Stop the Internal Tug of War! Make Decisions with Certainty

Ten best practices

We have all said it: “I need more time.”

There are a multitude of decisions you make every day. Some you give more thought than others. How do you know what the right ones are?

When I work with leaders one of the fundamental elements in the personal brand development process is to have them identify their core values. Their core values are part of who they are and are non-negotiable.

Your core values drive your decisions and choices in life. They help you know the difference between right and wrong. Often without you even consciously thinking about what they are. When you are not aware of your core values it can have you questioning the decisions you make. On the other hand, when you clearly know your core values making decisions is done with greater certainty.


I received an urgent request from a colleague, Steve, to perform a test run for an online webinar he was doing in less than an hour. He happened to be in Champaign, Illinois instead of Chicago where he lives. It was moving day for his oldest son who was attending Illinois University located in Champaign.

His son made a request for his help and saying ‘no’ in his mind was not an option, so he made a few phone calls. He discovered there was a Hilton hotel close to the campus, with a small conference room available. He booked it, which enabled him to be there for his son AND conduct his online training. It was impressive to witness his dedication and his actions left no question about what was important to him.

He didn’t have to talk to his wife about it or ask his son how he would feel if he didn’t come. He acted on what was true for him.

When I got off the phone it did cross my mind how easy it would have been to tell his son he couldn’t help with the move because he was committed to conducting a training webinar.

Steve isn’t just saying that his family is important, he lives it. Not just on this occasion, I have witnessed it many times.


Staying true to your core values isn’t always easy, as you can be influenced by what is happening in your environment and the expectations of others. This is when it is most important to know what your core values are.

I had a client express her frustration with balancing her commitments at work in a senior leadership role and being present for the needs of her young daughters. Many mornings she felt guilty for leaving her girls crying with the nanny as she rushed out of the house to make it to a meeting on time.

Sophie, unlike Steve, was not aware of her core values so she was responding to the demands of her environment that left her with an uneasy feeling. However, once Sophie identified her core values she gained new insights into why she was feeling guilty. She was now empowered to change her actions.

She saw how she was comparing herself to colleagues without children and worked to meet the expectations of others instead of setting her own. Learning this gave her a whole new perspective on how to align her behaviours with her values and the impression she wanted to create.

Knowing that family was one of her core values, it made sense why she felt torn when she left her daughters crying. She was acting against what was important to her. This new understanding gave her permission to establish her conditions of success.

From that point on she started taking the extra fifteen minutes with her daughters in the morning, before heading out the door so they all started the day happy. She decided to have one of her team leads take on the responsibility of kicking off the early morning meetings whether with a client or internally. This way if she was a few minutes late she would simply enter the room and have a seat instead of feeling like she owed everyone an explanation for her tardiness. This was a win for everyone.

Clarity of your core values eliminates self-doubt and possible anxiety about what to do and who to be in any given situation. Your values, the ones you live by, are the heart and soul of your brand. Things will always come up and what is presented may take extra effort or discipline but the choice of what you do in aligning with your core values is always yours.


#1 – What is most important to me in my life? Is it family, health, wealth, happiness, success, adventure, integrity, achievement, or being trustworthy? There are hundreds to choose from, pick the top three that define you. There are many values you may feel are important to you in your life.  You need to identify the ones that are non-negotiable.

#2 – What am I doing to live my core values? What is my behaviour?  How do I treat others? The internal tug-of-war comes from not living what is most important to you. Identify what you are doing that supports your core values.

#3 – What do I need to change or adjust to be more aligned with my core values? Go beyond what you say to make sure your daily actions are aligned with what is most important. Anything you need to do more of?

Knowing your core values puts you in charge of what is important to you and supports you living your life on purpose. Take the time to do it now!

Align yourself with what matters most to you. Live your brand fully expressed with intention and purpose to play bigger!

Are you interested in having a conversation to explore how you can define your personal brand and accelerate your growth as a leader, individually or as a team? Send an e-mail to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation.

Dorothy Lazovik

Dorothy is on a mission to shift the culture of organizations to people first! Supporting leaders in fulfilling their TO BE LIST to better deliver on their TO DO LIST. Doing the work impacts how leaders see themselves, the people they lead, the environment they create and the outcomes they achieve. Producing higher engagement, ownership and productivity. How would making a change like this elevate your business results?

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