Core Values Exercise: The Integrity Formula

Integrity – living consistently in alignment with your core values – is the secret to superior self confidence.

Your core values create a compass that guides you to make authentic decisions, that is to take action that aligns with your true moral code and provides the best quality of life for you in the longer term.

The most challenging element of this process for most people is figuring out what their core values really are, and learning how to look past their programming, conditioning, and the influence of people around them.

In this video, I’ll share an exercise I do with my coaching clients to help them identify and define their own personal core values, in a way that gives them immediate guidance on how to behave if they want to become more confident.

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Full transcript (unedited)

What I’m going to do now is give you a very practical exercise to figure out what your core values are and how to live by them. So that you can build integrity and therefore become a self confident person. Now, my philosophical opinion on this is that core values are innate, I think we do develop them through experience. And the way we’re treated gives us a definition of the core values, but I think we born with them. And I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere down the track, it’s scientifically proven that core values enhance survival rates or something like that. But for now, it’s just a, an opinion. So I think we’re born with them. I’ve seen it. So often, when I’m watching infants and toddlers, they’re clearly living by these values that nobody taught them. They’re just driven from the inside. And then I also see through parenting and schooling, they get conditioned out of living by these things, they learn another way, a way that’s more convenient to others in a way that’s, you know, compromises who they are. And we end up very confused and depressed as we get older because of this conflict, what I call the authenticity gap, the distance between who you are being and who you know, you should be. Sure to do is after I’ve asked the question, pause, and at least think about the answers. If you’re not going to go as far as writing them down, at least think about them, before you move on to the next question. Now, there’s a couple of reasons for this one is that my intention behind these questions, I’m going to hide that from you until the end. Now, it’s not to be deceptive. It’s so that I don’t skew your answers, I want your answers to be pure and just come from whatever natural place they come from, in your mind. And then I’m going to reveal that there’s a kind of trick behind these questions that’s designed to elicit certain information about your core values that you may not have seen come. So when it comes to your answers, try and keep them in a kind of bullet point format, you know, one word, two word answers, or little, little examples, you know, you might not have a word for it. But you can think of a time that somebody did it or you did it that answers that question, as well. And as many as you can think of, because somewhere in that list is going to be pieces of your core values and your integrity, that stuff you’ve known since you were a kid. And then at the end, I’m going to show you how to extract what the core values from those answers that you give. So just freestyle it for now. And we’ll find this a leader. First question, what makes someone a good person? Now, this is just your opinion. Right? I don’t mean objectively, I don’t mean what the Church says, I mean, what do you think makes someone a good person? Take a moment to think of all the characteristics that someone would need to have for you to qualify them as a good person? All right, you answered their last question. Next one, what makes you admire someone? When I say in my I mean, look up to them, like they are a role model, like you want to be like them. So this is different to respect respect, as you see someone the same as you and you think it’s good behavior, right? You both do it. Admire as they doing behavior you wish you did, or there being a certain person that you wish you were, you’re looking up. So think of some people that you look up to, and might not be you look up to the whole person, because they’re a flawed human being. But they sometimes do things that you admire. Or you might just think more in general terms, you can’t put a face to it. You don’t know exactly what you’re talking about being a thing of certain behaviors that you wish you could do more of and you know, other people can do it, that kind of thing. But do not think about materialistic gains, okay, so you don’t admire someone because they’re rich. Anybody could have a hoard of gold, maybe stolen, maybe killed babies to get their money. That’s not why you admire him. But maybe he was really determined to make their fortune is that determination that you wish you had? You get my drift. Think of the things you admire, again, make a ballpoint list. Next question, Who do you envy? And why do you envy them? So when we talking about envy, now we’re talking about the materialistic stuff a little bit, we’re talking about the gains and the rewards and the outcomes and the results. Alright, so who is it that you look at and they have the the result that you want? And you envy them for them? Because you don’t have that result? And why do you envy them? What was it about perhaps the way that they got that result? That you’re bitter about? Okay, that’s what I want you to be digging for somebody, here’s what you wish you had. And you’ve got a story in your head. They’re why they have it and that story upsets you. Again, you might think of examples of bullet points, the kinds of things that you would envy someone for, and why you would have that even be the final question, the dark one. Who do you hate and why? Now a lot of people are repelled by this question, especially people pleasers. I don’t hate anyone, which is bullshit. But let’s just say you really don’t feel like you hate anyone. At least look at behaviors that you despise. Surely you can think of some activity that you wouldn’t want happening to you that you wish people didn’t do. Think of the kind of actions or the kinds of people, that does bother you a lot that in your secret heart of hearts, you’d be okay with them disappearing forever. Once you list out who those people are, what kind of things they do that makes you feel that way about them. We’re looking for traits and characteristics of the people you hate. So if you’ve answered all those questions, I know that probably 75% of you haven’t, but it’s just the way these things go. Now, I’m going to tell you why ask those questions, so that you can figure out how to extract your core value information from. So again, if you haven’t answered the questions, and you’ve gotten to this point, you’re not going to get any information about your values for the rest of this. Okay, so maybe go back and ask a good person, there’s a couple of things I’m looking for one, that’s just your morality. But mostly, what I find is, when I asked someone wasn’t meant to be a good person, they see me consciously list the traits they already think they have. This is what I call soft values. Soft doesn’t mean that they’re not core values, so that they undermined anyway, just the easy to live by. Most people have a story, a narrative in their head about why they are a good person. Even those who contradicting ly have the story about being not good enough. We are generally the hero in our own story, even if as the underdog. So we look at what we do. And we consider ourselves to be the good person most of the time, it’s very rare that this person actually sees themselves as a bad person, they may see themselves as judged as a bad person by others, but they still secretly see themselves as the hero. So for example, when I’m working with nice guys and people pleasers, and they ask them, what’s it mean to be a good person, I get all these kinds of compassionate, nice values coming through. They’re loyal, they’re kind, they’re caring, they’ve considerate of other people, you know, they don’t cause any harm, these kinds of things often come up. And what the nice guy is doing is describing themselves, or at least his self projected, in a view, it’s what he thinks he is. Now, it’s not to say that there aren’t values in there. But what we’re seeing