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December 16, 2018, 9:15 am

Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.

Earl Wilson

Life Coaching


Building Focus, Energy & Courage - to Make a Better Life for You

Who Are You?
Values

by

What is a Value?

A value is "a moral principle or accepted standard of a person or group", and a principle is "the distinction between good and bad or right and wrong". These distinctions about right and wrong are made by us - the value and principle holders.

Your values define, to an extent, who you are, and how you will relate to the world around you and the people in it.

But coaches also pay attention to client values as they relate to their goals. It's important that clients select goals which align well with their values.

What are Your Values?

You can get a feel for your values by asking yourself What are the values which you must honour in your life? Answers might include honesty, fairness, the rule of law, success, kindness, etc.

But that won't flush them all out, so here are some ideas to get at the rest.

  1. Think of memorable incidents which made you very angry. The chances are that your anger arose from some violation of a value you hold. For example, if you were very angry because the bar staff served the good-looking girl before you, even though you were there first, you might feel that your anger arose because you value justice (first come, first served) but you may also feel there was a violation of your values around treating people equally and not based on appearance.
  2. Think of things that make you sad. Could be a film, a book or any story - or it could be episodes from real life. Sadness is another indicator that one of your values is being violated. What is it?
  3. Ten Important Things about You. Write them down within 60 seconds, without thinking too much. Then, when time's up, examine each one and see if you can find a value in it. For example, if you wrote down "I am popular", it might mean that you value sociability in people - but be careful - it might not.
  4. Use Starter sentences to flush out values. Again, use your gut rather than your intellect, to complete endings 9perhaps more than one) for any of these kinds of sentence:
    • People should ...
    • The trouble with society is ...
    • If I ruled the world..
    • It makes me so mad when ...
    • It fills my heart with joy when ...
    • I worship/despise [this person] because ...

Pink Mercedes Convertible

You know how, if you're thinking of buying a new car of a certain type, then you'll keep seeing that type of car in the streets? That's because of a part of your brain called the "Reticular Activating System" (R.A.S.). When you load your new car into your conscious thinking, your RAS will note that you have an interest in it, and it will remain alert for relevant sensory data and make sure that your conscious mind it made aware of it. It will do this subconsciously - you will need no effort to make it work. Those pink mercedes convertibles were out there before, but your R.A.S. wasn't programmed and so you never noticed them.

Well, now that you have examined these values of yours, they will be in your R.A.S. and believe me (!) they will start to trigger new awareness. Throughout your day, you'll see events unfolding and you'll see how these events relate to your values.

One way to leverage and prolong this effect is to prioritise your list of beliefs in order of the impact you feel it has had on your life. Then arrange to have it tap you on the shoulder at regular intervals for a week or more. (You can use your mobile phone alarms, PC diary, Post It notes, office talisman - whatever to get this done). Change the beliefs you get reminded off when the benefits start to fade.

I strongly commend this work to you. It will tell you far more about yourself and the way the world works (and why it sometimes doesn't) than anything else I know of.

So What Now?

Once you understand your values you can actively seek out life opportunities which support them, and similarly, you can actively avoid or minimize situations which violate them. Look around your life and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Which of my values does my partner share? Which values conflict?
  2. How does my partner support my values and how do they violate them?
  3. Switch seats - how does your behaviour impact your partner's values.
  4. How does your family interact with your values and vice versa?
  5. What about my job and my colleagues; how do they interact with my values?
  6. Which of my values serve me well - and which cause me problems?
  7. Do I carry any values which I should re-examine and perhaps change?

Cultivate raising your awareness of these issues in your moment-by-moment existence, and look for opportunities - even tiny ones - to better align your life with your values. Over time, increased happiness is the inevitable result.

Have Fun with it!

If you haven't already seen it, you might want to read this sister article on beliefs.

I've helped many many clients to find their core values. I have got it down to a fine art. It takes between one and two phone coaching sessions. At the end you should have a list of between three and seven very short (less than five words each) values statements. When you have those, you'll be able to understand your life to date far more clearly. You'll understand why you did what you did, why you gravitate to certain situations and people. Why some things were miserable and others made you sing. And with that new clarity you'll also be able to assess new opportunities faster, and more accurately, and the certainty you find will allow you to commit more fully to the effort and resilience it usually takes to make real, lasting happiness appear in your life.

If you'd like to explore that option with me, just book an initial £10 phone consultation.

 

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