I realised a while ago that when I heard someone talking about Core Values, it made me feel uncomfortable.
Core Values come up quite often in Coaching sessions because they can be one of the signposts on the pathway of life. They give us a bearing about how we’re feel about things.
For example, you can think through a conflict situation at work and ask yourself ‘am I unhappy because they overstepped my Values?’ It becomes a process of elimination’
For many of us, this can be a new insight. We have values but we haven’t labelled them. They are a subconscious feeling that might have been aroused, say, as a reaction to a comment but we didn’t go as far as consciously capturing that feeling and turning it into a thought.
Thoughts happen when neurons sparks off in our brain. It’s possible of course that we don’t turn the spark into a conscious thought but never mind, there’ll be plenty more sparking off…about 6,000 a day is one of the lower estimates!
Anyway, an antidote to missing a thought is cultivating something I call The Enquiring Mindwhich involves consciously saying to ourselves something like ‘hello? what’s that going round in my head?’ then thinking and seeing what pops up.
Now, we have captured it we can think the thought through and do the next thing that comes to mind.
So… with 6,000 thoughts to have every day, do we need to spend time and energy thinking about our Core Values? Well, yes I think it’s time well spent and anyway, we don’t have to act on our thoughts as soon as we get them. Now that we’re aware of them they can be prioritised.
For sure, my core values are close to my heart and I believe them to be genuine but I’m not conscious of them all the time. Something like ‘Care & Consideration for Others’ I would say I’m pretty good at but is that because it’s already a personality trait and does it matter what category it sits under? Just own it.
‘Caring about the Environment’ may not always be at the front of my mind which, when it comes up in the conversation sets off questions about how sincere I am about it. Well it is one of my Core Values and I can do my part so if I, drop the ball, it’s another opportunity for me to take action and be better.
It’s a 4-step process…1. be aware of your thoughts …2. capture what comes up in your head…3. think it through…4. take the action.
Working on ourselves, modifying our behaviour in positive ways…it’s progress.