Our values are the foundation of everything we do. It determines the satisfaction in our daily lives and affects how we show up in our relationships, careers, for our family, friends, and in the face of adversity.
Early on in my coach training we did an exercise to identify our own values in life and as coaches. It was a life-changing experience for me and created the foundation on which I made many changes in my life, from ending a relationship, completely changing my career and digging into my own depths to really look at who I am and what I want in my life. At the time I was not completely clueless but I also wasn’t mindful about what was missing in my life and why I was not feeling fulfilled.
This is common because people are often living to meet values that are not their own because nobody stopped them and gave them the opportunity to look in the mirror and decide if these values were theirs or not. Many of our values are informed by our parents, either we adopt them or we steer the completely opposite direction depending on our upbringings. It is common to find that values people are trying to fulfill are values they were told directly or implied by their parents and/or teachers, and now as adults they have never questioned them.
With every client I work with, we start by identifying their values. This becomes a continual source of reference throughout our coaching relationship. For every change a client wants to make we look at the values that will be being met with that change they want to make, and whether the change will dishonour any values. During times of adversity, like right now when there is so much uncertainty around us regarding the Coronavirus and potential job losses, values are what can help keep you grounded. They also give you great guidance when you are scared and the strength to articulate those fears out loud.
Right now, like many of you, I face the possibility of being laid off from a job I love, clients asking for cheaper rates or stopping coaching altogether, but I still feel grounded.
Why? Because each day I make it a priority to make sure I do at least one thing to honour my own values that doesn’t cost me money. My top 5 values are:
- Silence/alone time
- Serve others
Right now with social distancing I am spending a lot of time alone. I like being alone and silent. It is when I find I become most creative; I meditate, I walk alone, and I spend time on introspection and checking how I feel emotionally.
With this time I am writing more and enjoying exploring my thoughts. I listen to the sounds around me. Right now I am sat at my desk listening to the birds chirping away and the faint sound of traffic and an airplane overhead. It is telling me the world is still alive and full of lots to celebrate. I am also more aware of what visually surrounds me; the sun, blue skies, and green trees. Physically, I feel a light breeze and the warmth of the sun.
Honesty and integrity I use all the time. In my relationship they are fundamental parts that have to be there. If there is a problem or concern in the relationship it gets spoken about. If there are feelings of lust and love they also get voiced too. I also work with youth, some of whom are struggling with social distancing and being away from their families. I create a safe place for them to say how they feel unedited. People often fear other people’s honesty but I believe with honesty although I might not like what the other person is saying at least I know their truth and with that I have something to work with. My job is not to change their truth, my job is to help them change their truth if the truth hurts and they don’t want to feel that way any more.
Serving others. My whole life is about serving others because in serving others I feel purposeful and fulfilled. Serving others does not mean being their doormat, it means working with people to help them live the life they want, being there when others run away, and creating safety for them to be their genuine self. In my service of others I am genuine, honest and have integrity.
Being genuine to me means being true to myself and why I do the work I do. It is vulnerable and not everyone likes it but it’s me, and I am ok if people don’t like me for it, because there are others who are attracted to work with me because of it.
If you are interested in finding out your own values and exploring what they mean to you, get in touch for a 30 minutes discovery call. I am open for business and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Sessions are available online over Skype, FaceTime and Zoom, and over the phone. I work internationally so if you are outside of Canada, still get in touch, I would love to hear from you.