Attitude part two – Values

Last week we looked at Attitude, what it is and why it’s important and also went into the 3 components of attitude namely, beliefs, values and feelings. If you missed last weeks post you can check it out at

The next component of attitude is values – a critical building block not only of Attitude but our personality. So exactly what is a value? It’s simply what’s important to you – either in general or at a life level, or what’s important in an area of your life like career/work. Some of my life values for instance are fun, family, wealth, success, integrity, authenticity, health and nature. Some of my work values are fun, success, integrity, self-expression, contribution and balance. You get the picture?

Values are important because they are basic drivers of results – you may say health is important to you but your results are the real indicator of whether that’s really true for you. Simply put, we make choices based on what’s really important to us on a daily basis – so if food or pleasure is more important to you than health, more often than not you’ll choose the chocolate cake over the gym session, which will show up in your results. Here’s the thing – values are often held in the subconscious mind (the part of your mind that circulates your blood and makes sure you breathe even while you’re sleeping), so you may not always be conscious of what your core values are.

So what if the results you’re getting are not what you want in an area of your life? Could that be because of your values? Absolutely. Remember that values are often sub-conscious so you may have values that you are not aware of consciously. Sometimes values also conflict with each other – e.g. having fun/partying and health may not go well together and a values-conflict can arise, with you literally being torn between two or more aspects of your life that are very important to you. This is why it sometimes feels like a “part of you wants to be/do/have” fun and another “part” wants the opposite!

It’s also important to consider what sort of motivation you have around a value – are you motivated “towards” a positive outcome or “away-from” a negative outcome? Let’s take wealth as an example – wealth could be important because it’s better than being poor, don’t want to be broke, want a good lifestyle, want to be financially secure. In this example, the last 2 (want good lifestyle & want financial security) are “towards” motivated and the 1st two are “away-from” motivated. Towards motivation is more long-lasting and sustainable than away-from in the long run and leads to more consistent results. This is also why diets can lead to “yo-yo” results – more often than not the motivation is “away-from” (I don’t want to be fat) and once the person loses some weight, the motivation disappears, leading to weight gain, when the motivation re-appears and so the cycle continues!

Values are critical determinants for success because if your actual core values don’t co-incide with your surface/conscious values, chances are you will struggle to achieve what you want to and may experience repeated self-sabotage and an internal tussle to take the actions that you need to in order to achieve your goals. What people often don’t realize is that values are also changeable and not constant. For instance what’s important to you at age 30 is probably different from what was important to you at age 15. As we grow and move through different phases of life, our values often change. The good news is that they can also be modified deliberately to get desired results. So if you want financial success and wealth, but wealth is not one of your life or work values – what are the odds of your being hugely financially successful? Pretty slim right! It is fortunately possible to modify your values and eliminate any away-from motivation using tools like PSYCH-K and NLP with support from a skilled coach. Once your internal/core values align with your conscious goals, the internal conflicts fade and patterns like self-sabotage no longer prevent your success.

If you want to find out what your values are just ask and answer the question “What’s important to me?” Remember you can find out your values about life or about a specific area like work, relationships, health and so on. E.g. if you wanted to find out what’s important to you regarding work you’d ask & answer that question and may come up with “contribution”, “recognition”, “money/financial reward” and so on. This is a fun exercise and you could find out things about yourself you did not know so give it a go! Remember to go with your first answer/guess as that’s likely to be the real / accurate answer.

So we’ve looked at beliefs and values as elements that make up our attitude. Have fun with exploring your values till next time, when I will go into feelings and how they shape our attitudes and impact our action so watch this space!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • LinkedIn

Related posts:

  1. It’s all in the attitude
7 Responses to Attitude part two – Values
  1. Michelle O'Neil
    September 22, 2010 | 3:15 pm

    That IS a fun exercise! I am glad to say it affirmed what is important to me.

    Also…not enough can be made of the use of the word “tussle.” ; )

    • Piya Khanna
      September 22, 2010 | 3:56 pm

      Lol glad you enjoyed it! I check in on my values from time to time – always a fun exercise ;)

  2. dawn
    September 24, 2010 | 11:53 am

    I like this idea but how do you know what to do to enhance my life. I want to be successful, I want money, I want I nice house. But how do I get this? How do I change? what can I do to make this come true?

    • Piya Khanna
      September 27, 2010 | 10:58 am

      Hi Dawn,

      Firstly, I don’t know what you need to enhance your life, you do. Where I can help is the “how” – tools, techniques & strategies that can help you get closer to your goals. In fact, if you just read the articles on the site about clarity, heart, attitude and so on, it gives a framework to begin with and some exercises to get started. Ultimately you are in charge of your life and your results and while people like coaches can help and support, you’re the creator of your life!

      Good books to read are 7 habits of highly effective people and other books on goal-setting and achievement as well as inspirational books as they help you see how others have achieved their goals. A greta first step is to find people who have achieved what you want to and read about how they did it – for instance if you want to be fit, read a book by a fitness expert, if you want ot get rich, read books by people who have done that like Warren Buffett and Donald Trump. Educate yourself and start the journey! If you want to have a personal conversation, I’m happy to offer you a free strategy session in London or on skype, just let me know.

      Best wishes,

  3. Orenda Urbano Hernández
    September 25, 2010 | 5:58 am

    This company is an excellent example of the excercise recommended in this article. The recognition of values, the thinking to achieve the goal, the succesful result is a positive contribution to start producing items with ecoresponsiblity.
    Also the key answer is not to look outside but inside to find a positive result. The recognition of personal values and the will to make it happen turns you into a connected person with your responsabilities toward nature.
    I remember a phrase telling: Human kind give polution to mother nature and she answers with flowers. It would be wonderful if we could turn the bad attitudes into flowering results.
    By reading the article one gets connected with the inner positive dialogue, and also one realizes there are more people connected with the positive attitude.
    It would be interesting to know where in our countries the products of the company are being sold to have another tool to be friendly with our environment.

    • Piya Khanna
      September 27, 2010 | 11:00 am

      Hi Orenda,

      I offer personal and executive coaching and am not selling products as such at present although I am putting together some videos and an e-book so watch this space!


      • Orenda U. H.
        February 15, 2011 | 3:58 am

        Hello Piya,
        It sounds very interesting. At the moment I can´t be a client for you eventhough the info you are offering is of my interest. If there is something you can share with me I am interested (or a web page) and in the future if I can I will be your client.
        Wish to hear from you and wish you a succesful year.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL