Catriona Futter – Equip For Life Coaching Becoming your best self and living life to the full – 07713 974138

Where there are values, there is conflict.

Values and conflict.

Values and conflict.

Ever found yourself in a situation of stress and turmoil that is entirely of your own making? Where you feel that there are two different voices inside you pulling you in different directions? Neither voice is wrong, but the fallout of trying to honour them both equally causes internal stress and external ramifications.

Until we understand what is going on here, it can be hard to reach a sense of peace. Decision making is more difficult, or reactionary, as we started talking about last week.

What am I talking about?

Values and conflict.

Specifically, conflict within our own value set. When two things that are important to you seem to clash.

An obvious example of this might be if you value both career success and family. Both are important, and this is not about judgement. Self-acceptance is about just that – accepting that what is most important to you is valid, and a part of who you are. Not the person next to you, you. There isn’t a hierarchy of values, ranked in order of worthiness or societal merit. Many people value success in their career, often linked to other values such as fulfilment, responsibility, achievement, hard work, inspiring others, mentoring, to name but a few.

But I digress…conflict can arise when we value both career success and family because there is going to be a huge two way pull on our time and energy.

Career success takes time, commitment, study and development, but the cost of this is likely to be time and energy for your family. If our workplace or career, or those we engage with outside the home get the very best of us in terms of energy, commitment, time, engagement, what is left for those at home? We have finite amounts of time and energy, so how do we decide who gets the best of our energy? And who do we disappoint?

For me, I value both authentic relationships and efficiency. Problems arise when I am a bit frazzled, my mind is over cluttered with stuff, and the house is a mess.

What do I want to do most?

Regain control of my environment and restore efficiency to bring order and calm to my mind. Nothing wrong with that. But…the problem is that in my often crazed-tasmanian-devil whirlwind of tidying up and regaining efficiency, I trample all over my nearest-and-dearest.

Those authentic, precious relationships that I say I value so much. Hmmm.

The result is not pretty, often involving angry words on my part, huffing and hurting on the part of other household members. Unhappiness and disconnect pervades in the home, the exact opposite of what brings my soul peace and conveys to my family that they matter to me.

Perhaps you value both harmony and accuracy. You might be asked to do a task or project for a friend- you don’t want to let them down but you have insufficient time to do the project well. Or take efficiency and excellence – when asked to do a task, is it more important to do it well, or to do it quickly?

And therein lies the answer as to how we learn to prioritise our values.

In that situation, at that time, what is more important?

With the harmony and accuracy example, if you know you have insufficient time to complete the task to the level that is important to you and reflects who you are, perhaps on that occasion the right decision is to kindly and politely say no to the request. Equally, if the consequences of saying no would be too serious in terms of the ensuing disappointment or potential conflict in that relationship, saying yes to the task but accepting that time implications might be the right way forward.

But until you know what is going on – what the internal dialogue needs to be – it is very hard to make decisions clearly and proactively.

Arranging our values in order of priority enables us to understand how to move forward when there is a clash that impacts our behaviour or decision making. With me, I am learning to warn the family first when I am about to have a mad half hour of tidying so they can stay out of my way and avoid emotional fallout. They understand why this is important to me, but I am learning that it is not fair to dump my stress and frustration on them.

So this week, as we continue to dig around under the surface and gain understanding of our values, a few considerations – where might there be conflict between your own values? How is this playing out this week in your decisions, behaviour, emotional well being? What is most important?

Inspired? Encouraged? Get in touch!

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