in there, whatever values are in there, you probably either find them easy to live by, or you’re lying to yourself about living by them. So what you go through with your answer and what it means to be a good person as you’re extracting, what are the things in here that I do frequently, without any discomfort, I find this really easy to do. And then what are the ones that I know I should be doing. And I lie to myself about how often or sort of how purely I actually do these things, like you might say, you’re really giving. But if you look at carefully, you only give if you’re gonna get something in return, which means it’s kind of tainted giving. So the values giving, but the methodology is a bit sick. So that’s what you’re looking for in the good person question. When asked you about who you admire, I’m looking for your hard values. And by hard I mean, they’re hard to live by. Alright, they are emotionally difficult for you to live by them. And therefore you’re very inconsistent or even non existent when it comes to these values. We only look up to people when they’re doing what we aren’t doing. And we know we shouldn’t be doing it. So what you’re looking for here is the values that if you could just push a certain courage button, you know that that’s what you’d prefer to do you wish you were like that, you might have a very good excuse as to why you’re not like that, you might think it’s impossible, you might think the punishments too severe, whatever. But deep down, you know, this is what I wish I was this is how this is the kind of people I look up to. Again, if I’m working with a nice guy, this is where things like being courageous and assertive and not giving a fuck what people think and so on. That’s where this stuff comes up. Because that’s what he secretly wishes he was more of next I had the Envy question. And the Envy question is a tricky one. It doesn’t work out the same for everybody. That is to figure out what story you tell yourself to excuse yourself from living by core values. A classic example, let’s say you sort of single and lonely, and you’re envious of people who just don’t seem to struggle with dating, they just find it really easy to meet someone and get something going. And the story you tell yourself that makes you envious is that they have some sort of advantage that good looking, they’re tall, they’re rich. They’re you know, blessed with communication skills, you name some story about why it’s easier for them than it is for you. I mean, that’s what envy really is. They have an advantage. I am disadvantaged as the I’m disadvantage story. The point of this question is to help you open your mind. And this is a difficult door to open to the idea that you make up bullshit excuses to avoid addressing your core value problems. Let’s say you see the guy and he’s crushing it with girls in a way that you’re not and you’re like, Ah, he’s just this and then this and then and I’m disadvantaged and he’s advantaged. It’s a story that helps you overlook the fact that he’s Walker. Are you just in your bank? And you actually have the value of courage? In how many girls did you actually go and talk to in the last month as the answer is zero, because that’s not his problem, it’s yours, right? You’re not disadvantaged if you could be doing their society where you look past the story, that you’re the victim, and that you’ve had a shit handout to you. And go, if I didn’t see the world this way. Imagine that that guy has the results I wish I had. And he’s actually the same as me, but just living by values more than I am. What are those values? What’s he doing that I’m not that I could be doing? If you can get past that in the like, tonic, that poison we drink, to make ourselves feel better. And go, you know what this is on me live by the value of responsibility and go, I’m the one that causes my results. And even if other people have an advantage, there’s a real good chance, I’m still not living by my values to 100% yet, so there’s still work I could do before I can say this is unfair. Right? And that’s what you’re looking for, like one of the bullshit stories you tell yourself to let yourself off the hook, from even looking at what values you’re not living by the last question, the hate question. Consider this the anti value question, sometimes you can figure out what your values are, by looking at what you know, they definitely are not. Right. So if you see someone being, you know, violence, and you consider that to be something you hate, they may be being compassionate, or gentle or respectful as your core value. Right? If you think somebody’s tricking people and deceiving them to give what they want, as something you hate, there may be honesty as your value. Right? If you see someone who always avoids difficult things, and it’s just like wasting their life complaining and bitching, there may be responsibility responsibilities of value, or maybe carriages, the value, it might be you that you hate, it might be behaviors in yourself that you hate, well try to think what’s the opposite, because it’s probably in the realm of my core values. So once you’ve picked out all the keywords, from your answers, you’ve got your first draft a list, maybe five to 10 core values, that might potentially be the kind of recipe for your integrity, and therefore your confidence, it’s very much a rough draft at this stage, because it’s going to require behavioral experimentation to figure out which of these is legit, which of these is the most important work on, you know, what is the exact definition that I should be applying to turn this into practical actions and so on. But what you’re looking for is that they meet all the criteria of a core value, okay? The outcome independent, right, it doesn’t matter what the result is, it’s about the intention and the behavior, you can live by them 24/7. Any situation, you could live by any of these values, and that the kind of your ideas are not conditioning, I don’t mean that you can’t be inspired, you know, I’m going to give you plenty of practical core value ideas. But the ones that you feel aligned with your experience and your rational view of the world and your philosophy, not somebody told you, you should be doing this. And then if we go okay, I’ll just do that then. Right. So once you got these words, you want to get them down to one or two words, each one words even better. Try and add a practical definition, a little dictionary definition that would guide your behavior, a kind of principle of how you would live by that value. So that at any given time, you can bring up the core value, read the principle and go, Okay, I know what I need to do next, or at least I’ll be able to guess. For example, one of my core values is honesty. And the definition is very simple. Speak your mind and do what you think is right. So as soon as I’m in any situation, I know what speaking my mind is, the noise is already in there just it’s got to come out of my mouth. It’s very practical guidance. Now, it’s going to be something different every single time. It’s not a rule that I’m following just a principle. Same with courage is choose the uncomfortable option. That’s my definition of courage. It’s very easy to look at my options go which one is least comfortable emotionally, for me, that one, I guess I’m doing that, then I move forward on it, and so on. So whatever you would try and come up with a definition again, it’s just a draft that you’re going to work on over time of what it would mean to turn that word into a behavior. And then comes the experimentation phase, choose one a day to do deliberately, you might pre plan it like you’re gonna go and have a confrontation with your boss. Or you might just kind of prime yourself like today is honesty day, let’s just look for opportunities to be more honest. And you’re going to journal about at the end of the day, how the experience went what you learned about the value from your experience, and you’re going to calibrate your definitions, okay, means more of this and Lisa, that that wasn’t a good example that made me feel good about myself. So it’s probably more of this, that kind of calibration over time until you get to know your core values very, very well through this back and forth like experiment and review. Now of course, you can do this kind of work on your own. But if you want Do it in a really refined and accelerated manner get in touch and we’ll get you in touch with your integrity ASAP

