Authenticity, Leadership, Life Direction and Purpose, Mindfulness
Your values matter in life and leadership. Here’s why.
A discussion about values can often seem like an artificial conversation. It’s a nice to have, not a need to have, right? Something I do once at a training course because the facilitator forces me to do it, and then I shove the paper they’re written on in a desk drawer and forget about it and go on with the rest of my business. Values can help or hinder our growth and development What’s interesting to understand about values is they can help us or hinder us. And that might seem counterintuitive, because aren’t values a good thing? The answer is, it depends. Let’s say I value accuracy. If I place too much emphasis on accuracy, I might find myself overworking reports, overworking data, to an extent that’s unnecessary for the task at hand. Many of us trip ourselves up this way and forget the tried and tested 80/20 rule. One value that I tend to hear a lot from clients is trust. Trust is an interesting one because we often gravitate towards it if we’ve been hurt in the past. Maybe our parents got divorced and it eroded our trust in them. Maybe a spouse or partner cheated on us, and the result was devastating, we can never trust again. Maybe a business partner stole money from us, or a family member wronged us. The list goes on and on. Based on these life experiences we then conclude that trust is the most important thing in any relationship, and we cling onto it for dear life. We suspiciously look for signs that someone might be untrustworthy. We fear that our worst nightmare will come true, and then it does. We reinforce this idea by telling ourselves things like, “the only person I can trust is myself.” Fear based values versus conscious based values Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not wrong to value trust. But it’s worth thinking about the relationship you have with your values. Did I consciously choose to value trust because it’s important to me, or am I desperately clinging to this value out of fear? And if I’m clinging to a value out of fear, how might that be blinding me? How might I then be unconsciously creating the situation I fear? For years I clung to authenticity. It was my biggest personal value. And when I think about my personal history, that makes perfect sense. I grew up in a household where conformity was valued, and I often felt like I could never be myself or loved for who I am. I had to fight very hard for the right to just be myself. I even prided myself at one point of being the proverbial black sheep of the family. I was so concerned with losing my “authentic self” that it inadvertently blinded me to choices I might have liked but wouldn’t even consider because they seemed on the surface to be too conforming. A few years ago, I gave up authenticity as my most important […]
August 11, 2022
3.9 min read
Life Direction and Purpose
It Really Is All About Your Intention
At the end of yoga class yesterday, my teacher Erikka came up to me and said, “Your practice looks really nice.” Quite a compliment, coming from her, a graceful swanlike woman, I’ve often watched her move seamlessly out of one posture to another, balancing on one foot in warrior three without a care in the world. Effort without Intention It reminds me of when I first started my yoga practice. I was anything but. There, in the sweaty confines of the hot room, I was swearing under my breath as I struggled to lift my crooked back up one inch off the floor in cobra. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I came back to class, day after day because I knew I felt better, but I looked at the postures as difficult mountains to climb, never acknowledged any progress I made and certainly never thought my practice was “good enough.” I muddled through year after year and somehow found the willpower to never give up. Lately I’ve been talking a lot in these blogs about the body, and particularly our connection to it. I’ve been realizing how frequently we get triggered by something, have that feeling that we’re out of control or overwhelmed, and then move about our day, only half really being in this wonderful bag of skin and bones we call home. We lose touch with the sensation of really “being” in our body, how miraculous that experience is. We become, for lack of a better word, “ungrounded” and float our way through life living almost exclusively in our head, in the neurotic diatribe that is almost always occurring in our monkey-like mind. The Power of Intentions So yesterday, I did set an intention in class. For many years I’d roll my eyes when teachers would say that. When I taught yoga, I’d often tell students to do it as well, but I really didn’t grasp what the words meant. I thought it sounded cool and zen like. My intention was to ground myself in my body during my practice. I’d had a tough week, I’d been triggered many times teaching a new course to a group of participants. My mind was on hyperdrive, “Was I good enough? What kind of feedback am I going to get? Was I too honest and harsh in the group coaching circles? Do the participants think I’m some sort of hack? I should have said this. I should have said that. I’m not sure they got all that much out of the experience. Maybe I upset them. I’m never going to be called back to do any work for this client again!” But I digress… So my intention was to look at the yoga not just as an interesting challenge, but a tool for connecting my body to my mind and spirit. I focused deeply on my breathing and recall hearing myself breathe in and out. In mountain I reached my arms up to the sky, to salute the […]
June 30, 2022
4.5 min read
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Director of Marketing
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