Chris Pye, Relationship Coach & Counsellor: The Value of ‘Why?’


Relationship Coach

As a Relationship Coach and Counsellor, I often meet individuals and couples who have lost sight of one vital thing – ‘Why?’

We get so caught up in the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of our busy lives and relationships that we can forget to pause and consider our true purpose. Research tells us that reconnecting with, and affirming, our core values is a powerful factor in reducing stress and increasing resilience. And – at the risk of being a bit obvious – more resilient humans means more resilient relationships.

The Voyage

Imagine life as an ocean voyage and yourself as a vessel. Your life goals are the rudder that steers you to where you want to go. But without an engine, you are unlikely to get there. Your personal values are that engine. Still with me?

When our lives and relationships veer off course, we can be left bobbing about, sails flapping in the wind, feeling lost and alone. And at times like these, taking some time to connect with what is important to us in life can bring us back to true north. O.k., I may have overdone it with the boat analogy, but you get the idea.

Empty Goals and Borrowed Values

There is no shortage of counsellors, coaches and personal development gurus, espousing the importance of setting goals. I am one of them. I also know from experience that goals that are not informed by your true values are empty goals, which may be hard to reach or ultimately unfulfilling when you finally do. Whether you value material wealth or monogamy, take some time to consider where these values came from and why they are important to you today. Borrowed values are as futile as empty goals if they don’t align with who you truly want to be in the world.

Right here, Right Now?

Our values often shift throughout life, from those imposed by family and culture to those that emerge from our lived experience. There are lots of creative ways to conduct
your own ‘values-check’ right now. Try answering this simple (if slightly morbid) question:

Imagine friends and loved ones gathered at your funeral to bid you farewell. What five words would you most hope they would use to describe you?

Write down your five words and change the adjectives into nouns (e.g., ‘Kind’ becomes ‘Kindness’, ‘funny’ become ‘fun’ or ‘humour’). These are the values that are important to you…right here, right now.

Did you do it? If so, congratulations! You just fired up your engine. And now that you have a powerful motor to drive you on your journey, you are supported – from the
inside – next time you or your relationships hit the doldrums.

What would Gaga do?

We may still look beyond ourselves for support from time to time, asking ‘what would my counsellor say?’; ‘What would my mother have wanted?’; or ‘What would
Jesus/Mohamed/Buddha/Gaga do?’ But now we have another option – one that helps us affirm the person we want to be in the world – ‘What do my own true values guide me to do?’

Chris Pye is a Relationship Coach who helps individuals, couples and families to transform conflict and communication difficulties into deeper connections. For more
about his work, or to book a free ‘first-step conversation’, go to: asinglestep.com.au

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