Align Your Actions with Your Values

This summer I noticed myself feeling overwhelmed and burned out. I spoke with many of my colleagues who felt the same way. It felt like I didn’t have enough time and energy to accomplish the many professional and personal tasks. It was starting to feel unsustainable! However, the rational part of my brian knew it was all possible to accomplish. So why was I feeling so worn out? I either needed to change how I was doing things or how I was thinking about things. 

A co-worker pointed me to a great podcast episode, on Miyim Bialik’s Breakdown podcast, featuring Dr. Susan David  She is a psychologist and author of the book, “Emotional Fragility.” Susan talked about a way to decrease burnout and increase wellbeing at work and in all parts of your life. 

Susan discussed how the more a person’s actions align with their values, the lower level of burnout and higher level of wellbeing they  will experience. She states, “… all of us engage everyday in actions that can either bring us towards our values or away from our values regardless of our circumstances. And they don’t need to be huge things. They can be smaller things but they are aspects that involve thinking about how we can make changes that allow us to reflect in the way we come to ourselves or others, the stuff that matters in our worlds.”

I took this to heart! I spent time identifying my values and clarifying my professional and personal goals. Then I examined my actions. Were my actions aligned with my values? Some of them, yes. Some of them, not so much. I asked myself, “what actions would I take to show myself and others my values?” I wrote them  down and started acting accordingly. 

Since then, I feel less overwhelmed, in control, and more content!

Whether you are feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work or at home – I encourage you to take some time to identify your values and what you care about. Then think about what actions would align with those values. Consider what changes or adjustments you could make and then pay attention to the impact those changes have on how you feel!

By Teresa Ralicki, Ombuds Lead at Pinterest, founder of Ombuds Institute, and Co-Editor of Ombuzz

2 thoughts on “Align Your Actions with Your Values”

  1. This is great advice! If we allow our values and goals to align with our daily activities, we will be much more fulfilled. Sometimes we take on too much because we won’t say “no” however if we begin to say no to those things that aren’t directly aligned with our values, we will feel less burdened.

    1. So true! As a good friend of mine says, “If its not a Yes!, it’s a no.” Many of us probably need to say no more often. Thanks for the input. Much appreciated.

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