As a Christian woman you want to do good things, I know. What I see though are women doing too much. Are you one of those women who is involved in many ‘good’ things? Do you feel guilty if you don’t say yes to an opportunity to serve? God did not intend for you to do everything. In fact, His Word says, you are created for good works that God prepared for you.
How do you know what God has prepared for you to do? The simple answer is, ask Him. Often though, we don’t ask Him. We think that if we are asked to do something then it must be for us. How many times have you heard, “I thought of you for this job”? And just because we are good at something and can do it, does not mean we must do it.
There is a strategy I use to determine if I will take on a new project, opportunity, or position. God has given each of us this decision-making strategy. Since I have learned to use it, I know almost immediately if I should say yes or no to an opportunity presented to me. I call it the Values-strategy and there are five steps you need to take to create one for yourself.
What are Values?
Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. Your values are not different for your personal life compared to your professional life. Values are stable and cut across all areas of your life.
Values also determine your priorities. That means when you are behaving in a way that matches your values, you feel satisfied and content. But when what you are doing does not align with your values, that’s when things feel ‘wrong’. Have you ever had a feeling of dread come over you when you are going to ‘that’ meeting or event?
Values stay fairly stable throughout your entire life too. As we move into different stages in our lives different priorities may emerge. God is constantly growing us and changing us more into His image, so it is natural that some of our values would grow also. That is why it is a good idea to continually take time to evaluate your values and make sure your life is aligning with them.
Defining Your Values
A good way to begin is to look back on your life to identify when you felt really good and really confident that you were making good choices. Think through times in both your personal life and professional life.
Step 1: Times when you were happiest (answer these questions)
- What were you doing?
- Were you with other people? Who?
- What other factors contributed to your happiness?
Step 2: Times you were most proud (answer these questions)
- Why were you proud?
- Did other people share your pride? Who?
- What other factors contribute to your feelings of pride?
Step 3: Times you were most fulfilled and satisfied (answer these questions)
- What need or desire was fulfilled?
- How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
- What other factors contributed to your feeling of fulfillment?
Step 4: Determine your top values based on your experiences & Prioritize them (do these activities)
- Think through why is each experience from Steps 1-3 are important and memorable.
- Use this link http://bit.ly/ValuesListPDF for a list of common values to help you get started. Use the exercise to get down to your top five values.
- Now put these five in order of importance by asking yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?”
- Keep working through the list, comparing each value with each other value, until your list is in the correct order.
Step 5: Reaffirm your values and make sure they fit into your life (answer these questions)
- Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
- Are you proud of your top five values?
- Would you be comfortable and proud to tell your values to people you respect and admire?
- Are these values you would support even if your choice isn’t popular?
I want to share my top five values with you and tell you a little about WHY they are my values and HOW I use them to determine if an opportunity is right for me.
Faith- Everything I do and think about doing revolves around my faith as a believer in Jesus Christ. I will not do something that goes against the Bible and its teachings. Therefore, I take time to study God’s Word so I know what it says and can use it well.
Creativity- I have to work at something that allows me to use my creativity. I am not a numbers person or a stickler to formulas. I like to do things that give me room to experiment and pull in from my creative side. Therefore, I do not put myself into situations where it becomes something routine or I have to repeatedly do the same thing.
Growth- This could also be learning. I cannot stay still. I am bored easily so I need to keep learning and improving in what I am doing. Stagnation and the mundane will drive me crazy. Therefore, I look for ways to continually learn new things which means I tend to be more of a risk taker and early adopter (especially in technology).
Meaningful Work- I have to know there is a greater purpose in what I am doing. What I do needs to be for more than just money or because I think someone will like it. It must be something fulfilling to me, using my talents and expertise so that another is inspired and can improve. This is the only way I can be authentic to myself. Therefore, I have chosen to work with Christian Business Women & Entrepreneurs to help them grow their faith and fuel their business.
Challenge- This goes along with growth. I want my projects/work to be challenging and always keeping me on my toes. I never want to just rest on what has happened in the past and coast. I am fiercely independent and continually challenging myself to do better, even with things I have already created. Therefore, I am always creating new and better ways to deliver my content. I never settle for one and done.
Using Your Values
I know that identifying and understanding your values is challenging. That is why it is always the first exercise we tackle when I start coaching with someone. Your values are an essential part of who you are and who you want to be. You must be aware of them in order to use them effectively.
The most important place values show up is in your decision-making process. When you are using your five values as a type of filter you can be sure to keep your sense of integrity and what you know is right. You are able to approach decisions with confidence and clarity. AND, when there are so many ‘good’ choices, it makes it easy to see the right path for you.
How are you feeling about this values’ exercise? Are you intrigued about how much you learned about yourself? Do you wish you had other exercises, tools, and activities that could help you focus even more on how to follow God’s plan for your life? I have a solution. . .
The one thing I have learned is that life is much easier when you acknowledge your values and then make plans and decisions that honor them. It gives you the confidence to say no (and yes) without always having to ‘pray about it’. I am not saying you should not pray; I am saying that when you are living in your values you know what God has deemed important for you and you are able to pursue His plans without abandon. You can use your values as a strong guiding force to point you in the right direction. Proverbs 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
Has God led your steps here to learn MORE about how to find Significance & Satisfaction in your life and work? I am starting a NEW Coaching/Mastermind Program that may be exactly what you are looking for.
Connect with me for the details and get started with me right now. You owe it to yourself not only to know your values but to also know how God has designed you to connect with Him and show up in your Work serving Him.
Find out MORE by contacting me and join the 5Ps to Significance & Satisfaction Coaching/Mastermind today.
Be filled to overflowing