How to use your Personal Values to make your life easier

March 31, 2020

As Roy E Disney, long-time senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, observed,

‘It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.’

In our last blog we covered how you can develop a list of 4-5 core personal values that you can use to help guide you in your core decision making but having a list is simply the start.  The real power of values comes from using them consistently. 

The reality is that whether you’re aware of it or not, every decision you make is based on your values. When you aren’t clear, however, it can lead to a level of agonising and doubt that too often ends up with the wrong result. 

So considering and articulating your values out loud, whenever you can, will improve both consistency and impact of your decision-making process. Once you stop to consider each and every decision through this same lens and gauge the response, clarity soon follows – about what you want and what everyone else understands you want. Decisions in turn become quicker and easier to make.

Make it a habit

All that is left is to build your habit of using them, and as always this requires you to go through the phases of conscious incompetence and conscious competence before you reach a point of unconscious competence.

To start this process we suggest that over the next few days you take your values for a ride as you are dealing with people and situations within your enterprise. 

  1. Each time you have to make a decision, consciously view it through the lens of your values. 
  2. Ask yourself – how does it feel? How easy was the decision? How positive do you feel about the result?
  3. And can you explain it to anyone else involved? If so, what has been their reaction, not just to the decision but also to how it’s been related to a specific value? 

Treating every decision in this way will generate learning and increase your clarity and comfort level. It’s likely to feel odd at first, as with learning any new habit, but as time goes on you will get more and more comfortable and then only need to consciously reference your values on specific occasions or particularly tricky decisions. 

Once it becomes a habit, you’ll never look back!

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