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

What do I value most? Introducing core values.

What are your values?What is most important to you?

That must be one of the questions I ask the most in my work as a life coach. Sometimes people will give an answer straight away, but more often, a pause and some inner reflection follows. Often, an initial answer will point to something that is important at that time, in that moment. A surface level of important, if you like.

But few can come summarise clearly and succinctly that which matters to them most at the deepest level. In coaching parlance, these are what we would call core values.

That’s all well and good I hear you say, but what are our core values?

  • They are the foundational beliefs that anchor our lives – the basis of our character, attitudes, actions, ethics and personal beliefs. They form a road map or guiding force for our lives – the core operating system if you will.
  • They are the things that matter to us – what motivates and characterises us indicates our values. Not sure of what your values are? Ask someone who knows you well to describe you in a few words, and you will start to get close to your values.
  • Our core values define our central passions and form the basis of our decisions. Knowing our values allows us to live proactively, not reactively – to make to be better equipped to understand the implications of what we say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to.
  • They are a framework for defining what we think is right and wrong. I value efficiency and organisation, and can therefore take a dim view of those who do not…and who therefore seem chaotic and unstructured to me. Judgement can creep in if we are unaware of what is at the root of our behaviour and assessments of others.
  • They are the non-negotiable characteristics that most clearly define our identities. Ignoring them or neglecting them ultimately causes stress and disconnect from who we really are.
  • Values are the driving force behind our work and our passions, but often deeply ingrained assumptions and therefore we are not always conscious of what they are or how they shape us.

Our core values are often molded early in life by parents, teachers, early experiences, authority figures and leaders, churches, role models. Think back to some of your early influences and the people that were around you as you were growing up. What did they instil in you? What did they model to you or expect of you? When you consider what is most important to you now, chances are you can trace the development of your core values back to some of these formative experiences.

Well, again – all well and good, yippee and so what?

I am with you.

I am a “So what?” person, and if presented with new information, will generally ask that question first. So what, what difference will that make, how does that change the way I live/approach decisions/get through the day?

Living in accordance with our values leads to fulfilment, and enables us to answer identity and purpose questions. Problems start when we have a disconnect with our own values, we don’t take them into consideration, we ignore them or – here’s the rub – we try and live out someone else’s.

So, over the next few weeks, we will be exploring further some of these issues. Today, simply stop every so often as you go about your business, and ask yourself –

Why did I make that decision? What is most important here?

Why am I so bothered about that person/conversation/event – what is at the root of how I am feeling?

– and you will begin to start identifying what your values are.

2 Thoughts on “What do I value most? Introducing core values.

  1. Yvonne Mildred on January 19, 2017 at 10:42 am said:

    Totally agree Catriona. I am certainly most at peace when in tune with my core values, and stressed when I am not!

    • Catriona Futter on January 19, 2017 at 2:12 pm said:

      Thank you for your lovely comment. Identifying our values is so important – we all have them, but often they are subconscious. Taking the time to dig a little and clearly understand what our values are and where they come from is a key element of self awareness and self growth. More on this subject to come!

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