Why you need to be clear on your values

Last year, I wrote a blog post about clarifying your brand values as an individual. I did it as an exercise as part of one of Jen Carrington’s courses, and found it incredibly useful. I thought through them again when I included a different values exercise in my content brainstorming workshop.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve realised that standing up for my values is more important than ever. It has also made me realise that one of mine, while still relevant, needed more thought.

I have always believed in community over competition. When someone does well, it’s their job to help others do well too. I believe there is plenty of money and opportunity for everyone.

But I’m also aware that access to that money and opportunity is not equal. The feeling that there isn’t enough has resulted time and again in (white) people trying to hold others down, whether they realised they were doing it or not.

Since the recent Black Lives Matter protests started, I’ve also seen people respond in really upsetting ways to having their white privilege called into question. I’ve seen white female leaders silencing Black women who have questioned their practices, while denfensively proclaiming themselves not racist. I’ve also seen some people just refuse to engage with it at all. I’ve now left these groups.

I want to be part of inclusive communities. So, that means looking at all of the communities I am a part of with a new lens. Are they inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds? Are they actively bringing people together? And have they always been doing this, or are they just waking up to it now? If they’re just waking up to it, what are they doing that is proactive?

On my side, I am trying to be open and vocal about my views, and to share resources I come acros that have helped me. I do this within my Facebook group, newsletter and on my social media channels. 

On one level, sharing about personal political beliefs online feels like very surface-level activity. There is so much more that can be done in terms of protesting, donating money, petitioning politicians, etc. There is a lot that I’m doing that I’m not talking about. But I do want people to know where I stand.

a) Because I want Black men and women to know that I actively stand with them in the fight against racism. And b) because I want to disencourage anyone who does NOT believe that Black Lives Matter from joining my community or working with me. If people leave the group or unfollow me on social media because of my views, I’m very happy to see them go. If they want to reach out and ask me questions or challenge me on something, I would be happy to chat to them.

Because I am being vocal, I AM GOING TO MESS UP. I know this. Please tell me when I do.

In the background of all of this I’m untangling my own mixed-race background, and growing up in Trinidad as a sort of Chinese, sort of white child with a father who only realised he was Black when he moved to the UK for university. There’s a lot to unpick, and it’s sticky work.

But by doing this work, I hope that I will not only be able to be a better ally, but will also become a better mentor. It is my job to help others do well, and I want to ensure that the people I work with are helping others to rise along with them. 

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