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Are Your Values What You Think They Are?

Updated: May 5

Most of us, I can confidently say, believe that we are aware of our values … and abide by them. This translates to being in sync with them in the office, at home, with friends, etc. 

But is this accurate? Can you list all of your values off-the-cuff and provide examples to back them up? This is actually a little more complicated than you may realize.

Sure, we return the incorrect change at the grocery store — but if you are late to an appointment, do you help someone who is in need on the street? If you admire a celebrity and want to emulate them, what do you do if you learn something disagreeable about them in the media? Do you still want to be like them?

Our cultural and workplace milieus often reinforce what our values systems are supposed to be, and too often, it is easy to reflexively parrot them. But actions speak louder than words. Your values are rooted in your internal ethical system; your true ethical system is identified by the choices you make day-to-day, not what you say you believe.

Figuring this out is why I urge my clients to commit to an ethics journal, in which they document the ethical choices they make. When hard choices come up, how do they respond? What does that say about their values?

And are their values internally consistent -- or do they contradict? Sometimes, my clients realize they don't have a firm grasp on their values at all. In my case, my personal values go against the cultural grain, and I had to learn to accept that before I could find a professional trajectory that brought me joy and sustainable success.  

As a Call To Action, I ask my clients to begin keeping a values journal and send me a note if it leads to surprising insights. As the two illustrations above demonstrate, as they begin to fully examine their values, as well as the ethical underpinnings of those values, their understanding of who and what they are begins to fill out -- completing their own, internal illustration of the life structure they are building.

This investment has changed my clients’ lives from the mundane to shifting their careers -- even contemplating moving to other parts of the country. Do you want to learn more about yourself and see how you can start putting your life on track, tapping into your unknown powers? You will be amazed at how much a deep and honest assessment of your personal ethics — your inner truth values — can do!

I want your future to be EPIC!


I'm Scott Mason, The Myth Slayer. I am an attorney and former C-Suite executive, coach, speaker, podcaster, and Master of the Mythic. I graduated from Columbia Law School and have spent years drawing on the full depth of a background spanning the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to provide lawyers feeling stuck or stagnant in their careers or as leaders with a unique (and fun!) system to help them live a life that's epic.

Click here to discover more about me, my mission, and how it can help you.

If you've ever said, "I'm capable of more -- and I want it?" ... then download my five-minute self-assessment, and I'll show you how to elevate your leadership, increase your impact, and find your powerhouse personal voice NOW!

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