For the past few weeks I have been writing about self-confidence, those who have it, those who don’t, and trying to initiate thinking, in each of us, about what we do well (hard), what we don’t (easy) and trying to come to peace with both (Step 1). Why? Because, when we do, we automatically gain confidence. Simply by being honest with ourselves, acknowledging what we are good at, and not constantly trying to hide what we are “challenged by, we might be more apt to feel good about ourselves, to try something new and perhaps make a change. All simply because we believe we might be good at it and if we aren't , well, not as scared of the dreaded "failure", and dare I say, this can all actually increase our confidence. All good!
But what’s next? How can this bit of self-awareness be helpful in shaping our own path, not just a “nice to know”?
Well wanting to take this a bit further, I thought about what would happen if I extended some of this same thinking to more than my personal traits but to values as well? Everyone talks about values. They mean lots of things to lots of people but to me, and my thinking, values, and knowing what I care about most , provide clarity of direction. I love clarity. People say, "life gets messy", well; I am one of those people that feel the need to constantly clean it up! But values do help shape perspective and priorities and can therefore be useful to help us make choices. Big choices, like the type of employer we should work for or partner we should spend our life with, and little choices, like which milk to buy (increasingly difficult these days). They give us a map.
In the quest to define values, we first need to understand what is important to us. Lori Radun, in her “4 Steps to Self Confidence”, asks, what are your Top Five Values? She believes, like me, that it is from these basic values that we should shape our behavior so that we are living in harmony with these values. If we are not, then there is no way we can be super confident, and most of the time probably feel diminished (polite way of saying crap) because we are not living “authentically”. Now, really, who would want that?
Totally buy it! It is logical, sets up a balanced equation (in addition to neatness and clarity, I like symmetry, are you detecting a pattern?) but VERY HARD to do. But, then again it's January, aren’t we all supposed to be up for a challenge?
I was. So I set aside some time, on a run, where I do most of my thinking, and started by coming up with my own Top 5 Values. Surprisingly, it was fairly easy. So try it. Don’t make it complicated, as much as you would like to , don't judge your answers, and don’t even try to go further to figure out their meaning. Yet.
Save that for next week.
and btw, if you are interested … My Top Five
- Healthy Living
- Personal Development and Self Awareness
- Intellectual Stimulation and Passion