What are your values? We all have them don’t we? And we would be appalled if anyone suggested that we didn’t but could you list at least your top 8 or 10, or perhaps even 5, off the top of your head?
Now let’s see…….How do I define values? Well these are the things that are really important to us, the things, the characteristics that make us who we are and without which we would feel rather lost and not ‘us’. So they’re to do with our identity and what we stand for.
A value might be ‘fun’, perhaps ‘freedom’, financial security’. Are you beginning to see how it works? What about ‘family’? This is one loads of people want to include but ‘family” itself is not a value it’s what it gives us. What does it give you? It could be ‘love’, ‘belonging’ or something similar, it will be different for everyone.
One of the many tools in my coaching toolkit is one of values elicitation and using it with my clients is not just fun, it’s one of those things that has a wow factor and it’s eye opening and empowering.
But why worry about values? Why is knowing them important? If you know them, you can then use them, you can honour them. As we move forwards in our lives, getting to where we want to be can sometimes be relatively easy and at other times a real struggle. This can often be because our dreams, wishes and intentions are not in line with our values.
If you value integrity but are in a position where you are being asked to do things that compromise your integrity, after a while that is going to cause you pain or discomfort. Many people are not happy in aspects of their lives because the life that are living is not in line with their values but of course if you don’t know your values you will not know that this is the reason.
I have a fairly good idea of mine and I am also aware that the top 8 or 10 are only the tip but they will be the most important at that time. Some core values will always be in that top 10, others will move in and out depending on where you are in your life. For instance ‘responsibility’ may not be as much of a priority as a single person as when you become a parent it’s a different story.
For me, health is always up there but when I attended a values discovery day I discovered it was number 1. Not that surprising really as I had made a conscious decision to make all aspects of health my priority this year and also ongoing as I move towards 2016.
Yes, I’ve done values work before and I have a good idea of mine but I still have some aha moments and breakthroughs as I reviewing them and honour them. By focusing on them and using them as a check to aid my decision making I feel so much clearer and sure I am on the right track.
Do you know your values? I’d love to hear from you.