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Yesterday we looked at identifying what you value most in a particular relationship. It’s only natural now to flip the coin and ask these questions: “What do I most want to avoid in this relationship?" Or, "What are my greatest fears in this relationship?”  The relationship can be personal, professional or a combination of both.

Understanding Greatest Fears

Psychologists say that human are driven by two motivators: gaining pleasure and avoiding pain. It's informative to look at our greatest fears, i.e. the pain we most want to avoid.

Using a worksheet with 25 words, the values clarification exercise helps you prioritize the values you most want to avoid in a specific relationship - the “greatest fears."

Greatest Fears And Avoidance

In order to answer, “What do you most want to avoid...your greatest fears?" you must understand both the words and what behavioral meaning is attached to those words of pain, loss and disapproval.

Create a clear "moving away from" values/behavioral statement, such as:

“What I most want to avoid in my relationship with (name) is (value), and I know I’m experiencing it when (behavior) happens.”

Clarity To Gain Pleasure, Avoid Pain in Relationship

Partner with another person to share values, make meaning, confirm that you are heard when your conversation partner gives literal, verbatim feedback about what you said.  Practice skills of verbal clarity and listening (to self and the other) to better understand both pleasure and pain motivations. Practice non-judgment. Refrain from adding your interpretation, or questioning your conversation partner.

This values clarification exercise is an affirming experience of truth-telling and deep listening.  It is both empowering and liberating answer to “What do you value most?” and “What do you most want to avoid in this relationship?" and "What are your greatest fears?”

Living on purpose means making intentional choices.  In relationships that matter, making meaning of values is more important than ever.  People want to be heard, understood and appreciated. Even more, they want listeners to show they understand and respect what they heard, which is demonstrated by actions and alignment.

Transforming Greatest Fears

Engage more fully with your own values and beliefs. Confront, make peace with, and transform your greatest fears into healing and strength. Every relationship in your life will benefit from your new clarity.

Recognizing that some circumstances require the support of a trained professional, when you feel safe, it's liberating to share your deepest, greatest fears. If you would like the two values clarification worksheets to give clarity to your greatest joys and fears in relationship, please email me, with the words VALUES-2 in the subject line.

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