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Aligning our Work and Life with Values

We know it has been some time since we’ve been in touch with our Her Brilliance community. Over the past months we have been quite busy behind the scenes; appearing on podcasts, recording webinars, and leading group coaching sessions for various organizations and associations, all in service of the women leaders we love to support.

Being of service is a value that Kellie and I hold sacred, and a core value of Her Brilliance. We have intentionally chosen to lean into this value in 2022 – to seek out and step into as many opportunities as possible that allow us to serve women, even when it stretches our comfort level and tests our confidence (we experience imposter syndrome too!).

Values play an important role for us at Her Brilliance and can do so for all of us in our lives and work. Values can be defined as the non-negotiable principles that consciously or unconsciously guide our most important decisions. They reflect what’s most important to us, what motivates us, and they provide a stake in the ground to keep us centered.

Brene Brown says “our values should be so infallible, so precise, so clear that they are not a choice – they are simply a definition of who you are in your life.” She also says, “they should help you find your way in the dark, fill you with a feeling of purpose, [and] you should feel a deep resonance of self-identification.”

Just last week, we had the opportunity to connect with the Women’s Advancement Group of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce on this very topic. The session was focused around helping these women reconnect with what’s most important to them and explore how to align their career goals with those values that drive professional fulfilment.

Most of us would say we inherently know our values, as they are instilled in us early in our lives. But when asked to identify our top 3, it might prove a little harder than we think. Getting clarity on your core values though – the true non-negotiables – are essential to creating a guide or “north star” to which you can align parts of your life, and an anchor to which you can ground important decisions.

So how do we know when we’re aligned with our values?

For Kellie and me, when we are serving others, and creating space for women leaders, we come alive. We feel energized, in a state of flow, and our hearts are full, whether it’s with a group of 3 or 30. Living and working in alignment with values creates that sense of aliveness and energy. You’ve likely had moments like this, when things seem easy, natural, rewarding, and joyful, and it can feel as though time disappears.

By contrast, living and working in a way that compromises a value can feel arduous. You may experience an inner tension or feel like you’re struggling. You may feel frustrated, stressed, angry, worried, resentful, exhausted, etc... as though you’re depleting or using up a lot of energy instead of replenishing it. If you find yourself here, you might ask yourself “What value of mine is getting stepped on? What other value could I lean into more instead?”

So, what would your 3 core values be? Take some time to reflect on the following questions:

  • “What are my non-negotiables?”

  • “How would I define each of those values? What does each one mean to me?”

  • “What values am I currently aligning with most in my work and life?”

  • “What value would have the greatest impact on my work and life if I honored it more?”

Aligning our lives and work with values is a continuous, intentional journey. We are perpetually growing as humans – our priorities change, and circumstances arise that are out of our control. And, many barriers can threaten our ability to align with values, such as self-doubt, fear and other unsupportive mindsets, as well as organizational constructs or cultural expectations. So in the end, we must continue to make the conscious choice as to which values we honor, and when.

What value will you choose to honor now?

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