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The Values of Values


Ok, so I have a question for you. What was the last major decision you made? Be it the decision to go to university; accept one job over another, to move to another house/area, or even to begin or end a relationship, and it felt “right”, and you were happy with your decision until this day? Whatever your decision, the likelihood is that you made it consciously, but more likely, sub-consciously based on your values. So, what exactly are our values? and how much do they really impact on our everyday lives? Values are those things that are important to us, from honesty and trustworthiness to ambition and achievement, everyone has different sets of values, and most people have between 5 and 7 top values which are our core values. for the most part values work sub-consciously, we are not always fully aware of why we decide what we decide, or do what we do. But they are our compass and guide us. Our values, influence, not only our beliefs systems, (and vice versa) but in turn our attitudes and behaviour. For example, someone who hold a value of learning, may believe that anything can be learnt, has the attitude (or point of view) that education of any kind is a good thing, then the resulting behaviour will be someone who will read daily or be aware and take up new learning opportunities on YouTube or through local evening classes. when it comes to work, their decision as to what career to take will most likely be driven by what one most meet their learning need; because that’s what’s important to them. When our actions (behaviour) or decisions, are not in line with our values, we feel the internal conflict that can result in negative states, such as feeling stressed or unhappy. But if we are fully in touch with our values, and understand what our core values are, we can bring them in when we need to make decisions or take actions, to ensure they are aligned. In my coaching practice, I often ask the client to explore what their values are, especially if they find themselves, having what they believe they want, but still feel unfulfilled. There are many ways to do this but I love this exercise that I will leave you with, it’s short and sweet and always puts a smile on my face Rocking chair exercise Imagine you are very old, and you are sitting relaxing in your rocking chair at home. You are reflecting on your life and thinking about how you have achieved or experienced what is most important to you in your life. Write down your answers and then think about what value they most represent. What would you like to be looking back on? (family times, friendships, career) What are the highlights that you enjoy reliving? (adventures, romance) Whose lives have you touched? (mentees, family) What difference have you made? (teaching others) What are you proud of? (career, home) What was soul satisfying? (running marathon for charity) How did you fulfil your life purpose? (e.g. passing on knowledge) What thoughts/actions got you through difficult times (e.g. humour, kindness, organisation) What was you grateful for in your life? (e.g. freedom, achievements) What will your legacy be? (e.g. inspiration) When were you happiest? what were you doing? Who with What were your proudest moments? What was happening Thinking about these questions can help you tune into what really matters to you. JQ


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