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For years, I have been saying that it all comes down to values. Once you know your values you CAN live happier and while I live this on a daily basis, it wasn’t until recently that I re-affirmed how important values truly are.
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Last week, I wrote a blog post about a professional failure. To make a long story short, I have a place I call the Live Happier Loft and a little over a year ago I opened the space because I wanted to have a place where people (specifically women) could gather and have workshops and small groups. In short, the workshop concept hasn’t taken off but my one-on-one practice is booming! So, currently I am in the process of figuring out ways to tweak the business model to make it work better.
Admittedly the past year has not been an easy one for a variety of reasons. And I have gone through a variety of emotions about it…believe you me it has been a roller coaster.
Great you might be saying to yourself, so what is the live happier lesson in all of this…well it was a surprising one and it all comes down to values.
For years I have been saying that it all comes down to values. Once you know your values you CAN live happier and while I live this on a daily basis, this recent debacle with my business has called on me to live it in a whole new way and to re-affirm how important values are.
So one of the tenets of marketing your business is or any type of self help/coaching/guruesque business is “never let them see you sweat.” So for most of last year I acted like the Loft was doing great I talked up the workshops I share about what great things were happening there. For the record I never lied and pretended like there were people there when there weren’t but I did talk up what a great book club discussion we had when it was only a friend and I.
Came around for me to do the TYA classes—I had done these before and they had gone ok and I was hoping for big success with the 2nd 8 weeks. And I was met with a wondrous thud of nothing. Few sign up and not much buzz at all. I was talking about all this with my husband and he asked what about this process stressed me SO much that I hated it. And I couldn’t put my finger on it…some of it was I felt like a failure but most of it was that I felt like a liar. Now let me go back…and say one of my key values is integrity. I place a high value on integrity…the idea of what you see is what you get and being transparent and authentic. All of this ‘hey everything is great even though no one is coming’ stuff had slowly taken a chunk out of me. I had grown to HATE the place I loved. And it was because I wasn’t living by my values.
I was doing my work and doing what I was TOLD to do by the marketing experts but to me it felt false and inauthentic. Not at all what I teach about Living Happier and not at all how I want to lead my business. So last week I wrote a blog where I shared with the public the truth, that I wasn’t getting a lot of signups and I was nervous about that and blah blah blah. Usually when I press send on my blog I am worried, what will people think? Did I say to much etc. This blog I didn’t even think twice. I pressed send and off it went and I was completely at peace…back to that living by your values stuff.
This living by your values isn’t easy, it isn’t for the faint of heart…it is a full contact sport. It is saying THIS is what I prioritize highest in my life and this is what I want to stand or and be about. And the amazing thing was my body was telling me that all along. My body was saying hey you aren’t living by your values. I have felt that before in crappy relationships, bad jobs, what if we all lived by what we felt was most important to us. Made decisions from our hearts and not our heads…mass chaos or responsible, heart centered living?!?! It would be fun to find out.
When we know our values we can make decisions about relationships, careers, as well as every day interactions. When we can name the top five things we value we will know what ‘fits’ and what doesn’t ‘fit’ into our lives. The struggle with values is coming up with YOUR authentic values. There are many other types of values that show up for us.
Blocking our Authentic Values:
Old Values: What you valued in your 20s might not fit today. I know I valued Status, Appearance and Recognition a lot more in my 20s. Those values, might be around today but no where near my top 5 values. So it is important to check in from time to time and make sure that your values are still current
Other People’s Values: The power of the SHOULD is so amazing. As we grow up we learn values from clergy, friends, family, teachers, and coaches so sometimes it is hard to let those go. For example, your father values loyalty, so he worked at the same employer for 30+ years and encouraged you to do the same. However, maybe you value learning and you have learned all you can from your current employer, even though you have only been there for five years, and want to find another an employer where you can continue to learn and grow.
Then there are the types of value that make living from our authentic values challenging.
Challenging to our Authentic Values
Aspirational Values: These are the values you WANT to have. You aspire towards them. It is ok to have these values in your top 5 list. For example I have integrity on my list of top 5 values. It is something I strive for every day to be authentic and live a life of integrity AND there are times I fail at this value. By saying that is my value I need to make sure I am conscious of when I am not aspiring towards that value–Brené Brown calls this Minding The Gap between our aspirations and our practice.
Conflicting Values: Conflicting values mean you value two or three completely opposite things. When you have conflicting values it is even more important to look at your life as a whole. If you value family and independence it is important to make time for both. Make sure you have activities that feed both parts of you the independent and family oriented person. If you have conflicting values you just need to be a little more creative in finding ways to support both values.
Made decisions from our hearts and not our heads…mass chaos or responsible, heart centered living?!?! It would be fun to find out.
Weekly Ritual Segment:
One thing that has really helped me Live Happier is adding regular ritual practices to my daily life so each week I am going to be sharing a ritual with you and challenge you to complete it
This week’s ritual: Drink a glass of water first thing you wake up.
Sounds easy enough but too often we reach for coffee or tea or pop rather than good old fashioned water. You can still have your coffee..but do the water first. Slowly take 30 seconds to drink a glass of water and just think about the day ahead.
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