As a coach, when a client comes to me with a problem, I am tempted to try to resolve the problem for them. But this is rarely helpful. Solving the problem for a client is like feeding a man a fish. My clients think they want me to solve their problems. But what they really want is to know how to solve the problems for themselves.
Clients often come to me and ask me for help because they need to make a difficult decision. I could offer to help them list the pros and the cons. I could give them advise about what I think would be the best choice. I could ask them what choice feels best to them. And none of these offers would really help them.
When we are struggling to make a decision or make a commitment, it’s because we have cognitive dissidence which is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. Thank you, Wikipedia for that definition of cognitive dissidence.
Like businesses, individuals who are clear about their values can quickly make decisions that reflect those values and that purpose.
Discovering your values may take some soul searching. Many of us discover that the values we want to have don’t match the values we actually have. For example, I could say that one of my values is honesty. But if, in reality I give myself permission to “stretch” the truth or omit parts of the story to get the result I want, is honesty really one of my values? Maybe what has actually been a value for me is getting what I want (even if I have to fudge on the truth).
Here are some options for discovering your personal values.
- Download this exercise, Identify Your Values
- Call or email to set up a complimentary coaching session and I will work through it with you.