First things first, do you know your values? This is a trendy thing to say, I realize, but an essential thing to have in your pocket. Why? Well, simply because to know your values is to also know how to direct your life. This is one of the very first things I walk clients through at the beginning of our partnership. KNOW thy Values! It’s a must. I take them through an exercise to prioritize the Top 5. We have a bazillion values but its the top few that we really work within the most often. Therefore I picked 5 to focus in on for coaching.
Once you have that figured out there may come a time when you feel your values aren’t being met.
When do you know it is time? What do you do when it is time to re-evaluate?
You know it’s time when one seems to be getting “hurt” a lot. Let me use an example and walk us through it.
Let’s say you have a value of loyalty. When someone is your friend, your gift back to them is your loyalty. You believe that loyalty is a virtue of that friendship and therefore you would always stand by your friend. No. Matter. What. This is an unspoken code that you live by.
Now let’s say you’ve been feeling from a friend that they haven’t shown the same level of loyalty by certain behaviors you’ve seen of late. It seems that they do not return the loyalty you give so freely. With loyalty it usually is something that is tested in the friendship. You may feel like they didn’t stick up for you in a specific situation. But you feel strongly they are not being as loyal to you as you would be to them. This is a good time to take a look at this value.
Of course, we each of us have our own set of values. We use them as our GPS systems and they help define our way through life that makes life good, safe, and right for us. But that does not mean yours shouldn’t be honored in a relationship or friendship. The first thing I would ask this person with a value of loyalty is to be clear about their value.
Step 1. Clarity on your value NOW. How you define it or see life through the value of LOYALTY?
Then I would take this example of the friend and talk out where and how it hurt that the friend didn’t do right by them.
Step 2. See where and what is happening when you are hurt/hurting. What happens when someone doesn’t honor your value of LOYALTY? How do you feel? How often is it happening? What is happening when you feel they are not loyal?
Usually we call this your value isn’t being honored. When it is not honored you will feel frustrated and angry. But this can be due to the fact that you have a silent expectation that the other person/s aren’t aware. It is always good to say aloud our needs in any relationship. But if things aren’t changing there are a few things you can do. Before we go down that road it may be time to…
Step 3. Time to re-evaluate/review your value. You could be having too many expectations when it comes to the meaning of your value. OR assuming everyone has the same values or ideas.
If you talk to the person and they just don’t seem to really understand you then it is either time to re-evaluate your friendship or your expectations around your value.
Values are at the core of who we are and how we relate to others and navigate life. It is always good to have a good understanding of your values and what is working according to them and what is not.