By: Jennifer Hefner
How Does What You Value Affect Your Mindset?
“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” ~ Roy E. Disney
When we talk about a healthy mindset, we need to look at what mindset is. Mindset is how we talk to ourselves. Mindset is how we see ourselves. Understanding mindset will help us see how other aspects affect our mindset and we can determine if it is positive or negative. So, to go along with our mindset, let’s look at our values and how it can affect it.
Have you really sat down and thought about or made a list of what you value the most? This can be a great exercise to do when your life is going well, and especially when you are encountering some struggles. I will be the first to admit that about 10 years ago I was struggling with my mindset. I was on the “hamster wheel of life” if you want to call it that. I was moving full speed ahead and not putting any emphasis on what I personally valued the most. In other words, my value was on things that were making me unhappy, which was causing my mindset to be unhealthy and negative.
One day I just sat down at work and asked myself the question- What is important to me? What makes me happy? I thought about all the things I loved doing, that I VALUED in my life, made a list on an index card, and carried it with me every day as a reminder of what I WANTED. What I found was what I valued and wanted in my life was not happening. I was saying “Yes” to certain things, which means that I was saying “no” to what was the most important to me.
Have you ever thought this way? When you say “YES” to one thing, you are also saying “NO” to something else, whether you realize it or not. Saying “yes” to more shifts at work to make my boss happy or make more money on my paycheck meant that I was saying “no” to precious time with my family. Saying “yes” to coaching extra teams at our travel club meant I was saying “no” to spending more time with my mom (who at the time was 4 hours away from us).
What happened that day was I saw that I was valuing the wrong things in my life. I was missing what was most important to me. I was missing what made me happy and feel alive. I was missing time with my family, exercising and training, outdoor activities, taking time for my health and wellness, and spiritual time. So, I reevaluated my situation and made a plan to change it. I decided I had to take a few things off of my plate.
I learned that day to be intentional, to let my “NO” be “NO” and my “YES” be “YES”. No explanations necessary, I didn’t have to make an argument with myself or anyone else for my “Whys”. I decided to start putting my value on the items on that list. No justifications needed.
When we intentionally or unintentionally value the wrong things, we cause an internal stress on ourselves. This in turn will negatively affect our mindset. I watch coworkers and friends go through this a lot. We have a hard time saying “no” at work. We want to be seen as hard workers, to help, to make our bosses value us. But if it comes with a price, the negative impact will surface its ugly face.
Prioritizing is a great way to see what we value. If your family is your #1 priority, then you need to plan to put them first when you make decisions. If your health and wellness is your top priority, then nutrition, exercise and mental mindset must come first. This means you schedule in your workouts, you meal plan, you take time for prayer, reading and journaling. You take the necessary steps to make sure what you schedule into your day matches up with what you value.
I still carry that index card with me every day. I get it out occasionally as a reminder of that difficult time in my life. I use it to check in with myself to make sure I am reevaluating what is important to me and to make sure I am executing my plan. I don’t want to fall back into that spiral again. So, make sure you know what you value and make sure it is lining up with how you are living. And- LIVE INTENTIONALLY!
Assistant Volleyball Coach
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Change Your State Mindset Coach