Lead You With Value

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on


In my Discovery Sessions, I go through a series of questions with my clients that ultimately lead them to find out what’s important to them. Sounds simple, right? Your family, your friends, your job, your money, your [insert external factor you enjoy here]. But what about the things that make you YOU?

What a value isn’t.

Morals. Ethics. Right or wrong. Judgments.

What a value is.

Something important to you. A character trait that you live by. Ideas and concepts that help you live your life just the way you like it.

Values are things like honesty and integrity, health and balance, joy and laughter. Values are the things you need and love in your life that make you happy. Values are things like being needed and harboring unconditional love, exercise, yoga, or pilates. Things that you cherish, like having a close-knit family, watching/playing sports, quiet time, or playing with your kids or animals.

What a value is to you.

It’s easy to say these words and know that the meanings are important to you. But what defines honesty or integrity? Health or balance? Joy? Laughter? Exercise? Family?

You and I might have similar definitions for some of these words and concepts. My value of having a healthy body, though, is probably going to be different from that of a marathon runner or triathlete or even a personal trainer. For me, a healthy body means I’m not overweight. It means I can fit into the faded pair of Levi’s perched on the top shelf of my closet. It means I work out or exercise 2-3 times a week. It means I eat greens and not a lot of fat and don’t drink beer during the week. It means I meditate every morning. How different is my “healthy body” from yours?

My idea of laughter might be different from that of my neighbor’s or even my girlfriend’s. I love a good, hearty belly laugh. Sometimes I can get that from watching a good comedy flick or TV show, but usually it comes from interaction with other people. Sometimes it comes from people watching, sometimes from playing with Jackson, sometimes from having a simple conversation with my girl. And sometimes it comes from sitting on the couch by myself, thinking about that time she punched me in the face while she was sleeping because she had a dream that a bee was coming right at her. What I mean when I say “laughter” as a value for me, is the kind of laugh you can’t keep inside. That’s the kind of laughter I need in my life to feel whole.

And what constitutes a family for me is probably different from a lot of people. My mom died when I was 16. My father when I was 30. 3/4 of my grandparents died sometime in between. I rarely see my aunt or uncles, my cousins or my brother. It’s not that I don’t love them or want to see them, we just don’t stay in very good contact. They all live 1-3 hours away, and I got tired of being the one to travel to see them. With the exception of one of my uncles, none of my blood family members has been to my home in maybe 10 years. I don’t harbor resentment over this, it’s just the way it is. It’s the way it’s always been, and I’m okay with that. But then there’s my family.

I’ve always been somewhat independent. I moved out of my father’s house 6 days after my 18th birthday and 3 days before I graduated high school. I’ve enjoyed the times I’ve lived alone, and I’ve been making my own decisions about my life since I was 13 years old. But what’s made it so easy for me to be independent has been my friends. I’ve had shoulders to lean on during break-ups and job losses and deaths of loved ones. When my father died in 2006 someone told me they saw me as the epitome of strength. I owed that strength to my family of friends who let me be weak so that I could be strong. And that is what “family” means to me.

Leading yourself with YOUR values.

When you’re clear on what’s important to you, you can be clear on how to move forward. That doesn’t mean that you instinctively know what your next move is (although, sometimes it will). Sometimes we get our values confused with our loved ones’ values. We know that food on the table is an important thing, so if our spouse has to work a few extra hours to earn that money that gets the food on the table, then we say, “that’s important to me, too.” And it just might be. But what about when someone else’s values stuff your values in the trash?

I’ve experienced this in my own life. What someone else wanted became more important than what I wanted, what I needed. It started out small; a quick, “Oh, you’re going to watch the Dodger game again?” That tapped into my childhood need to please everyone around me, and then I felt guilty for watching a game I love. I started watching less. In a couple months time, I’d all but lost track of how my team was doing. And before I knew it, the season was over and I didn’t know how they did or who had been traded or brought up or become a star. Now you can say, “Oh, come on, it’s just a game,” and you’d be right. In your set of values. But in my set of values, watching Dodger games brings me joy. Whether they win or lose, I love the game. It’s how I grew up, and it’s something my mom and I did together. I got my passion for the team, the game from her, and it’s something I’ll always hold onto. Now that I know how important it is to me.

This doesn’t mean that [watching a Dodger game] trumps everything else in life. It just means that I know it’s important to me. So before I toss that value to the wayside, I just need to ask myself, “Am I getting enough Dodger time?” And based on the answer, I know how to proceed.

I’ve used an example of a value from my life that may be trivial to you, it may not be. Only you can determine what values hold value for you. And how do you do that? You make a list. You check it twice. (No, you don’t find out who’s naughty or nice). Then you ask yourself, “Am I getting enough [awesome value] in my life?”

Well…are you?

For more information on Values and how you can use them to have the life you’ve always dreamed of, contact me for a free, no obligation 30-minute sample session.

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