Your Values, Friends and the Power of “No!”



Let me ask you…

…do you have the same friends you did when you were in school?

Now, I’m sure there are a few you see from time to time or the ones you hit the “Like” button for every now and then on Facebook …

But what about true friends? The one’s that are there for you when times are tough?

At our Think By Design workshop we talk a lot about values… in fact we ask this same question to those in the audience.

For most people, friends come and go as circumstances in life change.

Whether you’ve recently completed school, found a new job or even moved cities…

As the circumstances of life change… so do our values.

So, let’s define what values are, talk about how they affect not only your friendships but all relationships…

… and as a bonus, we’ll cover the #1 principle used for saying “No!”, with power, to those things that don’t align with your values (and why this is so important).

What are values?

Values are something you either want to attain or maintain…

For example… health and integrity are two of my highest values…

… meaning I value my own health and all actions I take must be done with integrity…

… it’s very important that I uphold the standards I set for myself… but that’s just me.

We all have a set of values… it’s your choice whether you define them or not.

When you fail to clearly define your values you risk contradicting your values….

Contradiction… what’s that?

A contradiction happens when you act in a way which does not align with your values…

So, for myself… when I make decisions that aren’t contributing to my health, I’m acting in contradiction.

What happens when you’re in contradiction?

Well, this is what creates friction in our lives.

Have you ever made a decision and then regretted it immediately… or even the next day?

This is what a contradiction feels like.

When you define and know your values, it’s easier to make decisions in line with them. This of course allows you to stay out of contradiction…. ultimately causing little to no friction.

To begin the process of defining your values… grab the Think By Design Workbook here.

What does this have to do with relationships? Let’s get into it.

Values and Relationships

Ever meet someone new, whether romantic or not, that you were excited to get to know…

…only to discover one thing about them that you consider a total deal-breaker?

We’ve all been in this position.

This deal-breaker is simply an indication that this person’s values are not in line with yours, causing a…. what was that word again?

Yes… a contradiction.

Contradictions cause destruction and the level of destruction is equal to the level of contradiction.

When these deal-breakers occur, you most likely distance yourself from these people.

And if you don’t… this will assuredly cause destruction in your life… because you become who you surround yourself with.

The Power of “No!”

When you define you values, it helps you navigate your way through the list of people you know…to determine whom you want to spend your time with.

Again… to begin this process for yourself, get the Think By Design Workbook here.

A defined set of values will help guide your decisions as you meet new people…as well as new opportunities with the people you already associate with.

We don’t have to say “YES!” to every opportunity. Many people are burdened with saying yes to too many obligations and then burning out because of it.

My personal rule is…

If it’s not a HECK YEAH!…it’s a NO!

The people who are burdened by over-committing themselves need to say no more often…

… where have you over committed yourself?

  • Work
  • Romantic relationships
  • Family relationships
  • Children’s schedules
  • Social obligations

…the list goes on…

If you find yourself with no time to yourself… you need to say no more often.

Time by yourself or with a close confidante is invaluable and will help recharge you for the crazy pace of everyday life.

When you know your values, you can choose activities and people who meet the “HECK YEAH” requirement… and start saying “No!” to those opportunities that don’t fit your values.

So where do you begin?

The Doorman Principle, The Classy Way To Turn Down Opportunities

Imagine your life as the most exclusive nightclub.

Guarding the door of your nightclub is the doorman.

Now, anyone knows you need to be on the guest list if you want to get in…

…and your doorman guards your guest list.

But instead of names on your guest list… it’s your values.

Before anyone is granted access to your nightclub (…or life), they must share your values.

Now, like a fingerprint, your set of values are incredibly unique to you…

… and no one will share the exact same set of values.

So, this is not about turning away or kicking out everyone who has differences…

… this exercise is about comparing your values list to theirs and making sure there is some overlap or shared standards.

What can you do about the people you’ve already let in… who have a VERY different values list from you?

There are 2 options:

  1. Start weeding them out – say “No!” to future opportunities
  2. Set rules or boundaries for your relationship – make certain topics like money, religion or work off limits

The sooner you employ a doorman, the easier it will be to live in line with your values, eliminate contradiction, wipe out destruction and genuinely enjoy the things you do with the people you care most about.

Start living the life you deserve today!

If you haven’t grabbed the Think By Design workbook yet, grab it below.



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Dr Brian Lanoue is a Life By Design Chiropractor, blogger and speaker on achieving extraordinary health. It is Brian’s passion and mission to empower you, your family and your community to live extraordinary lives. Brian co-owns The Powerhouse Chiropractic in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada with his partner Thea.