A value is defined as ‘The moral principle or accepted standard of a person or group.’ The definition of a moral is ‘The distinction between good and bad or right and wrong behaviour.’
Values are who we are. Not who we would like to be. Not who we think we should be. Who I am in my life, who we are in our lives, right now. Another way to put it is that values represent our unique and individual essence, our ultimate and most fulfilling form of expressing and relating. Our values serve as a compass pointing out what it means to be true to oneself. When we honour our values on a regular and consistent basis life is good, life is fulfilling.
Our mind-set comprises of internal filters, our upbringing, the environment we are in and significant emotional events, and all this happened so long ago it becomes forgotten and hidden.
Having a mind-set doesn’t allow for change or an expansion or challenging of our values and beliefs. How can we or our clients expect more from our lives if we keep doing what we have always thought, particularly when so much of our indoctrination has been passed down through generations and may no longer serve us or valuable for the time period in which we now live?
Values are what matter to us; what’s important, what we focus on, they make us take action (or not take action) – they are part of our motivation. Values drive an individual’s choices and decisions. They attract or repulse us to an activity or goal and determine the actions we will take.
Take a look at how you spend your time that will give you a good starting point to identifying your core values.
Values may be instilled through pain and pleasure throughout our formative years’ initially through our parents and our carers, and later by our peers, friends, teachers and educators, religion, culture, employers, partners and society. They shape your life based on what you want most, and what you fear most, values often pull us in different directions. You’ll hear it in the client’s language in the form of “part of me wants………….., whereas the part of me wants “………….
Our values (though they can and do change) are programmed early, and rarely are a grand design, so if we don’t know what they are, when goal setting they can ‘pull us apart’ and cause us to procrastinate, verbally beat ourselves up or set goals that aren’t good for us or our well-being.
Values may also come about because of unconscious decisions we make at different ages based on experiences and what we are rewarded or punished for, as well as significant emotional events, at all stages of our lives. (just think about having a child affects what matters to people!).
We are going to identify and recognise Values by way of single abstract word or label we give to emotional states or feelings.
Move toward value examples are: integrity, freedom, security, adventure, love, fun, respect, trust, enjoyment.
What others can you think of?
Move away examples are: boredom, rejection, sadness, depression, frustration, anger.
What others can you think of?
Each of us has a different hierarchy of values and as such our values determine how we choose to spend our time. For example, if adventure is our driver we may find ourselves taking risks that others would find scary or unnecessary, whereas if security is more important to us, we will spend our time and energy on ensuring the goal we set make us feel safe and secure, risk may not be part of our strategy or goal plan.
Can you imagine how different two individuals live would be if one was driven by adventure and the other was driven by security? Can you see how their choice, goals, actions may be very different? And as such, they will achieve different outcomes?
If you know your number one value, you can generally predict the overall basic direction of your life.
It’s important to remember that two people can share the same values (i.e., security) but have different meanings for it. That is why we are calling them abstract labels,
So never assume you know what someone means when they share their values with you.