Understanding What You Value

Published: 17th July 2007
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An awareness of what you stand for is essential for knowing who you are. NLP therapists, Hertfordshire, teach the importance of understanding our own values and helping others to understand theirs.

All of us operate on a daily basis from a set of values. In fact, our values dictate how we spend our time, they drive what we do and also act as after event evaluators. Perhaps you've never given it much thought but you will have a set of values which are ordered in terms of importance to you - this is know as a "values hierarchy".

This article will discuss how to elicit your own values or those of friends or family. For more comprehensive information about values, I recommend that you consider NLP therapy in Hertfordshire or further reading.

Why learn about your values? - Identifying your values is a great way of taking ownership of your life and gaining self-knowledge. You may also learn where your values come from, whether they are your own or from someone else, whether they enhance your life or cause you problems.

If you find that most of your values seem to belong to other people, it may be time to take charge. Begin to ask yourself whether their way of viewing the world fits with your own experiences and perspectives. Often we find that we adopt the values of people that have influenced us as we grow up and still rigidly hang on too these values as adults, even if they have since become outdated or no longer serve us. Since we judge all that we do, by our values, we can find that were constantly trying to live up to a value we picked up from someone else during childhood.

Once you have identified your values, you can begin to look at whether they reflect how you as an adult choose to live your life. Values are context dependent. This means that you may have a different set of values for work, then for family life.

Follow the steps below to elicit your own values or those of others by asking:

1. What's important to you about X (work/relationships/life etc)?

2. Once the person has given you all the values they can think of, keep going by asking "what else is important to you about X"?

3. Keep going until the person is silent and then ask "What else is important to you about X"?

4. The next step is to prioritize the values. You could ask the person to number the values in order of importance to them, e.g. "What's most important?" then "What's next?"

5. Rewrite the list of values, according to importance and check with the person that it looks o.k.

The technique above is a very basic method for eliciting values. An NLP therapist, Hertfordshire will take you through a more thorough method for eliciting values, including values that you are not immediately aware of and for helping you prioritize your values more fully. If you are eliciting your own values or the values of others, it is important that you focus on the values that have guided how you/they have lived their lives so far, not how you/they wish they lived! One way to get yourself or others thinking about this is to imagine what values an observer would think you operated from, based on the way you behave!

Once you have identified your values, NLP therapists, Hertfordshire can teach you how to remove or modify unwanted values. You can also begin to start to use and communicate the values you want to live your life by, just by being more aware of whether your behaviour reflects the particular value.

Karen Hastings is an occupational therapist, master NLP practitioner and Hypnotherapist. in Hertfordshire. Karen uses hypnotic techniques alongside NLP and CBT to help overcome emotional and behavioral problems. Karen is based in Hertfordshire and also offers home-visits in Herts and Bucks. Visit http://www.karenhastings.co.uk for more information.

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