Honest self-awareness moment…empathy and open-mindedness might be two of my superpowers but at the other end of the spectrum would be “good sense of direction” and “ability to read a map”. I am forever appreciative of the invention of Google Maps and Waze and have stories of actually trusting them so much I drove over the George Washington bridge when I was supposed to be approaching Philly. In my twenties, I kept that enormous Rand McNally map that had maps of every state as a “just in case” and it was tattered and torn with over-use from all of the moments I lost my way. The point is – I knew I needed it to find my way and I relied on it for the next move, right action, or direction.
Having a map or a plan is undeniably critical – indeed it is the first step in any successful coaching engagement – “What is your goal for coaching? What will success look like?” However, at the heart of creating such goals is something bigger that will actually drive all of our decisions, dreams, and outcomes…our core values. When we are out of alignment with ourselves and our deepest values or essence, that is when we can feel discouraged or like we aren’t living our best, most fulfilling life. And likewise, when we are rooting ourselves in our values, we feel anchored, free, and spacious. We are honoring what matters most in our hearts and seeing that play out in how our life is unfolding. We feel true to ourselves and that is an extraordinary way of being in this complicated world.
I was recently inspired by a friend and coach colleague who shared her excitement when she had “CLLEEP” engraved onto her favorite perfume bottle as a daily reminder of her own core values “Connection, Lightness, Love, Ease, Energy, Playfulness”. Whenever she makes a decision, it has to pass the “CLLEEP test” to see if it matches her aspirational life compass. Since it is also an act of self-love and compassion to spray on this little pleasure, she is also surrounding herself with the joy of the fragrance while being reminded of what it represents to her. Exploring and creating little rituals like this can be so powerful. Another client shared that one of her core values was “open-heartedness” so she makes a point of taking her time being mindful of the act of opening all of her shades every morning and has a little mantra of “Today in all I do or say I will keep my heart and mind open” What are values deep within you that could benefit from a micro action of upholding them into a daily routine?
As I work with individuals and teams, I encourage them to always surface and surround themselves in some tangible way with their top 5 Core Values. Brené Brown has a list of values and has created a worksheet exercise that helps us drill down into them in a deep, meaningful way to ensure we are living right by them. Check out “Living Into Our Values” here - And be warned, it offers a powerful reset moment. As she says, “I can’t think of a more powerful way to double down on ourselves than getting clear on our values and the behaviors that support them – and the shit that gets in the way. Of all the work we do with leaders and teams, this is probably the biggest game changer. Let’s go”