Think about the last time you went travelling and were trying to navigate a new place. It is quite the challenge, to find your way.
Fifty years ago, we would check a map, perhaps a compass. Thanks to the beauty of technology with a few taps on our phone we have GPS with directions telling us exactly where to turn.
In the physical world, we have tools we can access to help us go in the right direction.
How about in the mental world, do we also have access to these tools?
Yes, we do. They are called values.
Now, you might be thinking about how values can lead me in the right direction? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Why Do Values Matter?
First off, let’s quickly define what values are.
Simply put, values are a set of beliefs that describe our essence.
Knowing what we stand for makes it that much easier to know who we are and where we are going. Otherwise, we are wandering through life without a destination or direction.
When we know our values we understand what matters to us.
When we know what matters to us when facing a decision we can rely on our values to show us the right path.
From something as simple as writing an email to something more complicated like giving feedback to my team, your values will act as a guide to behave in a way that is aligned with what you believe.
Values in Action
Living out our values in our everyday life is a way to bring enrichment into our lives.
When we behave in a way that is misaligned with our values we often feel guilty, frustrated, or embarrassed.
On the other hand, when our actions are aligned with our values it brings a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.
Our values can help us in:
- Making challenging decisions. If you value adventure over safety, when presented with an opportunity to work abroad, this can fill you with the courage to make the move.
- Setting meaningful objectives and goals. Take a look at your everyday activities. How are you spending your time? If you value knowledge, learn a new skill by joining a course or picking up a book.
- Conquering obstacles. Often laziness or fear can prevent us from doing more. However, when we focus on our values we can find the motivation to overcome what is in our way.
Coaching and Values
In her bestselling book, Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, Ph.D., states,
“Living into our values means that we do more than profess our values, we practise them. We walk our talk – we are clear about what we believe and hold important, and we take care that our intentions, words, thoughts, and behaviours align with those beliefs.”
Through coaching, we can explore and discover what our values are.
We can find what really matters to us and look for ways to give our lives a direction and a sense of purpose. This can help us change from feeling stuck to moving forward.
Psychologist and Emotional Intelligence Coach
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