emotional intelligence, values, creating your life

By Jalene Case

Experiencing imbalance and balance is part of living. How might we lead ourselves from chaos to order? Carl Jung said, “In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” There’s a new way forward waiting for you to discover it. Before making direction-changing decisions, check the integrity of your foundation. Who are you now?

During a coaching session, my client was grappling with a decision that would change the trajectory of her career. She felt clear about what she didn’t want; however, the vision for what she wanted was still fuzzy. We were working together on clarifying her future when she brilliantly said, “I want to revisit my foundation.” To her that meant recognizing what she learned in her current professional role over the last several years, plus naming her values, priorities, and focus.

Whether it’s your career or another aspect of your life that you want to make changes in, don’t start with the vision. Inspect your foundation first. Get to know the person you’ve become, then build your foreseeable future on that bedrock.

Here are some tools to use in your discovery process.

What are the values I choose to live by now?

Values are who we are. They’re not who we’d like to be or who we think we should be. Values describe how we’re living right now. Whether you have your values listed or not, take a fresh look at them.

Here are five different pathways to your values. Experiment with one or more until you’ve unearthed the values that are most meaningful to you, the values that will forge your robust foundation.

  • Bring to mind a peak moment in your life, one that was especially rewarding or poignant. What were the values being honored in that moment?
  • Bring to mind a moment when you were angry, frustrated, or upset. Name what you were feeling and then flip it to reveal a value. For example, if feeling trapped or cornered caused you extreme frustration, freedom might be one of your values.
  • What are your “must haves?” What do you need to feel fulfilled, rewarded, satisfied? For example, you might need creative expression or adventure or excitement.
  • Ask yourself these questions from Growing Influence by Ron Price and Stacy Ennis. What are the values by which I govern myself? What are the values by which I relate to others?
  • Narrow down your values to only two (yes two!) by asking yourself these questions from Dare to Lead by Brenè Brown. Does this define me? Is this who I am at my best? Is this a filter that I use to make hard decisions?

If you want to look at a list of values as a resource for widening your vocabulary, there are plenty of great resources online. Simple search for a values list.

Don’t rush the process. You may know your values right away or you may want to try some on for a while to see if they fit. Our values can change over time, so give yourself permission to let go of the ones that served you well in the past, and embrace the values that you connect with now.

What do I want to prioritize now?

Start by reading through the lists below. Which area – Life, Leadership, or Career – would you like to focus on now?

Next, rank your satisfaction in each of the categories below the area you chose. For example, in the area of Life, the first category is Career. Use a scale of 1-10: 0 = extremely dissatisfied and 10 = extremely satisfied.

Last, choose which of the categories you want to focus on improving. This is where it might get tricky. You don’t have to select the lowest ranked one. You get to choose based on what’s most important to you now. You might pick the one that will mitigate the most pain, the one that will have the biggest positive impact or the one that’s most exciting to you.

I know, choosing can be hard! And yet, it will propel you forward in seemingly magical ways. I like what Tony Robbins has to say about it, Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.

By naming your values and prioritizing, you give yourself a firm foundation to stand on. From this clear, stable, and steady place, what’s one step that you will take right now to move you 10% closer to what you want? I’d love to hear about your experience with this! Send me an email to Jalene@JaleneCase.com.