How you can make massive progress in just a few months!

You can do all this on your own.

Through trial and error, books, courses and online content, you can figure it out slowly piece by piece over time if you dedicate yourself to it and are willing to fail often and get uncomfortable in order to achieve social mastery and build strong self confidence.


You can work directly with me in your corner for a short period of time and achieve the same results in months that would take you YEARS on your own (or your money back!).

That’s what my confidence coaching is really all about. I accelerate your progress significantly by ensuring you:

  • Overcome your fear of rejection
  • Stop seeing yourself as not good enough
  • Develop easy practical social communication skills while still being honest
  • Unleash your masculinity to make you more assertive and attractive
  • Increase your self-confidence and self-respect
  • Get advanced practical tips to eliminate self-sabotage and give you the best possible chances at career advancement, dating opportunities, and deep connections with quality friends
  • Help you see your blind spots and errors and develop a measurement system that you can use on your own to ensure ongoing improvement for life

It took me about 7-10 years to figure this stuff out on my own. It takes my average coaching client only about 3-6 months to achieve a level of mastery that leaves them able to continue coaching themselves to further success while feeling absolutely certain that they’re on the right path (proven by the results they get).

I’ve turned virgins into fathers.

I’ve created assertive leaders out of meek people pleasers.

I’ve released overthinkers so they become powerfully decisive.

I’ve transformed shy introverts into social connectors.

I’ve moved highly anxious and depressed guys into a world of permanent self-confidence and optimism.

You don’t need to take my word for it. You can test it out for yourself. Fill out the application form below for a FREE trial coaching session with no obligation to continue, and no sales pitch!

My coaching will either blow you away and convince you that it’s worth it, or you’ll simply spend an hour talking to me without losing anything.

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Thanks for reading

Hope to speak to you soon

Dan Munro

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