My very first Facebook Live video was about personal values in branding.
It wasn’t an accident that I chose that topic for one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life. After much soul searching (aka research), I learned that the reason why I walked away from my prior gratifying and lucrative career was due to the feeling that my values had been violated. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time.
I feel that knowing our personal values is essential because we need them in order to build our brand. Brand building requires time and consistency. I believe now more than ever that knowing and living by one’s values represent the only constant fuel for us when things get tough and when we feel confused.
All well and good to talk about this conceptually. What if we are not sure about our values and couldn’t list them if asked? In such cases, even if we are presented with one of the many long lists of values keywords that abound on the internet, we may still experience decision paralysis.
There are two ways to deal with such a situation that I have found quite useful:
One, take the VIA Strengths Survey. While looking at the name, it is easy to assume the results would show our strengths. It’s beneficial to consider our top five strengths as our values. Without going into much detail about why that is, I can tell you that the test itself was developed based on the effectiveness of knowing one’s purpose/values in life in order to flourish.
When in doubt, take the VIA Strengths Survey and pay special attention to your top five items listed in their report.
Second, it’s helpful to pay attention to the things that we get annoyed by and the people who rub us the wrong way. I often find that they indicate something about what we hold dear and that those things have been ‘betrayed’ in some way.
One last comment I would like to make is this. Some of our values change over time. What might have been hugely important when we were in our 20s, and 30s is no longer of tremendous value when we are in our 40s. At the same time, some things may never change. My value of ‘being effective’ and ‘fair’ has never left me. In many ways, they are the legacy of a less than ideal childhood which I’ve grown to accept and feel thankful for.
What comes up for you after reading this?
Knowing this, what do you think your values are now?