What to do When you Step on Your Values

Photo on 10-15-13 at 8_Fotor

“What do you do for fun?” Sounds like a simple enough question, right? Well, someone asked me this question in a casual conversation and I have to admit that I missed a few beats. I just supplied a pretty generic answer of a few hobbies and interests. I think I was trying to censor my answer so I didn’t sound frivolous or too playful. In actuality, everything I do is fun. If something isn’t fun, it’s really not worth doing in my book. I was feeling a little “off” after that chat so I knew I wasn’t being 100% my genuine self. I had probably stepped on one or more of my core values.

So, it’s time for some self-coaching. You can just relax and “listen.”

Q: What prevented me from answering more openly?
A: Of course, fear. (False Evidence Appearing Real) I was afraid of how someone might interpret my answer.

Q: Do I know for a fact that it would have been misinterpreted?
A: No, of course not.

Q: What might have been gained by being completely nonjudgmental of my own answer?
A: The person hearing my answer might have appreciated it. Maybe they could even relate and it could have been the opening for deeper conversation.

Q: How were you not true to your values?
A: Looking back, this is such a facepalm that I’m embarrassed but still willing to share. From a number of values assessments (and simply knowing myself) two of my core values are honesty and humor. While I was not in any way dishonest, I’m typically more of an open book. I wasn’t as open in this case. Humor is also a huge part of my personality so I missed an opportunity to share with someone how much I value fun, humor, creativity and play. This was definitely a lost opportunity.

Q: How will you recognize and rectify this possible values conflict going forward?
A: Writing things down (which I’m doing here) really helps. Sometimes seeing your thought process spelled out makes patterns more clear.  These could easily be overlooked or purposely ignored but, on paper, they’re too concrete to not be recognized. To rectify this conflict, I’m definitely going to be more aware of my inner critic and be more open about my fun-loving nature. (At times, I can be wacky, goofy and impish.) I’m also going to seek out this individual at the next opportunity and try to connect more openly.

How often do you find yourself in conflict with your core values? How do you deal with the conflict? You can follow the simple exercise I completed above: write your thoughts down, reflect as to how you were in conflict, consider more genuine alternatives and make a plan for future actions.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s