How Your Values Help You Make Brave Work/Life Choices

Find work/life balance by living according to your values

••• Getty Images/The Image Bank

Working moms (and dads) have to make some tough decisions.  They are hard because sometimes it’s a choice that has to be made between something in their personal life (like their children) and something in their professional life (their career).  Like deciding between taking care of a sick kid whose crying for mommy and a work project that you've been working so hard on.

So how can you make the right choice when you feel like there isn’t one?

What a Brave Work/Life Choice Is All About

To be brave means to have courageous endurance.  So once you make this brave work/life choice you are able to courageously endure what happens because of it.  Making a brave work/life choice is about feeling OK with the choices you make as well as managing your emotions and energy during and after the decision has been made.

How you begin to make these types of choices is by understanding your values and priorities.  

Define Your Values Before You Have to Make a Brave Work/Life Choice

What do you value in your life?  What is extremely important to you that you'd have a hard time living without?  What are your strong personality strengths?  What are your strengths?  Answers to these questions will help you create a list of values.  For example, you could value family, hard work, accomplishments, competency, and authenticity.

When you know what you value in life, before you have to make a really tough decision, it helps with your decision process.  You will be less indecisive because there's no questioning what you value (this is a great way to avoid wasting time and personal energy!) If the decision is asking you to go against your values, it's easier to put your foot down and say no.

How Your Body Reacts When You Decide to Go Against Your Values

If you make a choice that goes against one of your values sometimes your body reacts.  Your stomach may get upset or you get a headache.  Sometimes you'll just feel "off". Can you think of a decision you made that made you ill?  What value(s) do you think you went against?

Now think of a time when you made a choice that went along with your values.  You probably felt a huge sense of relief because you knew deep down inside you made the right choice.  Your chest, or maybe your entire body felt warm.  You may have felt a big boost of energy, too, like having a spring in your step.  The smile on your face wouldn’t go away,either

Note that not all of these positive or negative body reactions will occur.  Especially after making a brave work/life choice.  Your body will react but it may be slight. 

Write Down Your Values For Future Reference

To help you make brave work/life choices have a list of your values.  Then prioritize them according to ​a degree of importance.  Next, make a list of feelings that are important to you, and then prioritize them.  Last, combine both of these lists and prioritize them again. 

You may find that you have personal values and professional values.  I’d recommend making two lists to separate the two.  If you have to make a decision strictly work-related you have a values list specifically for that.

Making a touch choice won't' feel as tough when you start the decision-making process by reviewing what your values are.  Based the decision on what is important to you, not others.  After you're sure your values are satisfied, then you can move on with the priorities you are trying to satisfy, but we'll save this for another post.