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  • Writer's pictureClarissa Tapia

Love + Curiosity = Clarissa

Do you have any idea what your values are? At the beginning of this week I felt I had a strong sense of what my values were but during my reading this week of Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, I realized I had never actually taken the time to truly define and identify my values. Brown writes, "A value is a way of being or believing that we hold most important." I paused during my reading and thought to myself, I don't think I can even name my values. If I can't name my values, does that mean I don't have any? The answer is twofold, yes and no. Yes you do have values because you have a moral compass that keeps you from doing bad things, but by not being able to identify with confidence what your values are, or at least getting curious about your values, you won't be able to live and practice them. There's a page in the book that lists over 80 different values that Brene Brown's team came up with. She challenges the reader to pick the two most important values. Here's a snippet of some of the values listed:

Accountability, Authenticity, Beauty, Belonging, Career, Courage, Dignity, Equality, Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Humility, Health, Integrity, Justice, Legacy, Loyalty, Optimism, Parenting, Respect, Self-discipline, Sportsmanship, Success, Travel, Truth, Uniqueness and Wisdom.


This process suddenly got really real for me. As I read the list, I immediately wanted to identify with at least 10 values, but at the end of the day, as shared in Dare to Lead, "If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities," Jim Collins. So I buckled down and read the list over and over until I narrowed down my values list to the following: Love, Learning, Success and Curiosity. From there, Brown's suggestion is to "resist holding on to words that resemble something you've been coached to be, words that never felt true for you." A value should be something that helps you find your way in the dark, a word so powerful that when pictured in your mind, you are filled with self identification.

Brown suggests asking yourself:

Does this define me?

Is this who I am at my best?

Is this a filter that I use to make hard decisions?


After much thought, I came to the conclusion that success although a huge driver for me, is not a word that fills me with belonging. In truth, when I love what I do, my success follows. Now came the time to choose between Learning and Curiosity. I had a hard time with these two words because I have always enjoyed learning above anything. School for me was fun. In fact, if I could, I would still be in school! When I dug deep though, I found that my passion for learning came from a place of wanting to know more, understand more, in essence, a desire to dig as deep as I could for answers in all aspects of my life. Being curious helps me see possibilities in people, situations and projects and keeps me from giving up on those same people, situations and projects.


Behaviors that support my value of Love

*Leaving my reporting job. Love insists that I wake up and look forward to drive to work, not dread it.

*Having hard conversations with my staff. Love allows me to speak kindly, honestly and openly while delivering my message with clarity and intention.

Slippery behaviors outside my value of Love

*Staying away from hard conversations

*Avoiding taking action even when my heart says its the right thing to do

An example of a time I was fully living into this value

Recently, I had to have a hard conversation with someone that I value. I did everything I could to avoid it, zig-zagging as I've mentioned before in a previous post. I knew I was living outside my value when I started to feel resent toward this person for actions or in this case lack of action. I had to lean into love and know that if I didn't have this conversation soon, the resent would continue to grow and become toxic. I had two choices, either go into the conversation upset acting offended and risk that person becoming defensive or shutting down, or I could lean into my values and have the conversation in a way where love is constantly at the forefront of my words. I leaned into love and I did this by giving myself a few days before the conversation to get over any emotion tension. I spoke clearly, honestly and candidly and I never had to exercise power over this person and we actually ended up having one of the best conversations we've had in a while.


Behaviors that support my value of Curiosity

*Finding things that I or my company can do better

*Discovering connections with every person I encounter

Slippery behaviors outside my value of Curiosity

*Not asking enough questions

*Taking things at their face value and forgetting to look beyond the armor we all carry

An example of a time I was fully living into this value

Honestly, right now, today. This moment. I have had more fun in the past couple of weeks getting to know myself and challenging myself to be braver in my decisions than I have in a very long time. I think I've spent too much time being curious about other people and learning all there is to know about them that I forgot to keep learning about me. I am giving myself the opportunity to truly rediscover who I am, and I have to tell you, I love what I see. I keep surprising myself in the very best way. Just when you think you know all there is to know about you, look again, you just have to be curious. Every day, I feel stronger and more connected to myself. What a beautiful gift.


I challenge you to identify your two values and share them with me, your family or your friends. Identifying your values is hard, putting them into practice is even more challenging. But as we have already learned, the cost of not being true to who we are is usually resentment. Resentment is costly. It bleeds into your life and affects your family, work and even your health. Be you. Be Seen.




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