Something I find so liberating is finding the language that represents just how I feel. I struggle to understand myself when I can’t name what I am feeling or wanting to express. Often I leave interactions fearing that I am misunderstood because I couldn’t find the words to say just what I wanted them to.  

Brene Brown’s podcast episode “Living into our values” comes in hot with an activity to uncover the right words to define and represent your values. Before doing this, if someone asked me what my values were I would have rambled for who knows how long and left both myself and the other person somewhat confused with a handful of disconnected thoughts. What I love most about this activity is that I wasn't surprised by the concept behind my values but I was surprised by the words I chose to represent my values. 

Give the podcast a listen the next time you’re in the car, on a walk, or cleaning your house. It’s just under an hour and will give you context and understanding around the activity as you listen to Brene and her sister Barrett process their values with each other. Then, take 15-20 minutes to do the activity yourself. Start by circling all the values that speak to you and resonate within you (think 10 to 15). Then begin to narrow down the list by identifying the words that relate to each other. The goal is to finish with just 2 words. It’s hard but doable. Brene has some good advice: “To get from the 15 or the 10 to the two, we ask ourselves these questions. What are the one or two values, looking at all the circled ones, where everything else is forged, that all these are great, but without these, there’s really nothing. And when you look at the values, you’re asking, “Does this define me? Is this who I am at my best? Is this a filter that I use to make hard decisions?”

My values are belonging and self-expression. Just saying that out loud fills me with the confidence that I have a sense of who I am and I know how to express what is important to me. 

- Cayti

*Photo via Pinterest*



"I can’t think of a more powerful way to double down on ourselves than getting clear on our values. In this episode, we talk through how to not only name our core values, but operationalize them into behaviors."

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