Welcome to my second blog. Where do I start!! There are so many things to discuss and unpack, I am like a kid in a sweet shop! The focus of my blog is broad, as I want to focus on well-being and wellness so people can live a healthier life, as well as share my thoughts on performance in multiple domains including sport and business. So I will start at the root of it all; the one thing that guides our thinking, our emotional state and our actions – our values.
Throughout our lives we experience many things that leave a legacy on our thoughts, emotions and behaviours. This affects the choices we make and the behaviours that we engage in, and therefore dictates our everyday practices and our emotional and cognitive responses to the issues we face. The different lenses through which we look at life is what makes us unique and represents our personal view of the World. Have you ever thought about why you have different views to a good friend, or find it difficult to accept the behaviour of a work colleague? While this may be due to ‘rules’ imposed by the workplace, it is more likely that your emotional and cognitive discomfort is far deeper than simple norms.
In most cases, values are learned, based on interactions with others. Therefore, the unique social environments and learning opportunities that form the basis of our upbringing will have a large part to play in the formation of our values. Parents, friends and school will have the most significant impact on values in the early days of life and these then become relatively stable. Of course, these can change through modifying experiences and social influences. For example, a new place of work can change the way we feel and think about a particular subject over an extended period of time. Such value characteristics as ‘having a strong work ethic’ are not accidental. In most cases, this value will have been impressed on you by parents or through the observation of others achieving accolades through hard work. In some cases, values change very quickly. For example, a near-death experience or accident can change a person’s outlook on life and alter their value system forever!
This is why we are all different! Simply recognising this is important to solving many problems such as creating harmonious relationships at home, or managing conflict in the workplace. In high performance environments, just knowing and accepting that people have different values and beliefs is important in dealing with professional decisions. Trying to look at a problem from other people’s perspectives certainly helps in creating a more collaborative working environment even though the decisions can be stressful, and consensus is not always reached. In a performance setting our values can help guide processes and ultimately lead to positive performance consequences. However, the downside is that they can also lead to limiting beliefs and compromises because our values may not match the environment or those of others in the performance team. I want to offer my help to teams by maximising their potential in the workplace.
On a more introspective note, our values will allow us to embrace every precious moment of our existence. Alternatively, they can shelter or limit our thinking to the point we barely exist at all. I want to help people make the most of what they have and live a more fulfilling life.
In future blogs, I will drill down in more detail on aspects of values and how they can affect performance. I will also spend considerable time discussing how values and beliefs constrain our experiences of life by placing limits on our interpretation of the World and the decisions that we make. Feel free to comment on this blog and request specific topics that may help you in your pursuit for a more fulfilling life, or to improve performance at work or sport.
My next blog will focus on intention. What are your goals? What will your legacy be? I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you soon!