How do you know what values you believe in? Two years ago I listened to an Art of Charm podcast episode titled, “How to Make Decisions with Absolute Truths”, that got me thinking about this and established profound impact on my life. Knowing where I stand has helped provide direction on how I want to be in the world and became a foundation that helps me identify what is important to me. This week, I had multiple interactions while working that would have challenged my belief of who I was previously but did not deter me from continuing to show up every day with love, empathy, and compassion.
On Monday an angry and aggressive customer said to me that they wanted to take me “out back and teach me a lesson”, all because they were not satisfied with the response to a question that was confusing to understand and was too impatient to wait to for an answer. When they aggressively spoke to the staff and myself, and received a firm response matching their tone, they completely lost their cool. All over something that could have been simple to research and not worthy of such an outrageous response. Two days later I met a customer serviced by a different sales rep for the first time and within an hour of leaving our lunch, was called dishonest and a liar. A jump to conclusions based on a conversation I had 3 months prior that was not about them and involving the needs of a customer of mine. When they claimed to catch me in a lie, my integrity and intentions were immediately questioned. All because I didn’t know someone unknown had received what I had only presented to my customer.
These interactions this week were frustrating because being tested, yet alone threatened and called names is not easy to deal with. I’m proud of my responses to the confrontations because people I care about witnessed my reaction and saw how I choose to be in the world. Treating the customer the way I would like to be treated and staying devoted to honesty and integrity showed in real time what my beliefs look like when presented with a difficult character. In times like these, it’s good to know that I’ve spent time identifying my absolute truths, my core values, and beliefs.
Have you written down any of your values or thought about them earnestly? I believe that knowing my values helps me not lose my cool or carry the burden and stress of someone else’s struggle when situations sour. Before I sat down to really reflect on would be my core beliefs, I used to think that somehow I was responsible for what others projected onto me. Thankfully I’ve learned through some depth exercises that those are not my loads to carry. I can choose to say thank you for sharing and leave the burden behind as I continue my journey based on the integrity of my absolute truths.
If you sat down to journal for just 30 minutes to an hour, what would you write that would be the foundation of who you are? Identifying how I would treat others, the characteristics I want to bring to every interaction, and core reasons for why I act as I do came in handy this week. Knowing my values is my way to not let someone else bring me down or take me out of my mindset. Even though I know there will be days that they’re going to try. You never know what your smile, the gift you give, or what your interaction can mean to another person and I recommend spending some time journaling about what your absolute truths, core values, and beliefs are. This podcast was also a quick one to listen to and led to 10 ideals that I do my best to live by every day. I believe the exercise they cover will create a meaningful influence in guiding your actions and can inspire those that come into contact with you. An encouragement to others to pay it forward to be just a little bit kinder to the next person that they talk to. As Harvey Mackay said, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.”
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