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#31 Designing a personal code of values

Build a set of standards to make you unshakeable.

It’s hard to gather a list of values and standards that are top of mind. In looking at strategy planning and vision statements, it's interesting to read questions that help position a successful company are the same questions we should be asking to develop ourselves.

The return on our investment with ourselves may not show externally right away. But we know that if we’ve done internal work and the daily reps to make ourselves more defined as we evolve, shifts and changes are inevitable.

These types of value finding exercises usually involve big questions that can stump us from finding our most authentic answers.

Questions that bookmark a vision from start to finish, beg the creator to paint a picture of each scene. Where are we starting from and what does a specific point in time look like in our future? Defining a sense of a path and a north star keeps us focused.

When we’re able to explain what direction we want to go, getting there becomes easier. When we lay out what we want , clear approaches come to light on how to move through the obstacles that life can bring. And that is strategy.

Our values are the fortress around our visions and our strategies give us opportunities to take new routes to get there. Why else would we be here if it wasn’t to go places and create more experiences?

In order to peel back the layers of virtues, are we able to look at those moments of feeling defeated? Looking back at hardship and loss gives us a glaring glimpse at a gap in a standard, or needed a stronger boundary or even worse, didn’t really listen to our inner knowing.

I’m not here to bring anyone down, quite the opposite. It’s merely an attempt to dip into the deep end while still holding our heads high as we carve out what we’re no longer tolerating anymore.

The idea is to be in alignment with ourselves. Noticing what we used to hold on so tightly, now may no longer have a hold on us. And a new set of standards in our personal code emerges.

This new personal code asks us to truly commit to ourselves and build stronger self-trust, no matter what gets thrown our way. Enabling us to undoubtedly believe we can get through anything.

And that offers the chance to move through any circumstance with dignity and grace.

In a previous newsletter, I wrote about the business owner who’s mantra was “I’ll figure it out.” The mantra is clear, repeatable and the right amount of stubbornness to produce that grit to make things happen.

Defining our own code of behavior makes decisions easier for almost everything. It also clarifies what has value around us.

It becomes the single source of truth, that inner compass code navigating between a grid of boundaries and deliberate actions forward.

To get started on what your personal code of values could shape into, think about how you’d answer these big strategy questions:

1.Where am I now, really?

2.Where do I want to go?

3.What is going to get in my way?

4.What do I need to do to get to where I want to go?

By looking at these prompts, the goal is to see the arc of the present moment to the future vision and build a purposeful bridge to actually get there.

It’s in those in-between spaces of questions #3 & #4 that we’ll find some of our best attributes and a few old and outdated habits that need to be adjusted and refined.

How do we acknowledge those hard-to-break-habits, and how can we commit to new ones?

What are we willing to devote ourselves to, for our own benefit, to get to where we want to go?

Designing Personal Codes

What a personal code of values offers everyone is a clear and conscious understanding of personal principles, beliefs and standards of conducting oneselves. Not to sound pretentious, but when we don’t have a clear line of what works for us, we can get into situations that are harder to get out of.

Find 3-5 values and write down why they resonate and what meaning it has in your life.

Here’s a ridiculous soup of words to comb through to get you started.

Achievement, Adventure, Ambition, Authenticity, Balance, Caring, Charity, Collaboration, Compassion, Community, Creativity, Curiosity, Dependability, Empathic, Encouragement, Enthusiasm, Ethical, Fairness, Family-minded, Flexibility, Freedom, Forgiveness, Fun, Generosity, Grateful, Growth, Health, Honesty, Humor, Humility, Individuality, Innovation, Intelligence, Integrity, Intuition, Joy, Kindness, Leadership, Learning, Listening, Love, Loyalty, Motivated, Mindfulness, Optimistic, Open-minded, Passionate, Peaceful, Powerful, Professional, Reliable, Resilient, Respect, Responsibility, Risk-taking, Secure, Self-Control, Service, Spiritual, Stable, Successful, Thoughtful, Understanding, Vision, Wealth, Well-being, Wisdom

Out of the 3-5 that you decided on, here are a few more prompts to explore your own code of values.

How do these values exhibit qualities you have now?

How do these values help you grow into your vision?

Do these values change any of the answers from four strategy questions above?

Embrace these revised values and show off your creativity. Write them as new matras and put them on sticky notes around the house. Paint them on canvas or a piece of paper or cross-stitch them on a pillow, because you mean business.


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