Have you ever felt like you are not yourself? That you got lost somewhere? Or as if you have lost your motivation overnight? You may simply no longer follow your values, which serve as a compass.
It’s not like this is so hard to do this mistake in today’s rushing world, so we have a lot of stimuli and we have to meet a lot of expectations, too. In the meantime, we usually give up our own values and with it our authenticity. And here comes a paradox, the contradiction that we do all this while wanting others to accept us the way we are.
What can we do?
Let’s imagine that our values are like flat stones that we stack on top of each other like in a zen garden. If those stones are our values then if we act against them then what will happen to our stone tower? Or to our lives? Or to our companies?
It is easy to see if we go against our own values on the long run we will simply destabilize this construction and we can even destroy it. If those values are actually harmful, then this would be a very positive distruction, we might call it as creative destruction. But I think that we only want to give our best. The problem is that we might not know how to do it, therefore we can hurt others and ourselves. Still there is a good news, our values and behaviour once realized can be changed. We can rewrite them, so they will support us for a long time.
What can possibly go wrong?
Out values determine our goals, but should we misinterpret our values and our whole goal setting process will be doomed to failure.
There are many values like health, fitness, family-orientedness, love, joy, power, compassion, spontaneity, freedom, self-actualization, security, and the list goes on and on. However there is a catch in choosing our values wrongly. Because every coin has two sides, so we need to check what other meaning those values carry.
A client told me it was always important to her to have a funny man who can easily communicate with children. It became not just a value, but a goal, too. She found one such man. But be careful what you wish for. The family grew nicely, but my client realized that her eyesight and hearing deteriorating rapidly. The eye specialist prescribed the glasses without a word, but then came the ear-specialist. The doctor was very thorough, after he had examined her, he grabbed her hands and said: “little girl, you should just open your eyes and ears”. The story ended with a divorce, but then her value changed preferring thrustworthy men who are supporting partners and inspirational fathers. And she found that man. That’s why it is important to see the downside of the values we choose.
The upside of knowing what is important to us is that it makes decision making easier and in the process we will feel ourselves less lost and more secure. Not questioning our decisions at every turn can free a lot of time that we can use for more important things.
Our values inspire our goals and reach even further insiring our coworkers, freinds and family. If you would like to dig deeper in this and create a great company culture or just become more sure in yourself and your decisions, then don’t hesitate to contact me.