Following your values, even when it’s hard

Ever wish someone would just give you an answer or tell you what to do? I sure have – especially when it’s time to make a tough decision, have a hard conversation or do something that might disappoint someone.

But really, at the end of the day, I don’t actually want someone to tell me what to do; and I’m betting your don’t either. So how do you get that clarity for yourself?

You could crowd source – ask your trusted advisors for their advice and opinions.
You could research and see if there’s any expert advice on how to handle your situation.
You could flip a coin.
You could make a pros & cons list.

All of these ideas have some merit and many can be valuable tools from time to time; but what’s consistently supportive, always available and always true are my values.

I used to think I had 5 or 6 values but then I took Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead workshop last Spring. Part of the class was narrowing my values down to 2. I’ll be honest, I was resistant at first; but now that I’ve been living with these values for almost 2 years, I’m so glad I did.

My 2 values are kindness & integrity. Everything important to me falls under one of those 2 categories. Social justice? Kindness & integrity. Being true to my word? Integrity. Helping others and giving back? Kindness. Prioritizing my time and energy? Kindness & integrity.

When there’s a hard decision, a “Do I” or “Don’t I” moment or an uncomfortable conversation, I check in with kindness and integrity. What would they do in this moment? I don’t always like the answer (it’s still hard to do hard things!) but I always value the clarity.

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