As coaches, we might find ourselves asking our clients a huge question. And that is…’what are your...
Understand and identify your values
Can you name three of your core values right now? If not, don’t worry. Not everyone can. But
If you’re not sure what your core values are, then it’s a good time to start figuring them out. Your values act as your compass throughout your life. And living by them means living a more fulfilling and authentic life.
If you think you DO know your values, ask yourself if you’re certain. It’s quite common for us to think we’ve nailed our values down, but actually… we haven’t. Here’s what can get in the way of us discovering our real values:
- We pick the values that make us feel like a good person (or to appear like a good person in front of our coach, if working with one)
- We think our values are fixed, so we’re pretty sure they’re the same as before, even though it’s been a long time
- We choose values we or society consider desirable
- We pick values that stand out to us on a list
- We think about the person we’d like to be, instead of who we are, and pick values based on this unreal version of ourselves
Remember, values aren’t fixed. Values can change over time. That’s completely normal. So if you think you know your values, let us challenge you to reconsider. Could it be that they’ve evolved? Could it be you’ve met one of the barriers above?
How to figure out your values
OK, let’s get started. How do we get to our core values?
You might’ve approached this before by making a list of words that resonate with you. However, values are more than just words we say.. Values are what we do.
With this in mind, we’d like to take you through a method adapted by John Demartini. It involves looking at your life and seeing how you spend your time. You might not realise this, but your values are leaving their prints all over the place!
Ask yourself these key questions to get them out of hiding:
- Where am I spending most of my time? And am I happy spending my time on this?
- Where am I spending my money?
- Where do I spend my energy?
- What inspires me?
- What do I often think about?
- What do I like to learn about?
- How do I fill my space?
By answering these kinds of questions, you’ll get closer to pinpointing your true values.
Write down your answers and see which words show up again and again. Then, think about creating a hierarchy from the group of words you write down.
This is a great exercise and it gives us more to go on than just a list and our feelings. We look at our actual lives to dig out our core values. We can see where they’re at play.
Have a go at the exercise and see what comes up for you.
Maybe, you have a good sense of your values and you’ll discover your gut feeling is right. Or maybe you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised.
Either way, knowing your values is essential for leading a life that’s true to you – a life you really love.