What Are Core Values and Why Are They Important?

Core Values are the ingredients that make up the recipe for integrity.

Integrity – living by your core values consistently – is the secret to building long-lasting and unbreakable self-confidence.

I believe that we’re born with innate core values, but that we are conditioned, programmed and traumatised into breaching them as we grow older. We learn to compromise our principles in order to please others, fit in with society, and avoid being hurt.

In this video, I will explain exactly what core values are, what they are NOT, and how to discover yours so that you have a compass that will guide towards living a great life.

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To accelerate your confidence building, get in touch with Dan to discuss living with more integrity

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Full transcript (unedited)

What are core values? And why are they important? As I’ve said before, I believe that the secret to a great life is building self confidence. And the methodology to build self confidence is to live with integrity, and integrity. There’s a set of core values. So when we say what are our core values, one way to look at it is, if you think of integrity as a diamond, thing, core values are all the different sides, the facets of their diamond. So each one of them make up the diamond when combined with the others. But if you were to say, spin the diamond around you and only see one at a time, got the hole. So living with integrity, is to consistently have your behavior line up with your core values. Now, nobody’s perfect. And in fact, you learn a lot about integrity from getting it wrong. But if you think of it like a spectrum, the more often your behavior aligns with your values. The more integrity you have, the more integrity you have, the more confidence you have, the more confidence you have, the better your life is. So the aim is not really perfection, but constant progress on aligning your behavior with your core values so that you have overall integrity. And the longer you sustain overall integrity, the more confident you’ll feel. This might be a weird place to go with this, but I’m actually going to start with what values are not. Because I think they’re distractions, the things we confuse with principles and morals to live by. Our Watch, take us off course from our integrity, which I believe is innate. I think integrity is what you discover, when you take away all the bullshit that’s been piled on top of it ever since you were a little child. Now, some of this is semantics. So I use the word values in a specific way. And it may be different to other definitions you’ve heard. So let me sort of define that by telling you what it’s not okay. Values are not virtues. A virtue is a value described by somebody else. So the 10 commandments and the church for example, those are virtues, the Four Virtues of stoicism, the philosophy, the code of conduct at your business, the rules that you had at home, delivered by your parents, those are virtues, those are what other people say is good behavior. Your core values may not align with anybody else’s virtues, they may align as well. But there’ll be coincidence rather than conditioning. So when we start to look at what your core values are, I want you to let go of what you’ve been told by others is the right way to live. And try to get in touch with what you believe is the right way to live. Regardless of what they’ve said. It might mean that your core values sometimes contradict what the people at church told you and what your parents told you and what your boss wants. And that’s okay. Values are not goals, they are outcome independent, that means their values all about your intention and your behavior, not the result that generates the result is out of our control. And therefore it’s got nothing to do with values. When we have a goal, when I want this to happen, this external thing outside of me, or even an internal goal, like I want to feel this way, or I want to think these things. We’re not talking about values. Now, there’s nothing wrong with goals. But what I encourage you to do is, first know what your values are, and then have goals that help you live by your values, rather than goals that contradict it. For example, people might say that they have the value of money, or the value of being respected by others or something like that. And you can do everything right by your integrity and not get money from it and not get respected by certain people. And that’s okay. It’s very important you learn to measure your values. Intrinsically. Did you do the right thing by your own code? Not? How did other people react? And what Instant Rewards did I get? Because those are not reliable measures of your integrity. Values are not rules. There is no hard and fast rule that you must live by in order to have integrity. In fact, if you are living by rules, then you’re playing it safe. And taking the path of least resistance, you’re just a robot following the code. Values are more nuanced in a contextual. You know, being honest, for example, as a value might mean saying a completely different thing today than what you said yesterday. Because the truth has changed. If you think of a virtue type rules say Thou shalt not steal. You know, there might be a time when your values say this is the right time to steal something. And you’d have to go with that to have integrity. Values are completely dependent on in the moment