Each day many of us take risks and develop certain opinions or behaviours whilst being unaware of the internal drivers that these decisions are forming from. Defining the distinct reason that drives our ability to make a decision is not known to the untrained eye, though we settle for the understanding that it just ‘feels right’.

When we are confronted with unfamiliar or hostile environments many of us fall into the trap of blurring the lines of what really is the ‘right thing’ to do to ensure we live by our values. We begin to doubt ourselves and our perceptions of the ethical standards in our surroundings. It is now common to consider the term ‘it’s what we always do’ detrimental to any competitive organisation yet remains something that we so easily succumb too. At some point we have found ourselves in a stale environment using these destructive words and approaches and are faced with the cross road to either ‘trust in your gut’ or fold to the pressure of your surroundings.

Sure, most of you reading this at some point will have the strength or experience to identify whether your surrounding actions are wrong; though the difference between identifying in comparison to changing these actions is understanding the driver of your ‘gut feeling’. Though what is our gut feeling and can we really trust or even define it?

Without clarity or any real substance on the drivers of our ‘gut feeling’ we are unable to trust that the action, behaviour or opinion we have made was correct. We are unable to leverage this trust when being challenged by others through our lack of internal validation and understanding.

I challenge you to trust in the pillars by which you have been built.  I challenge you to trust in the values that form the foundation of your character. Your pillars are the priceless foundations of your life passed down through generations, life experiences or influential individuals; yet lost through the inability to harness them with one’s lack of self-awareness. These pillars are your authentic values and what you stand for as a person. One’s personal values are something that we can define, understand, and reflect upon when faced with the previously mentioned cross road.  Through understanding and being able to define the cause of our oppositional opinions, behaviours and actions, we are able to successfully ‘back ourselves’ when challenged by peers or competitors. We are able to confidently and successfully question others, shedding new light on the ‘right thing to do’ that is so easily forgotten.

To make this pivotal shift in thinking, start by writing down:

  1. Your four to five important values in  your life;
  2. The actions, behaviours, and opinions that are driven by these values;
  3. A particular event(s) where this value was cemented in  your character to refer to in times of weakness

Trust in your pillars as an individual both professionally and personally. Hold your authenticity whilst challenging others to engage in newer and exciting alternatives rather than just the norm. Trust in the pillars by which you were built and a storm will never destroy your foundations.