You can choose. You don’t have to stay with the values language you grew up with, or even the one you hold today. You can learn another one, one that better suits your life and dreams.
While I do agree with Adrian, in my view this is very advanced coaching, for I spend most of my time helping people understand the values they already have and their cultural connection to them as determined by their sense of place and their heritage. The “specialty” of my own coaching, is often to help in connecting someone’s deep-seated values with their innate strengths, so that they can nurture those strengths from good to great. Most of my clients don’t want to change their values; they want to better understand them, consciously apply them, share them in relationships with others, and in doing so celebrate them.
What I specifically want to call attention to in Adrian’s article is his suggestion that you consider your values choices when you embark on self-improvement programs. We don’t think about this often enough, getting swept away in the “feel better” “quick fix” promises that can be made to us, and I think that Adrian offers sage insight and advice.
Transforming yourself often means changing your values. If you don’t, little else will change about you. Learning, growing, developing all need some values changes. You can hope these will happen as a by-product of self-improvement, or you can take the time to explore your values and make changes consciously.
Either way, you should take a good a look at any values associated with the self-improvement group or teaching you have in mind to use. How do you feel about them? Do they profess values you want to make part of who you are? Try to read and listen between the lines. Go through any materials carefully, paying attention to what’s presented as important, what assumptions are being made, and what is immediately dismissed or condemned. Is that who you want to be? Are those assumptions yours? Do you share similar ideas about right and wrong?
Trust your instincts and listen to them, but do tread carefully. Ask questions, and honor how you feel about the answers you’re given. It may be that those innate values you have are talking to you, and you need to pay more careful attention.
I don’t mean to be a naysayer when it comes to self-improvement programs. I am adding my voice to Adrian’s in urging you to understand that there is always an undeniable values connection. Embark on the self-improvement you want, not on that which you are sold.