context, and there’s no rule that covers all context. So you have to embrace the idea of living by your core values. It’s gonna require some fucking thinking. You’re gonna have to look at each situation as it happens, and go what’s the right value here? And what would it mean to live by this time? Rather than going I’m just going to follow these 10 Rules forever, no matter what happens, values are independent, and that means you can live by them 24 hours a day, seven days a week in In any situation, with no exceptions, there is no situation or moment in time where you cannot live by your core values. So if you’re in a situation and you think I couldn’t live by my values in that situation, then you’re not really thinking of value to think of something that’s dependent on something else. For example, a classic example is family. People think of family as a value. But your family has to cooperate in some way for you to live by that value. I mean, you have to have a family to live by that value. And that’s something that can be taken away from you. Or it’s people that might not cooperate, even if you’re doing everything right. Whereas if say, the value was to be courageous, you can always be courageous with your family, you can be courageous in a prison cell, you can be courageous in a war, in be courageous on holiday doesn’t matter where you are, you can always find some uncomfortable thing to do. So basically, you know, it’s not a core value, if you can’t control it at all times. And if you didn’t come up with it yourself. So enough of what it isn’t, what is a core value. Core values are a set of principles that guide your decision making, like a compass, pointing towards true north, they give integrity intentions to your actions. So they have words like curiosity, honesty, courage, they have an intention that has a clear sort of practical guidance with it, but it’s a fluid practical guidance that will match the context you’re in. So when you’re living by core value, in any given situation, you’re going to look at that situation, you’re going to judge which value is called for right here. And now what’s the best side of that diamond that I need to be accessing. And then once you’ve chosen which application of their value is most appropriate for the city, and sometimes there’ll be the first time you’ve ever done this action, even though you’ve lived by this value many times before. For example, if you imagine you’re in a basic conflict, and the value is assertiveness, well, assertiveness is going to be a lot different if the person’s being violent to if they’re just being verbal. Right. So and this is not the same thing in those situations. And even if the person is being violent, if it’s a three year old toddler being violent, or if it’s a fully grown man, again, different actions are required. So the situation might have some stability, like in confrontations, you’re always assertive and curious, and respectful. But how you do it this time, depends, depends what’s happening. The key elements core values is that you’re in the moment thoughts and feelings don’t really matter. And that is to say that it’s your core values come from that compass of integrity, this kind of inner thing that’s deeper than your emotions deeper than your beliefs. You’ve had it since you’re a little kid, you are in touch with it once many, many years ago. And then you got conditioned and programmed to live a different way. But you can live by it without necessarily being on board with it up here. Let’s say for example, that you’re really stressed and tired. And you don’t want to be compassionate about your child’s, you know, sore knee right now. But you can still get down on one knee and put a plaster on and kiss them on the heating still behave compassionately, even though you’re not really on board with it in terms of thoughts and feelings. Or you can stand up for yourself, even if you’re feeling scared. Or you can take responsibility for your life, even if you’re feeling lazy. And the thoughts in your head say just leave it till tomorrow. So quite often living by core values, especially the uncomfortable times, it’s about going against your thoughts and feelings, contradicting them with behavior that you know, at a deeper level is the right thing to do. A very simplistic way of looking at it is our core values are about doing what’s right, rather than what’s easy. Your values in general will be personal to you. And they will align with your whole life experience and your interpretation of life. What you believe is right in good, what you believe is healthy, what you believe will sort you out in the long term, even if a sacrifice is short term wins. It’s sensible in terms of well being of everyone involved as best as possible. And it matches how you would like to be treated by others. It matches how you’d like everyone to behave. It’s kind of your ideal person, that you being. When you look at people that you admire and respect and you consider them to be good. They are representing what you think your core values are. And when you look at people who you think of is unhealthy or evil, harmful wrong. They’re contradicting your core values, their behaviors, and their intentions are the opposite of what you think you should be doing yourself. Your core values should be easily translated into behavior. If you’ve got a core value, this is really conceptual and you don’t know what to do with it. That’s not really helpful. It needs to be something that as soon as the word comes up in a given moment, you know what to do next. So for example, if the value is responsibility, then you can have a basic different Isn’t that solution focused. So if you’re gonna live by the value of responsibility, you’re looking for a problem and how to solve it. Right, very quickly, you’re gonna be looking at practical behaviors. Core values often require short term discomfort. And this is where I think most people lose track, most people are trying to stay comfortable all the time and having to agree and those two just don’t go together. Right, you got to earn integrity, you got to pay up front, for a good life. If you’re comfortable all the time, there’s a good chance you’re breaching your core values. If, for example, I’ve got a core value like curiosity, which I do. And in good times, it just means learning and having fun taking on new information. But in tough times, it means being humble, it means admitting that I’m wrong. It means opening up beliefs I’ve had for years and allowing them to be challenged. So every value I can possibly think of will and I promise you this cause moments of discomfort for you. And that discomfort doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong, it actually means you’re doing it right values quite often sacrifice short term gratification for long term delayed reward. Living by your core values is like taking care of your future self doing what he will wish that you had done. Now, if you look back to yourself 10 years ago, and you think of all the things you wish that that person had done differently, those are all breaches of your core values, right? That person set you up to fail that made life harder for you. When we look at core values or integrity as you’re making your future selves life much easier by putting in the hard work now, for example, eating healthy, you’d just much rather eat ice cream and chocolate. But that obese version of you in 10 years is going to really regret that. So you eat a salad instead. So that that version of you in 10 years can play with their kids without running out of energy. A wise man once put it to me like this, be the man you hope your daughter brings home one day. And you can reverse this based on gender, you know, be the woman that you hope your son brings home one day, there’s certain things you can think of as if this was another person that you met, what would make you go back then as a decent pervert like I wish everyone was like this person. And I mean looking beyond sort of sappy fawning people pleaser or someone with lots of materialistic gains, but they were you know, Machiavellian, and, and harmful to get those gains. But the person themselves is so admirable, so easy to respect. You look to them for guidance, you trust everything they say, how do you become that person? What principles does that person live by consistently? What kind of behaviors are you likely to see by them and common situations, that’s the kind of thinking when it comes to core values, what you’re looking for is to be the type of person that even if you lost the outcome, you go to be unhappy with yourself, which is basically what confidence is. So let’s say you quit your job, because they’re asking you to compromise yourself. Now, you might go to bed a bit worried about money that night, but not worry about your integrity, you’re not worried that you’re going to you guys will compromise your integrity before you know how it feels later on. Such a pussy. You know, like, if only I’d say that thing, that if only that was worth it. I wish I could just, you know, those kind of feelings eat you alive. That’s the absence of confidence, that shame. But if you’re like, Okay, I lost that one. But I lost with integrity, I would have had to compromise myself to win. So it’s not worth it. And as I said, integrity is just living this way more often than you don’t you aim for 100% You never quite get there. But you fall somewhere close, and you’ll be a very confident person. Rule of thumb is a few living with integrity more than 80% of the time, but you can rest assured you’re going to be very confident. And actually that other 20% is pretty easy to make gains on when you’re already at 80. And I’ll be harsh with most of you here. The reason I do this work and the reason I have clients, because most people are nowhere near 80. Most people significantly compromised their core values, either because they don’t know them to an awareness problem. Or because they’re too scared to live by them. It’s a courage problem. Right? Those are the two main issues I work with with my clients. And I look around in the world and I just see so much evidence that people are breaching their own values. To me, it’s obvious the way they had to justify their behaviors, the way they binge on things to make themselves feel better. The way they avoid stuff that they know they want. Like it’s just obvious to me. The time your behavior aligns with those values, you can rest assured you’re going to feel pretty good about yourself. And of course if you’d like to accelerate the process and get there really quickly, I by the end of this year, get in touch And we’ll talk about coaching

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
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  • 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.

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Thanks for reading

Hope to speak to you soon

Dan Munro

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