What is informing your thoughts, words and behaviours?
Our personal core values are the things that are most important to us. Our values are our principles and standards of behaviour and the driving force behind our behaviours.
Are you clear on what yours are?
Could you list the top three if asked?
They may have changed over time, they may evolve as your priorities in life change.
They may have been influenced by your parents or role models in your younger years.
They may be something you want more of, possibly something you want less of.
They are informed by our beliefs and our experiences.
There are no right or wrong values. There is not a values hierarchy within society, although we will have a hierarchy within our personal values.
Our set of values is personal to us. It is what is important to us.
When we are clear on what our values are, we can leave behind the thoughts and behaviours no longer of use to us, we can start to live a life with purpose and with a clear direction.
When we are not clear, this can have an impact on us mentally, physically and emotionally.
Our values are the driving force behind our behaviours, so when we are asked to behave in a different way, a way that is in conflict with our values, we get that feeling of being uncomfortable, often in our gut. It feels ‘off’ and out of sync with what we want to do.
When our values conflict with the values of others we can find ourselves questioning their actions. We may feel irritated by things they say or do. It feels awkward because we like the person and yet we cannot relate to where they are coming from or why certain things seem to be important to them and not to us.
When our personal values conflict with the values of the organisation/business we work for, we can find it difficult to understand decisions that are made or priorities that are set. This can impact morale and often our performance. We are drawn to work that reflects our personal values, if the values of the organisation change, for example from quality and customer service to quantity of customers handled, this can create conflict for someone who has a value for meaningful work.
Sometimes our personal values conflict with each other. We have a situation where we feel that we must choose between two things that are important to us. Or, we must find a way to meet both. This can be particularly challenging however it is possible and often an area that comes up in coaching sessions as it is helpful to talk things through to resolution.
Having more than one thing important to you is completely normal, it is what helps shape what we do, why, and how we do it.
Understanding what is important to us and why can help us choose what we do in the future and drive the principles and behaviours most important to us so that we can confidently live the life we choose.
Find people who share your values, and you’ll conquer the world together.
—John Ratzenberger .
If you would like to spend some time reflecting on your values and understanding how knowing them can help drive your behaviours so that you can confidently live the life you choose then why not check out the range of activity sheets on the website.
Find out a little more about coaching in this short video.
First published Jan 2019
Republished May 2020