Decisions, decisions……what should I do?
“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are” Roy Disney.
Do you ever wonder if you are in the right job? If you should stay in the city or try to work closer to home? Reduce your hours or work different hours? Do you have niggling thoughts that what you are doing is just not right? That you are out of balance in work or life? Do you ever ask yourself “what should I do??!!”
Decisions like these become easier to make if you have a clear idea of your values. Our values are a core part of who we are, the principles we want to live by and the qualities we want to cultivate in our lives or in our work. When we ask ourselves what’s really important to us, and decide to live by our values we can actually streamline our lives.
You can use your values as a strong guiding force to point you in the right direction for decisions you wish to make. For example, at work your values could be being efficient, approachable and a good team player. Your colleague may rate financial security, competition and responsibility. At home you might value connection, fun and spiritual faith, while your friend may find learning, love and humour more important. There is no right or wrong. We are all just uniquely, wonderfully different!
Our values will be fairly stable over time as they are core to who we are, but our priorities can shift. Perhaps before children you were more focussed on career progression but after children you value work-life balance and community connection more highly.
What are my values and how do I use them……?
Here’s a process that you could follow if you like the idea of using your values to guide you.
1.Write down your values. If you’re not sure what your values are, think about examples from your personal or work life when you were happiest – what were you doing? Who were you with? When were you most proud? When were you most fulfilled or satisfied? You can also find inspiration from published “Values Checklists”. There are many of these on the web, just google it.
2. Prioritise them. A useful list for you is to work out your top 5 personal and top 5 work values.
3.Test for discrepancy: Ask yourself if there is a difference between your values and how you are living or what you are doing in your life right now?
4.Get proactive. What can you change right now? What can you stop doing? What do you need to start doing? What short or longer term goals can you set for yourself?
Life’s too short to not be your authentic self. The investment you make in reflecting on your values now can guide you to live a fulfilling work and home life into the future.
Debra is a founding FlexCoach. Her mission is to help mothers thrive at work and in life. She has over 15 years of experience in Marketing and Management in the corporate sector.
Debra is a member of the FlexCoach panel of career and executive coaches. You can see her profile here.