• Daily Masks: What Are Your Values?

    “A value is a way of being or believing that you hold most important.” Brené Brown

    Most companies have mission statements that summarize the values, as well as tenets they were founded on. Common words included in mission statements are: integrity, value, service, growth, customers and quality. Companies pay thousands of dollars to consultants to craft an expert, succinct statement that will become the foundation (in theory) of what culture said company creates.

    So why don’t we as individuals create our own mission statements? If a company creates one to grow from, doesn’t it make sense that it would be beneficial for us to create one as well? In working with a coach years ago, he encouraged me to do just that. Create a mission statement for me. This is what I came up with:

    Committed to partnering with you to create the life in which you evolve into the person you were created to be so you can thrive regardless of the circumstances around you.

    My brother the marketing guru said “what a mouthful” and suggested I did not use it. Which I haven’t. I even had a Melissa Moment and created a spreadsheet of all my current projects to see if they aligned with my mission statement. Yes, I know extreme nerd alert, but it helped me to put things into perspective of what was draining my energy and what was fueling my passion. Of the twelve opportunities I was pursuing (now understand why I needed a coach?!?!) only six were aligned with my mission statement which allowed me to streamline what I do, how I do it and most importantly WHY it is done. I may not have ever utilized the mission statement, but the exercise was good to increase my awareness of why I am choosing what I am choosing to do with my career, and if in my life. (Writing this blog has me wanting to go back and revise what was written though! Sorry Andy….)

    Fast forward two years later when I am in Houston, Texas as an eager student being trained as a facilitator for Brené Brown’s The Daring Way™. A similar question was asked: What are my top three values?

    Faith, Authenticity, Respect

    Different from my personal mission statement, more direct and absolutely the foundation of how I try to live my life daily. Note the word “try”…. Staying true to who and what you are is a daily choice. A choice of laying aside the mask to be seen and understood. Some days I succeed at that quest, others days I fail. The important part is that tomorrow is another day to try again.

    If you had to determine what your top 2-3 values are, what would yours be?

    …Acceptance, Accomplishment, Accountability, Accuracy, Achievement, Adaptability, Alertness, Altruism, Ambition, Amusement, Assertiveness, Attentive…

    And that is only a short list of some of the values that begin with “A”! When we think of personal values, the list is exhaustive and will encompass so many facets of what makes us who we are at the core. There could be 20 that fit, but which 2-3 fit BEST. A handful of values that if lost would shake you at your core.

    That is when you know you have found them – when thoughts of being without them is overwhelming and scary.

    Why is determining your core values an important discussion in a blog theme on masks?

    Because your core values determine who you are behind the masks.

    They are what defines you at the simplistic level, what you are when all of the exterior is gone, when the smoke clears and you are alone with yourself. Without knowing what your values are our discussion next week on self identity will be lost. The backbone of your identity is your values. Then we can add to it with your identity so it has something to stick to!

    How did you do last week on your list of failures? Any you can laugh about yet? Any you need to work through with some guidance? Accepting your failures as learning moments is one step closer to truly being able to be authentically you. A marble jar friend (more about those later!) can be helpful, or you may need to seek professional guidance. At the end of the day our failures create our beauty. They are the ‘cracks’ in our marble that define our worth, our uniqueness and our own footprint on those we come in contact with. Your teachable moments will help you define what your values are or perhaps what you want them to be. Sometimes we learn our core values through trials, stressors and challenges. If we were not tested, we would have nothing to grow from! I know, I usually get a roll of the eyes in therapy when I say that…but there is truth in the statement.

    According to dictionary.com crisis is define as the following:

    /ˈkrīsis/ noun
    a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.
    a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.

    Maybe it is time for an important decision to be made in your life. One that starts with values and then evolves into a new you. One that is strong and courageous. One that is able to be vulnerable and authentic with those individuals in your life who have earned it. One that will be shaken but not broke. Up for the challenge? It could create an entirely new adventure for you!’

    Time to create your CORE VALUES. We probably should have started this blog series with “time to find or purchase a sparkly journal for your Monday’s with Melissa exercises”!

    Being known for who you uniquely are at the core is a freeing experience. One that will take bravery and vulnerability, but one that can be achieved.

    Always remember to take care of you. You are worth it!