Geraldine Lavery is our Professional & Personal Coach at The Mitchell Hill Clinic. This month she explains ‘core values’ and why honouring them can help you to clarify your goals.
“We all have values that help us make choices about what we commit to in our lives. If you spend time and energy on something that goes against your core values you are likely to feel resentful and frustrated. Similarly if you spend too much time committing to one value and ignoring the others your life will feel unbalanced; not honouring your values in your activities and relationships, you will get a nagging feeling that something is missing or wrong in your life.
In this context values are the things that matter most to you, the essence of who you are; what is important to you; what you care about and what you want from your life. Values act as a guide to our behaviour, indicating how we can be true to ourselves. When we honour our values on a regular and consistent basis, life is good and fulfilling. Important life decisions such as changing your job are easier to make when guided by a real understanding of your core values.
Our values have usually been long-established, often in childhood, and are still driving our behaviour years later – simply because we don’t know about them and therefore don’t know if they are still relevant to us today. For example as a child, to work hard in everything you do may have instilled a value of achievement; however, you might also alongside that have another value such as playfulness. An imbalance can set in when you focus exclusively on the achievement without realising or acknowledging that playfulness is also a core value. As a consequence you may be a high achiever but feeling unfulfilled without knowing why. There may be frustration because there is not enough fun in your life.
Identifying your core values isn’t always easy to do and working with a coach can help you establish what yours are, and how to honour them in everything you do. You are then in a much stronger position to live a fulfilled life (making decisions founded upon self awareness) and have a clear sense of what is important to you.”