Embracing Your Core Values
Last week Francesca taught us why it's so important to identify your core values. So now we have to EMBRACE them. (This shouldn't be difficult) The only time it may get tricky is when you get into a sticky situation. But isn't it great to know you have a personal mentor right there with you, all the time? That's what embracing your core values is all about. Being confident knowing you're doing the right thing, according to you.
Exercising Your Core Values
With confidence, the next step is to exercise your core values and what do I mean by that?
Live by them. Whenever a difficult situation, decision, conversation, or question is hurled at you, your core values will guide you and show you the way to what you believe is right. Listen to them. Live by them. They are your guide and your mentor. And while you're at it, exercise them in every situation.
Then feel yourself let go of all the anxiety and worry. It doesn't matter what other people think of you anymore. You are now aligned to your core values. The worry of other peoples ideals don't matter. Your mentor is with you all the time. You're not alone.
Core Values Become Brand
Last night I watched President Obama live on TV give his last press conference. What struck me was how he continually referenced the core of what America stood for, emphasizing America's values.
"And it is important for the United States to stand up for the basic principal that big countries don’t go around and invade and bully smaller countries. I’ve said before, I expect Russia and Ukraine to have a strong relationship. They are historically bound together in all sorts of cultural and social ways, but Ukraine is an independent country and this is a good example of the vital role that America has to continue to play, around the world, in preserving basic norms and values. Whether it’s advocating on behalf of human rights, advocating on behalf of women’s rights, advocating on behalf of freedom of the press.
You know, the United States has not always been perfect in this regard, there are times where we — by necessity are dealing with allies or friends or partners, who themselves are not meeting the standards that we would like to see met when it comes to international rules and norms. But I can tell you that in every multilateral setting in the United Nations, in the G-20, in the G-7, the United States typically has been on the right side of these issues and it is important for us to continue to be on the right side of these issues because if we, the largest, strongest country and democracy in the world, are not willing to stand up on behalf of these values, then certainly China, Russia and others will not." President Obama, 18 January, 2017
After shaking my head in agreement, partly because I'm American but partly because my core values include honesty and integrity, I came to another realization. Not only was President Obama talking about core values and principals as guides, he was describing America the brand.
You Are Your Brand
And then it hit me. If your decisions, your thoughts, and your beliefs are all aligned to your core values, then your actions will be aligned as well. If you continually act according to your core values, then outwardly, others will perceive you, understand you, and identify you with those values. Then your brand will be defined. You don't have to do anything else... just be yourself.
(Want to find your core values? Click here for just one exercise to help you identify who you are.)