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Using Your Core Values As Decision Filters

February 01, 20227 min read

One of the most important things we do as business owners is make decisions. And one of the most crucial filters through which I make my decisions is my core values. Having my most important values clearly articulated helps me consciously make choices that keep me in alignment with my non-negotiables.

The Power of Clearly Articulated Values

One of the ways I help my clients is to provide them with a simple, step-by-step process for identifying and prioritizing their core values.

When they’re done with the exercise, they have clear, concise statements of their most important parameters for the multitude of decisions they make in their business and life.

Decisions like:

  • Who to hire.

  • What investments to make.

  • What does and does not go on their calendar.

Make decisions that align with your values and you end up creating a business and life that is deeply fulfilling. Make decisions that don’t align with your values and you’ll create a business and life that is stressful and draining.

My Top Core Values

The 6 Core Values Behind My Coaching Philosophy

I thought I’d share my top values here. As you read them, you’ll get to know me better and you will have an example for writing out your own values.

I keep these visible on my desk so any time I’m making a decision they are front and center. It is one of the most important elements that helped me transform from a chronic overthinker to a confident decision maker.

Value #1: God’s Word Is My Plumb Line

God's Word Is My Plumb Line

A plumb line is a tool builders use to make sure the building is square. If it is off, it will be unstable and cause major problems.

This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand.—Amos 7:7 (NIV)

Your most important core value serves as your “North Star.” My North Star is the Bible and the Gospel message of the Scriptures.

Today, I’m a total Bible nerd, but I wasn’t always. When I walked into my first Bible study about 30 years ago I was a serious skeptic. But after decades of serious study, I can honestly say the words in the Bible are now life to me.

So if a choice before me doesn’t square up with the Word of God, then it is a no.

Value #2: Balance Truth With Grace

Balance truth with grace

One of the core precepts I’ve learned from studying the Bible and my own walk with the Lord is that God leads with grace. He meets us where we are, as we are.

That grace creates a safe space in which we can see truth. In that space of grace, we can see the truth about ourselves and the choices before us.

It also makes it okay for us to acknowledge when we are out of alignment with that truth. And that is how transformation begins.

We can’t heal what we don’t reveal. And when we know we will be met with grace, we can feel safe to reveal the truth to ourselves and make changes so that we align with that truth.

One of the most profound privileges I experience as a coach is the honor of creating a space of grace and truth for my clients.

In this safe space, I help them have an honest look at their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. I gently show them the impact those have on the results they are creating in their business and personal life.

Then, we use those discoveries to create the results they want to experience instead.

Without a balance of both truth and grace, we end up stuck where we are.

If there is only grace and no truth, it becomes easy to rationalize our current state and stay in denial of the true consequences of old patterns of thinking and behaving.

With only truth and no grace, truth becomes a weapon of shame and judgment that sends us into hiding from the truth. And that keeps us stuck repeating the unhelpful patterns and reaping the same ol’ painful results.

Value #3: Be Honest, Authentic & Discerning

Be Honest, Authentic and Discerning

When I balance grace and truth, I can safely be honest and authentic about my own struggles. I can acknowledge I’m a work in progress. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t do things perfectly.

Exercising discernment regarding who I open up to and at what level I’m comfortable sharing keeps me safe and ensures that I show up in appropriate ways. I don’t over share intimate or gory details, but I also don’t face the world from behind a mask of phony perfection or trying to be someone I’m not.

When I am honest, authentic and discerning, I am able to create connections with others. I can learn from them and they can learn from me. I don’t have to live in fear of being caught out as an imposter or fraud. And I know that some likes (or doesn’t like) me for who I truly am.

Value #4: Honor Boundaries, Free Will and Personal Responsibility

Honor Boundaries, Free Will and Personal Responsibility

The second most profound change in my life resulted from learning about healthy boundaries. (The most profound change resulted from placing my faith in Christ.)

When I gained clarity about what is mine to steward and what isn’t, it allowed me to honor the boundaries and free will of others.

It empowered me to exercise personal responsibility for what lies within my realm of stewardship. I learned to protect my realm from trespassing and not to trespass into the realm of others.

This dramatically changed the quality of my life. I gained a sense of freedom, acceptance and security.

Now it is pure joy to be able to teach my clients what healthy boundaries are (and aren’t) and help them stop people-pleasing and/or trying to control everyone and everything around them in an attempt to feel safe. Watching them step into freedom and personal responsibility is thrilling!

Value #5: Cultivate Unconditional Love, Tolerance & Forgiveness

Cultivate Unconditional Love, Tolerance and Forgiveness

It’s impossible to love unconditionally when we are trying to control others in an attempt to manage our our emotional experiences in life.

When I drop trying to control others and what lies within their realm of responsibility, I am free to cultivate unconditional love. I can accept them for who they are and how they are showing up. (I can also protect myself from their behavior without needing them to change.)

I can show up with tolerance for those who are different from me and I can offer forgiveness to those who hurt me.

This is true freedom!

Value #6: Expect The Unexpected And Adapt

Expect the Unexpected and Adapt with a picture of a dictionary definition of the word Adapt

Releasing the illusion that control is a source of security lets me lean into God as my source of security. This helps me be open to the unexpected ways God works all things together for my good (see Romans 8:28).

This frees me to try things and not be thrown into chaos when I don’t get the result I expected.

When plans change or needs shift, I may feel disappointed but I no longer feel defeated.

I exercise my agency and adapt using the things I do have control over. This feels so much more empowering than operating from a victim mindset that flips out when things don’t go like I wanted. Instead of blaming others, I can get to work figuring out how to adapt to my new set of circumstances.

What Are Your Core Values?

I'd love to hear about your own core values and how they guide how you show up in the world.

Send me a message via the form on my Contact page or DM me on Instagram or message me on Facebook.

Want Help Discovering Your Core Values and Using Them As Decision Filters?

If you’d like some help discerning your most important values and articulating them in a clear and concise way, apply for a Breakthrough Session and we can see if it makes sense for us to work together. Whether we end up working together or not, my goal is for your Breakthrough Session to be the most valuable 45 minutes of your week. Click here to apply now!

Core ValuesUsing Core Values to Make DecisionsDecision FiltersMaking Decisions as an entrepreneur
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Laura Naiser

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