Don’t Compromise on Values
“Tragedy in life normally comes with betrayal and compromise, and trading on your integrity and not having dignity in life.” Tom Cochrane
One of my biggest regrets in life came when I compromised on my values. My fear of people not loving me and other people’s discomfort and not being there with me on my journey meant that I would bend on my beliefs.
One of those moments came about five years ago. We had over 50 Helpers and 10 Instructors at Toronto Dance Salsa and I made an announcement. Every Helper and every Instructor needed to know their core value. My vision was that every Helper and every Instructor would have a t-shirt with their core value on the back of it. Whether is was #sparkle, #kindness, #love, #acceptance, #joy, #care, or #compassion- whatever it is – the Helpers and Instructors would wear it proudly and live by their core value. That was my dream.
There was a lot of negative feedback and comments. “This is horrible.” “This is a cult.” “This should just be a dance school.” So then I was stuck. My core value is #belong, I want everyone to feel like they belong. I didn’t know what to do.
So I asked my mentor. He said you have two options. Option number one is to accept that this huge cultural change you are making means that some people aren’t going to come along with you. It’s okay and you will rebuild with the people who you need around you to make the school into your vision of what it can be. Option number two is you write an email and apologize and take everything back.
I didn’t have the courage for option 1…
As I was writing the email, it felt like my soul, my heart was being crushed in a vice. I was crying as I was writing it. It felt like I was denying and rejecting the vision I wanted…that I believe in.
I explained that I didn’t want to force anyone to be introspective, that I had seen the benefits in my life in figuring out my core value and I wanted other people to experience the same thing. I explained that knowing your core value can free you from your limiting beliefs and you won’t be trapped by them. I knew this was true but I apologized and said it wasn’t fair and no one had to figure out their core value.
That email is one of my regrets.
Because the crazy thing is that five years later, none of those people are here. But all the current Helpers, Volunteers and Instructors at Toronto Dance Salsa know their core values – it isn’t even a question. You need to know and you need to have a growth mindset. It is now part of the culture at Toronto Dance Salsa.
I regret the five years I compromised and held back. I compromised on my values and traded on my integrity because I didn’t want other people to be uncomfortable. I let my fears get the better of me.
Everyone belongs, I believe that in my heart. But I also believe that some people aren’t ready to walk the same path as you, as me. The path you walk is sometimes lonely. Your values are what you need to hold on to the most.
Don’t compromise on your values.
Looking back and looking at where I am now, surrounded by people who match my values, I’ve learned that if you stay diligent, dedicated and unwavering to what you stand for, you will pull in the right people.
I love you guys.