Whether you're conscious of your values or not makes a difference in everything you attract - people, problems, opportunities - every aspect of your life starts with what you value.
With meaningful values, we have a strong foundation and create an environment that supports us to be ourselves.
They have the power to get us on track, keep us on track, and help us thrive. With our own unique set of values, it's easier to make decisions, reach goals, contribute in meaningful ways, and feel confident.
Whether you're a leader in business or the CEO of your home, a student, a co-worker, a creative, it does not matter.
A leader is someone who inspires others and we all have the power to do that.
To be a great leader you must know what you value and how to share those values with others.
How can you inspire others based on what you value?
This is really important because it gives you the power and the opportunity to inspire others.
If we all become micro-leaders in our community, our homes, our families - what difference could that make in this world?!
This article will help you get clear on your current values and make them easier to implement than ever before.
I was inspired to talk about this topic because of many interesting conversations I've had lately with my 6-year old son, Zander.
He's asking more meaningful questions and he's at an age where I'm trying to impart principles that I can't always put into words.
For example, how to have humility, integrity, gratitude, consideration for others, empathy.
I want him to know how and why to be kind to others.
Teaching values to our children and learning values at any age in life includes certain ingredients.
Step 1. Figure out your current values
Step 2. Define each value so that a kindergartner can understand
Step 3. Model the behavior
By following this recipe, you show up more authentically, more VALUABLE, and in a way that only you can.
You interact with people differently. You attract higher situations. You're able to contribute in a MUCH BIGGER WAY to this world.
This recipe teaches us how to live a life with values, an internal compass, and how to truly align with that compass.
You could be in any career, work from home, be a stay at home mom, any role in life, and here's what I know...
Who you surround yourself with is determined by what you value the most.
And that right there affects EVERYTHING.
No matter where you are in life or in business.
Take some time to think of a few words that best encompass qualities or concepts that mean the most to you.
If you HAD to prioritize certain things in your life - what would those be?
First, come up with a general idea, a list of a few words you know are at the top, your most valued strengths, assets, or qualities that are imperative to you.
What's the most meaningful to you?
I'm not going to talk too much on this step, I have many other resources and I mention examples throughout this article.
Your values 5 years ago are probably not the same values that you have today, and you'll have to redefine them again in the future.
What is the most important to you right now?
What do you value the most?
If you need help defining your values, search the word 'values' on my blog home page, or do a search in Google.
I hope that helps, there's so much more I can say but let's dive into the juicier stuff!
Zander asks me questions like, what does considerate mean? What does integrity mean?
I do my best to break it down so that he and my 4-year old can understand things that really matter, and it makes me think!
The best question to ask when thinking about your values...
Complete understanding, in simple words and feelings means that it's no longer just a word to you, it's an internal understanding.
Integrity means so much and I could define it in my own words, but what does it mean TO YOU?
It's a personal inquiry. You are defining your internal compass.
Go deeper to try to understand your values compass.
When it's time to make decisions or respond to something, negative emotions can get the better of us.
Let's say you are actually ONE with your value because you understand what it means in every way possible...
You've taken time to reflect, truly, on what it means to you.
When that trigger happens, your first instinct may be to react in a way that's not aligned with your values.
If you don't have a compass that feels good to follow, it's easier to be less mindful and then feel bad after the fact.
Someone else might feel bad because of your reaction also. The ripple effect of that isn't serving you or others in any way.
Look at the dictionary. I love pulling out the dictionary or going online to dictionary.com and sometimes even thesaurus.com to find synonyms for words.
If you're looking for an even better word that's more fitting for you than integrity, or the value you choose, check the thesaurus.
For me, I might define integrity to another adult as having quality of character, being true to your word.
Okay....that means NOTHING to a kindergartner!!
If you have a child or teen you can convo with, do it!
If you simply chat with a friend and hear their words, that's a great way to find more meaning.
Because, my friend, when you feel least likely to align with your values, it's usually because your inner child is triggered.
Fear or hurt cause our little girl to wake up, protect herself, stomp her feet and take over for a bit.
So break it down, for her.
Zander, integrity means doing what you say you're going to do, like telling your teacher you're going to the bathroom and then really just going to the bathroom and coming right back.
It means sitting still at the table, listening with both ears.
It means helping someone who gets hurt on the playground, helping them up, asking if they're okay.
It means having a feeling inside you to help someone and then listening to that feeling and helping someone.
In a real life conversation with my kindergartner, I might ask him then, what does the word mean to you now? Is there something you can tell me about what it means to you?
(Pen on Paper)
We get revelations when we put pen on paper, something pops. Getting stuff out of our head and onto paper helps deepen understanding.
It increases our awareness and somehow opens the universe to give us more experiences to show us what we're seeking.
Sometimes in that moment of actual writing, or at some point later in the day or near future you'll experience a mini-revelation or a big revelation. It depends on where you're at and what you need to learn.
Go through a few days and see what comes up. You may desire something more meaningful. What would that be?
Use your real life experiences to go back to your list and more clearly define your values.
Simplify the meanings of those words.
Start to internalize those words.
Once you've picked a few of your top values, truly hold onto them within you, in your heart and your head - body, mind, spirit.
That is what you value the most.
Modeling behaviors is comparable to "faking it til you make it" and it's not only one of the best ways to teach children, it helps us to know what it feels like to be THAT person.
Doing this with my children since they were young, I've noticed if one of them gets hurt or a friend on the playground gets hurt, I hear them ask "Are you okay, do you need anything? I'm so sorry that happened."
They say it with the same inflection and using the same words I would. I only hoped I was doing the right thing until I saw it in action!
Sometimes we just have to act as if and model that behavior in order to actually experience it and know what it feels like.
The awesome gifts of living like this is that you'll find yourself in higher level experiences with different conversations happening, different people, different outcomes than before.
Once you are clear on your values, you attract more of what's most meaningful to you.
Then, because you changed on the inside, you bring certain experiences into your world that you might not have experienced had you not gotten this clarity and stepped into a higher level vibration.
I definitely don't have parenting figured out yet, but like I said, it's a recipe. We can model the right behaviors, we can model our values, and we can use words to basically teach ourselves, and to impart what we value to others.
You become more fulfilled, more satisfied, and then begin a new process of redefining your values.
This isn't a one-stop shop. If a year passes or five years pass, you become stagnant and uncomfortable.
Check in once a quarter or every 6 to 12 months at the most.
If you just had a baby or there's just big stuff happening, ride it out, enjoy it!
Be your best self and let a whole year go by, but then take some time.
One of the great things about having a new year or quarterly goals is that we can check in with this stuff.
Do this now and then put it on your calendar for when you think you might be ready to do it again.
I want to know how you become more of a leader who inspires others in your own way!
I'm 46 now and I believe this process started somewhere around 18 years old. To have my first child at 40 and now see him at 6 years old learning - some things I can teach him with words, some things I have to teach with actions, and some things he just has to learn on his own.
I believe it's not just one thing we do. It's showing up body, mind, and spirit. We do our best, we get inspired by articles and podcasts like these, and do a little work, take some time because you're SO worth it.