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  • Writer's pictureRyan Skimmons

Using Your Core Values to Follow Your True North

We've been talking about values a lot over here at BR. Choosing to operate within our values is something that's very important to us. When you choose to operate within your values, it can act as your True North. It keeps you on track and recenters you when you start veering off of your path. Early on in starting BR, we defined our personal and professional values as a means of establishing our identity as an organization. When we get training or consultation requests, we'll often stop to assess whether the request and/or the organization doing the requesting aligns with our values. It's an exercise we use to ensure we're on the right path and it helps us sleep at night knowing that we're still connecting with what matters most to us.

Brie and I define our company's values as: integrity above all, equitable access to education, mental health advocacy, personal and professional growth, and care for those in need. If anything comes our way that we feel falls into conflict with our defined values, we will (and have) politely decline the request. Frankly, we wish more people operated this way. With that in mind, let's talk about how you can define your values and establish your own True North.

First of all, what is a value? Steven Hayes, the creator of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) defines values as qualities within ourselves that we choose to work toward at any given time. They're a set of internal principles that we hold which can guide our decisions. This sounds wonderful, but if you're anything like me you might have a difficult time when you're initially asked to define which values you hold true. But if you stop and think about it, you probably have a few that you already find important. Is your family very important to you? That's a value. What about giving back to your community through volunteer work or donations? That's a value too!