So here we are again, looking at how understanding and living your Values helps you live the life you really want to live.
In my last post, I explained my Independence value, and how it shows up in my choices. Today I’ll take you through my other four key values and the part they play.
My hopes through doing this are:
- Your values ‘come alive’ for you, and you understand why it’s so important to value your values. I know your values will be different from mine, but I can only explain this using mine as the examples!
- you will get to know me better
Let’s crack on!
I considered putting this first as it is a major driver for me. In fact, I recently did a new profiling test which explained quite simply that my whole reason for doing anything is learning, deeply.
Wondering why my value is Understanding and not Learning? It’s just a bit broader than learning for the sake of knowledge. Understanding things deeply supports my Independence value. It also influences how I relate to others.
I’ve always known I loved learning but I thought of it as a side-benefit, if I got to learn something new along the way it was a happy coincidence.
Looking back, I realise the reason I progressed in my career was that I was always on the lookout for something new to learn, I became a “Superuser” for software because I wanted to fully understand it. Not because I wanted to be the best at it, or I was particularly interested in software, I just needed to understand it. I became a Team Leader and then Manager because I learned everything I could about the job.
Becoming a Pilates instructor meant I learnt about the human body, becoming a Transformational Coach meant I learnt about the human psyche.
The reason I could help underperformers at work become successful, was because I wanted to understand the world from their point of view, then help them understand the world from the business’s point of view. The way I work as a Transformational Coach is helping my clients understand themselves, and their options, better, through my own curiosity.
This probably comes from being an introvert, I:
- Hate being around raised voices or arguments
- Dislike ‘barky/yappy’ dogs
- Live in a small village in the middle of Somerset where there is no traffic or aeroplane noise.
- Moved away from noisy neighbours.
- Avoid living or working in a chaotic environment.
- Hate too much clutter
- Avoid the “noise” that negative headlines and news stories create
- Get stressed or overwhelmed by social media
I used to have Optimism as a value but changed it to Trust because, a bit like Learning/Understanding, Optimism didn’t quite cover everything for me.
The words you pick for your Values are more than just words, they have a specific meaning….to you. You will often find the ‘right’ word feels like it connects to your heart, this is because our Values are connected to our Heart intelligence.
Before you roll your eyes and say “yeah, right, heart intelligence eh?”, neuroscientists have proved that we actually have neurons (brain cells) in our heart and gut, as well as our heads.
Anyway, back to Trust. Trust for me covers:
- Trusting situations will work out OK – even if it didn’t work out as you hoped, I have found it works out the way it needs to.
- Trusting people are OK – I’m pretty certain people rarely get up in the morning with the intent of ruining someone else’s day.
- Trusting my own intuition
- Trusting my team or my clients are smart enough to solve their own problems, given the right support
This one was a bit of a revelation for me and is kind of an ‘umbrella’ value. I’ve noticed it’s also one no one else picks – why does that matter?
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, after we’ve met our basic survival needs of food, water, rest, warmth, shelter, and security, we seek a sense of belonging, connection to others in the form of relationships and friendships. Ultimately our goal is self-actualization, achieving our full potential and doing something meaningful. For us to do that we have to feel a sense of connection to what we’re doing!
I know I need to feel a sense of connection to:
- The work I’m doing
- The people I’m working with
- My community
When you are looking at your values, just accept that Connection will be one of them. Disconnection is linked to depression (you can read about this in ‘Lost Connections’ by Johann Hari) – not surprising really when you think about Maslow’s description of what we need for a well-lived life.
So there you have it, my five core Values – Independence, Understanding, Peace, Trust, and Connection, and what they mean to me. When I am acting in alignment to these, I find I have more energy and feel happy about what I am doing. When I don’t, I feel drained, frustrated, and lacking in motivation.
I hope this has inspired you to take a deeper look at your own values and the part they are playing in your life. You can use them to help you:-
- Weigh up your options
- Prioritise your activities
- Communicate what’s important to you to others
- Understand why you do the things you do
- Feel more energetic and positive
- Get rid of all the noise of shoulds and coulds
- Let go of things more easily
Why not challenge yourself to spend a week living a value-led life and see what happens?
Oh, and if you’re not sure what your values are, give me a call!