Revealing my values, emotions and bravery…

Embarking on my journey from ‘busy’ to ‘brave’.

2017 was surprisingly a tough year. I had a lot going on, and I wasn’t at all sure how to deal with it. I had trapped myself into being too busy, that I wasn’t even clear with what I was doing with myself. My mind was constantly foggy, I was in a job I wasn’t happy in, I had unexpected health concerns and to top it all off, I made myself anxious.

But this year is going to change.

And the first step to bravery, was actually plucking up the courage to do something about it. During my spare time, I’m dedicated to DevelopHer - a community that elevates women in tech. We organise events, workshops and most recently a coaching programme with The Bravest Path. However I’m guilty of not always dedicating the same amount of time and opportunities we provide to our community to myself and my own development. So I knew this coaching programme was for me.

I’ve had mentors in the past and it’s been a valuable experience to have that trust with someone and learn from others. However, at times, I’ve found that the advice can be based on someone else’s experience and depending on the situation it may seem biased. However, what fascinated me about coaching is having the support where the coach asks the right questions for you, and enables you to reflect and find your own answers.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” 
Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

The coaching sessions are based on Brené Brown research and better understanding the power of vulnerability. However, my perception of vulnerability has always had a negative connotation and I’ve learnt that vulnerability is about being courageous, not about being weak.

As I came to quickly realise, being vulnerable doesn’t always feel comfortable and as I had my first session with my coach Bethan Davis, I was put in a situation where I had to reflect and talk about topics that wasn’t easy for me.
Personally, I know what I’m like — I try and be endearing but I know at times I can be aloof and don’t always open up. So when asked ‘What are your 5 key values?’ — the understanding that a value is your way of believing you hold most important — I stumbled. There was even times I waffled about anything and everything I knew about myself.

For those who know me, I come across very career driven and I know exactly what I want. So as a first attempt, I reeled off values that were all associated with ambition and success. But as I really reflected what was important to me, I came to realise my values aren’t just things that I care or practice about now, but are about what I really stand for and what I want to achieve going forward. As a result, I surprised myself that the last value I picked up on was actually the first value I cared about the most.

My 5 Key Values:

  1. Balance & Family. Dedicating time for myself and those I love.
  2. Making a difference. To cause a change by helping others.
  3. Authenticity. Being true to who you are and acting genuine.
  4. Connection. Building trusted relationships and linking people together.
  5. Independence. Embracing freedom and flexibility to achieve your goals.

After defining my key values, my first task from the session was to now practice these values and create ‘balance’ by working on 10 Artist dates once a week. (Artist Date = a solo adventure that I fully dedicate myself into for 2–3 hours e.g. going for a walk, reading a book, attending a class). It sounds simple, but as a lady who never has time to do anything I know this will be a challenge well needed.

So as I write this first blogpost and reflect on my values, I feel rather proud of them. I feel that they define me as a person and not based on assumptions of what others perceive me as. Most of all it was clear, that my first priority had a lot to do with why I thought 2017 was a struggle and how I used ‘being busy’ as an excuse. But this year, there will be no more excuses.