As coaches we do a lot of target work on getting new results. This might include goal setting, accountability, sales coaching, marketing planning… some tasks that have an obvious benefit to the client.
What can be less obvious and much needed is work that examines our deeper programming. Work on Personality, Values and Beliefs (and the combination of Values and Beliefs about a thing that result in Attitude).
This higher-level change impacts the goals and behaviours with maximum leverage.
Values are an easy to work with leverage point.
Why are they so easy to work with? Because we are often living values that are not even ours:
- Values our parents instilled
- Values we absorb from society and media
- Values that are required in our environment such as our place of work.
We don’t have the same attachment to those Values. They are not OUR values.
As soon as we start exploring, opening up the box so to speak, we can easily identify those values that are incongruent, cause conflict or awkwardness, take us in the opposite direction from where our Life Mission would lead us.
One way to discover our values then is from the results we are getting.
See, our Core Values are those parts of our programming that determine where and how we are willing to invest our time, money and energy. OR as Richard Bandler puts it, “those things we don’t live up to.”
When our Values are deliberate, they resonate at our very centre. Our Core. Core Values.
Exploring and ordering your Core Values allows you to naturally start moving in an authentic way of being. When we live inside our true values, we feel authentic, motivated, safe in our strong sense of true self.
See Values are the foundation on which we form our Beliefs (including toxic limiting beliefs). And Beliefs determine how we Think. And Thoughts determine our Emotions (our state- including unwarranted, unnecessary triggered Negative Emotions). And State determines our Behaviour. And Behaviour is what leads to results.
It’s all math really.
Tell me the results you are getting and we can easily uncover the Values and Beliefs that would lead there!
If your life needs better writers (title of a book I am writing!) this is where we start.
So what is the secret process of eliciting values?
It is a lot easier to do this with a partner (or a coach) but here it is in a nutshell:
Look in three places:
- Where did I get to live my values and feel fabulous? Remember a time when you were totally motivated in life, a specific time. What emotions were there? What values were you demonstrating?
- Now remember a time when you were stressed, frustrated, struggling. What values or emotions were there? What values were being hindered?
- Then think of activities in which you felt you were fulfilled, everything right with your world… what were you doing? With whom? What was special about it?
Then, look at the list… is anything missing from that life? What else would be needed?
If you struggle with these, browse through a list of values for inspiration. Talk to others about their values. Take some real time with this.
Now: rank them in order of importance. You may find some repetition or themes. Whittle it down to your top 3 – 5.
Define each of your values – notice other values may show up within your definition.
For instance, in my core value of Courage – the values of truth and vulnerability and authenticity come into play. At least in my definition.
Look for incongruence – if you are a start-up entrepreneur and your highest values are Comfort and Security (even Family) there is an incongruence between your choice “start a business” and those values.
Identify and work-through these incongruencies… just bringing them into awareness does a great deal to shift those Values or choices to be congruent.
And the secret sauce on top of the secret process? At last! –
VERB YOUR VALUES!
How do I DO courage? Speak truth. Hold people accountable. Ask for help. And I get much more specific than that for each role I am in. As a coach, I do not allow a client to lie to me or themselves in a session. If I hear “that’s just the way life is/ the way I am etc.” we don’t move on. We dig in.
How can you put actions (behaviours) to your Values. Make a nice long list.
Now ask your self – what will my world look life after living these actions each day for 3 months?
What new results will I see?