honor the goals that I have, that all reflect these goals, reflect my values. It took me out of reactionary., gotta move fast, hurriedness. That’s so not helpful. To a more measured, meaningful place of response.

When you’re clear on your values, decisions can be made confidently and quickly.

Be going from reaction to response does not mean that a process has to be elongated at all. It can actually help you be competent in the choices and decisions you’re making. But it can also give you a breadth of time that the reaction may not. So again, I invite you as I did to create or revisit and edit, update your value list. Know what you value so you will not settle for what you merely want. Go to long term from a short term mindset, respect and honor your structural integrity.

The truth of you as is always being revealed, but that brings you meaning and peace and supports what you intuitively know is going to be the right path for you. There’s comfort in knowing there’s no right or wrong decision. Everything will work out as it’s supposed to. But if you can rely on those personal values that you have defined the path might not be as jagged, the path might not be as challenging unnecessarily. You can cut away the the branches and the things that are maybe blocking that path more easily.

Thanks for being here, guys.

Irene advises let core values be your compass

Let your core values be your compass. Need help identifying those core values? Click over to the blogcast. TWEET THIS

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