Values are your rules of conduct. They characterize your sense of self and are elemental to the actions you take. In business, they fuel the winning formulas that have helped you achieve success throughout your career and life.

DNA Values are values that have been with you from the beginning and have inspired your accomplishments. Some of them are inherited from your early experiences of achievement. Others you acquired from the people around you: parents, teachers, friends, and mentors. In many cases, you picked them up subconsciously.

DNA values have their benefits and detriments. They can help you succeed but often control your actions more than you control them. You can be overly sensitive to DNA values that are not being honored within yourself or by others. They make circumstances “wrong,” causing emotional disconnection that creates upset, anger, frustration, anxiety, confusion, boredom, etc.…

Values disconnection makes work hard and drains your energy. As a young recruiter, there was a client who cheated me out of a fee. He sent my candidate secretly to a sister agency who hired him, breaking our written agreement. I made him wrong. Only my candidate could indirectly confirm the clients’ dishonesty, and I did not want to put him in an awkward position at his new job, so I sat in silent anger. My productivity suffered and, it took me several months of placement success to get back to peak performance.

Many times, our DNA values are on autopilot. I allowed circumstances to control me, stuck in my belief of being cheated. I had reacted, allowing my emotions to get the better of me, and being on autopilot, there was no other place for me to go except to validate the disconnected value I was stuck on, honesty. Had I known how to empower a value such as curiosity, I could have asked my client what happened rather than to make him wrong, boxing myself into a corner, without possibility.

To Energize Your Attitude, start by knowing yourself, identify your DNA values. There are likely specific values that constantly drive you crazy when they are not meeting your expectations of how they should be. What are they? If you struggle with this question, ask your workmates, friends, and family; they know.

Once you have identified the values that have supported your success, define them. What makes each value unique to you? When you take ownership of your values, it will be easier to consciously connect to those that inspire you and avoid those that do not.

When you consciously connect to values that inspire you and the people you work with, you heighten your emotional intelligence, the ability to control your emotions no matter what circumstance you face. In addition, empowering the values that energize your attitude will strengthen your productivity, innovation, and leadership skills achieving the greater success and satisfaction you want in your business, career, and life.

Barney Feinberg, PCC, CPCC, CPA, is the Founder and CEO of The Chemistry Factor – Executive Coach and Recruiter.