Reflecting upon my own teenage years, I remember valuing what I wore to school, the condition of my hair and its length, and what car my parents would use to collect me after cheerleader practice. Likely, the latter came from feeling embarrassed when my dad picked me up one day in an old collectors car that he had purchased out of obsession. Never mind that it was cool to him and probably would be worth a lot of money today, I was thrilled when he finally sold that ole blue thing; I think it was a Chevy.
Of course, these are all superficial values and on some level they were influenced by the signs of my time. Still, much of what I cared about has stuck with me til this day, particularly my obsession with the condition of my hair. These days I don’t mind so much about the length but to some degree parts of even my most superficial values have found their way into core of my existence. For example, the hair value has to do more with what’s health nowadays, as well as how it looks.
On a deeper level, however, I valued friendship, honesty and actually doing the right thing. I did not like the idea of doing the wrong thing, whatever that meant to me. And when I fell short, it haunted me for days, if not for years. And until this day, I am still a bit pollyannaish.
A few years ago when I was doing some work for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, I remember pointing out the bright side of a dire situation and a colleague saying: you have an answer for everything, don’t you. Never mind
The point is this: our core values tend to form early on in life and can steer us from the teenage years—often chalked up as a time of discovery and rebellion—to adulthood during the best and worst of times. Thus, knowing what really matters is important.
In my latest podcast with awarding winning coach Jenny Garrett, UIO: Your Values Inside Out, Jenny points out that it was her strong values that likely saw her through her teenage years.
In retrospect, I have to agree. Often when facing tough decisions or even life changing situations, what it came down to for me is: what really mattered to me, not what everyone else thought mattered.
To listen to Episode 7, click here or check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or Soundcloud. Truly, there is no better time than the present to think about what you really value for a happier healthier existence. UIO: Your Values Inside Out explores the topic for today’s teenage girl.