Sometimes I wish I was a food blogger, because I think life might be less complicated. I have food blogger friends and they write all day long about food after trying out new and exciting recipes. I love food, but clearly blogging about it is not what I’m meant to be doing.
I’ve lived a rather complicated life and for the longest time, I was afraid to share that with the world. You know this Internet thing is all about the world. The truth is we’ve all lived complicated lives…my experiences may be different from yours, but not one of us goes through this life unscathed and this is why you and I have to be very intentional about what matters most so we can have clarity about all that gets thrown at us.
Recently I took a class about getting very, very clear about my business. It was filled with other female entrepreneurs and it was intense. One of the exercises was about Values – defining my values so my business would be a reflection of my values.
Two thoughts ran through my mind. First I thought, ” I have values and this is going be easy.” And then I got rather fussy about the whole thing, because I figured that I’d already done this personal work and it was really kind of silly. After all, I was beyond this sort of thing, right? WRONG. We’re never beyond anything that gets us to think differently.
So here I was having a conflicted inner dialogue that no one in the room knew about. The fact of the matter is, I didn’t want to do it because I had to hone in on the 3-5 values that guide my life. Three to five? There are hundreds of values and if you want to see them, then click here and download the list I have for you.
I thought I was pretty clear about my values, but truth be told, I wasn’t. I kind of flew by the seat of my pants with this subject, because there were so many and I didn’t want to do this work on getting absolutely, positively clear about my values.
I did the exercise and it took me a couple of hours because I was forced to dig deep and search for the message of my soul. Here’s what emerged for me.
My Values are…
- Faith/Grace – I bundled these because my faith is paramount and through that comes grace.
- Family/Friends – Again, bundled because my friends are like my family.
- Integrity – Huge for me. If I’m out of integrity then everything falls apart.
- Courage/Determination – When I live courageously I am determined to keep going.
- Transformation – I am always searching for ways to make transformation happen.
And if I could have a 6th one it would be Giving Back. I’m very careful about who I give to because too many non-profits aren’t based in integrity.
Here’s what happens when you do this work. Suddenly everything becomes clear and I can now assess in a matter of seconds if I’m going to move forward or avoid something altogether. It’s like you run through a little checklist in your brain. Does this thing I’m about to do align with my values? If it doesn’t, I’m gone or I’m saying NO.
No wonder for so much of my life, I didn’t know how to say NO. No wonder I was confused and got into situations that didn’t feel right. I didn’t listen to my intuition and I didn’t have clarity with my values.
Here’s the other thing that happens when values and business align. Gray areas seem to magically step aside and the people you are meant to serve, begin coming into your life. I used to think I had to serve everyone (because God forbid someone didn’t like me), but I now know that I’m not supposed to do that.
Knowing your values serves as a guide and if an opportunity doesn’t align (you know that feeling you get in your gut), then you can confidently say, “no.”
So here’s what came out of this exercise that I didn’t want to do.
“I help high-achieving driven women learn how to manage fear so they can embrace extreme self care without feeling guilty.” – Cindy Laverty
Pretty amazing if you ask me. If you want to do this for your life, then go here and get started. I give you directions in the download.
I’d love to hear what your 5 values are and how they help guide you. Leave a comment and then go ahead and share this with a friend, family member or maybe your daughter.