Good value living

One of the most important functions of coaching is that it allows you to raise your awareness of what is going on in your life. This can include your thoughts and behaviour and how they can affect the outcomes in your life. However, another very important role of coaching is that it helps you to identify and clarify what is important to you, which is often termed as your 'values'. Establishing what your values are can help you arrive at ideas about what you want in your life and for your future. It leads to questions about what is important to you and it can help you pinpoint what is missing and what you would like to have.

Values can be very different amongst individuals. As a generalisation, family, career, and personal relationships are all relatively important to the majority of people but you could not presume that these values were important to everyone. These values can also vary in importance between individuals with some valuing career over family, adventure over security or success over honesty etc. Although we can all have very different sets of values that drive our desires, it is through living out these values that we can feel we are living the life that we want. This creates a sense of fulfilment and cohesion, and that is why it is important to know what your values are. When you are not living out your values it can make you feel very frustrated and dissatisfied. 

If there is an area of your life that is not as you would like it to be, consider what it is that is important to you in this area of your life.  For instance, if your career is a major preoccupation think about what is important to you in your career. It could be values such as success, independence, creativity etc. Write down your top five values in this area of your life and then rank them in order of importance. Now give each value a score out of 10 indicating how much of that value you are currently receiving. You may be surprised to find that although some values are not being met there are others that your current situation is catering for quite well. If however, you find that many of your values are not being met it may be that significant change is required.

Look at the values in this area of your life and ask yourself which value is most important for you to get more of right now. Then ask yourself how you would know if you had moved one point up the scale from where that value is positioned now and write it down. Now write down at least three things that you could do in the next two weeks that would help you to move that one point up the scale. Finally, write down in your diary when you are going to do these activities.

You have now got specific ideas on how to improve your situation. Once you have achieved all that you have set out to do, you can repeat the process either with the same value or look at another that you have identified as being important. 

Although you may feel you have an idea of what is missing in your career or relationship or spiritual life etc., it is only through being specific that you can take directed action towards changing the situation. The more fulfilled you feel the more proactive and energised you become, which can produce knock on effects through all areas of your life and this is why identifying values can be so useful and self-fulfilling.

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