Community//

Connect to your values!

Why identifying your values is a key to feeling whole.

Lead Yourself to Lead Others!

When I went to work one day in October 2016, I realized that something was off. I did not feel connected… to myself because I was no longer working towards what was important to me. It took me a while to realize that this “off” feeling, this discomfort in being out of touch was due to a disconnect between what I did and where I was and my values.

Have you ever felt this discomfort? This disconnect? Probably!

As the world is more and more connected, you are more and more disconnected. You rush from one place to the next, one person to the next, one screen to the next and take little time for introspection. Suddenly, you stop, burnt out, feeling stuck or overwhelmed and you realize that what you do does not reflect what you stand for. You realize how long it has been since you last checked in with yourself and ask yourself whether you are “in tune” with your values.

I was listening to Episode 4 of the podcast “Invisibilia” (Season 3) called “The Other Real World” and this is what Betsy Levy Paluck, a psychologist at Princeton University had to say: “We like to think that all of our behaviors flow from our convictions, and what we do is a reflection of who we are and what we think. But we’re constantly tuning ourselves to fit in with the social world around us, oftentimes in ways that we can’t even identify.”

So this is it! When your behaviors flow from your convictions, you are whole and as leaders, we need to feel this connection, this wholeness, to know we are leading from the heart. A study by Léo Bruno and Eduardo Lay says that values “may well be the crucial and underlying determinant of leaders’ behavior.” You are interested in reading this so I would imaging that values are probably the crucial and underlying determinant of YOUR behavior!

Going back to different times in my life when I felt disconnected, I realize that those were the most powerful times for me to make huge changes and once I got over the awkwardness of the situation and worked out what I needed to do reconnect, I soared. Having said that, I continue to ask myself if these moments are necessary – what if I stayed connected by regularly evaluating, re-assessing and taking stock of how in tune I am? I hope to give you an update in a few months as I use the following ideas.

Make great decisions!

Use your terminal values as a guide to your decision-making. When you are faced with a challenging decision, it always helps to link it to what drives you. Is it family? Justice? Adventure? Peace? Whatever your values are, they will allow you to make decisions based on what you believe is right, and this will give you the sense of wholeness and purpose we all long for.

Let’s talk about purpose

How do your values relate to purpose? In the 70’s, Milton Rokeach distinguished between terminal values and instrumental values. He explains terminal values as “desirable end-states of existence; the goals that a person would like to achieve during their lifetime.” If that’s not purpose, I don’t know what is! So as you think about your purpose, consider what your values are and how you can include them in your every day life to give it purpose.

Stay on track!

Oh, what’s this shiny thing over here? Hey, what about that one? Hey, hey! Come back here. Is this in line with your values? Will this add to your sense of purpose? If not, stay right here please. This doesn’t mean that you stop exploring but when you are feeling overwhelmed, more exploration is not what you need. Ask yourself this simple question – right now, is this interesting or useful? If it’s the former, add it to your reading list or maybe to your “explore” folder but for now… stay connected to yourself.

React mindfully

The word “mindful” is thrown around in so many ways these days. Literally, it means “being conscious or aware” and so, this is how I want to use it here. React in a way that shows self-awareness and ask yourself if your reaction is in line with your values. For example, when you are angry with something / someone, does this fit in with your value of “self-respect”? How can you use your values to inform your (re)actions? I will leave this open for you to ponder… No two brains are alike and you will find the solutions that work for you!

Lead yourself and others with integrity

According to the Center for Ethical Leadership, “an ethical leader is a person who acts with integrity”. They define ethical leadership as “knowing your core values and having the courage to act on them on behalf of the common good.” I don’t think I need to add much more to this. Integrity is one of the most valued characteristics of great leaders and in a world with so much healing to be done, you, the ethical leader are the key. Will you have the courage to act on your values on behalf of the common good? Of course you will!

To integrate your values through the body, stand strong in mountain pose, repeat your value to yourself as you inhale and let it go as you exhale. Bring your hands overhead, and let your value go into the world because once you know what you stand for, it’s your duty to let others know!

And please, make sure to let me know how you use your values to drive your behavior!

Originally published at www.leadwithatwist.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.