When I found myself unexpectedly “Retired,” I embarked on studying to become a Life Coach. One module of the course focussed on Values. Our Value system is usually instilled in us by our parents, religion/culture, the education system, and acts as our moral compass. Yet it was not until I joined the Valueneurs coaching platform, where Values are the core focus, that I truly understood the pivotal role they play in our lives.
What convinced me was a network marketing meeting where we were pitching the Valueneurs platform to a group of small business owners. We asked participants to choose their 5 top Values from a list. At that time I was feeling particularly out of sync with life and generally fed-up with the world. Looking at my top 5 Values, the penny dropped – there was my answer!
Two of my top five are “Meaningful Work” and “Service”. At the time I was struggling to market my coaching business, so clients were few on the ground and I was struggling to find meaning as most of my work hours were spent on Marketing, from which I struggle to derive any enjoyment. It is a necessary part of any small business, but because I had almost no clients, I was focussing all my time on marketing.
The focus on marketing was so that I could derive benefit from increased business and it certainly did not make me feel like I was being of service to others. “Selling myself as a coach” feels such an egotistical, narcissistic pastime when I derive my meaning from helping others.
It was the linking of these two Values and the fact that I was not honouring them that led me to understand the role of my Values. If we are out of synch with our Values we tend to feel out of synch with ourselves. The easy way to turn things around is to ensure that we are living in alignment with our Values. For me, it was a case of bringing meaning into my work (i.e. reduce the number of hours focussed on marketing) and finding some way to be of service to others. As the opportunity to serve others was not coming from coaching, I needed to find it elsewhere, so I signed up to assist with serving tea at the Philosophy school that I attend.
Many people find their top Values tend to stay pretty constant throughout their lives. But, I find mine seem to have shifted in my latter years – or is it just that I am now more finely tuned to what they are? What do you think?
As I settle into my new retirement home, setting up the garden for a sustainable living I find myself at peace with the world and aligning closely with my core Values. I just need to slip in here that my chickens are beavering away at improving the soil for my vegetable garden and Saturday I finally got my first egg!!