“I have not been true to my values…” is part of Tiger Woods’ statement released today amidst the fallout from his November 27 early morning car crash. The question is, which values does he mean?
Many people know they have values of family, home, good work ethic, and not stealing, cheating or lying. However they often aren’t aware of the core values they hold dear. If Tiger examined his core values, maybe he’d discover his above statement is inaccurate regarding his current situation. Perhaps his core values include adventure and risk-taking and those may be higher-held than the values of loyalty and commitment. There’s no judgement here. We all prioritize our values and make choices. With awareness, we can make conscious choices aligned with our higher-held values, rather than our lower-held values. When we honor our higher-held values, we cause less pain to ourselves and others.
Values aren’t right or wrong, they simply are, and they can change over time. Knowing one’s values allows one to make conscious choices which honor those values and prevent a conflict such as Tiger’s current situation. If he values adventure and risk-taking above loyalty and commitment, it may be fair to say he was not true to his core values when he chose to enter into a committed relationship and marry. Which is the bigger transgression? Adventure and risk-taking may be fitting core values, and advantageous, for a competitive professional athlete.
People find themselves at odds with their core values many times without realizing it and it’s often because of lack of knowledge of their core values. Consider:
- The woman who spends “too much” time at work and not enough at home. She may be honoring her core values of achievement and recognition which are met through work rather than home.
- The man who thinks life isn’t much fun any more, as he goes through the motions day-to-day. He may not be honoring his core value of fun and he’s not looking for ways to incorporate fun into his life on a daily basis.
- The woman who never seems to rise to her potential may actually be honoring her values of community and partnership over accomplishment and responsibility.
- The man who is struggling with transition may find it harder than others because his core values of balance and security aren’t being met.
It’s important to understand what your core values are and your definition or meaning of each value. With this awareness, you can make choices in alignment with your higher-held core values. You can alleviate the feeling that life is unfulfilling, stressful and troublesome, as Tiger is presumably now experiencing.
Visit my website (www.asirk.com) and click on “About Coaching” to download your free Values Clarification Worksheet.