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How to Discover and Understand Your Values and Beliefs: A Comprehensive Guide

How to discover and understand your values and beliefs is a comprehensive guide to learning more about yourself. Navigating the complexities of work and life requires a strong internal compass to guide our decisions, behaviors, and perspectives. This compass often takes the form of our values and beliefs, fundamental elements of our personal identity. Understanding your core values and beliefs is fundamental to Daily Management: Leading with Values, and crucial to developing a team culture driven by values. This article will guide you through understanding these important aspects, explaining their importance and interrelationship. 

Discovering Your Values: A Seven-Step Process 

1. Reflection and Self-Awareness: Reflect on moments when you felt truly content, accomplished, and proud. These moments often hint at your underlying values.

2. Identify Your Inspirations: Recognize the qualities in people you admire. The traits you admire often reflect the values you hold dear.

3. Analyze Your Decisions: Understand your past decisions. The priorities you had can reveal which values underpin your decision-making.

4. Identify What Makes You Feel Uncomfortable: Discomfort often arises when actions misalign with core values. Identifying these moments can help you uncover your true values.

5. Identify Your Passions: Discover what you feel most passionate about. Your passions are closely linked to your values.

6. Write and Prioritize: List and prioritize the potential values you’ve identified through the above steps. This prioritization helps discern which values are most critical to you.

7. Test and Reflect: Test your values in real-life situations. Reflecting on and adjusting your values based on this feedback can lead to a more authentic set of core values.

Examples of Values and Their Related Beliefs 

Let’s look at some examples of values and their associated beliefs. Please keep in mind this is a limited list created to help you gain greater clarity around how values and beliefs may be related and are not intended as suggestions of YOUR core values and beliefs::

1. Honesty – Belief in Truth: Accepting reality as it is, not bending it to fit personal narratives.

2. Respect – Inherent Dignity of Individuals: Every person deserves respect, regardless of their status or behavior.

3. Compassion – Human Vulnerability: Everyone has vulnerabilities, which can make us more compassionate and understanding.

4. Integrity – Moral Order: Believing in a universal set of moral principles can drive ethical behavior.

5. Responsibility – Accountability: Personal accountability implies that individuals are responsible for their actions.

6. Equality – Equal Rights for All: Believing in equal rights reinforces treating everyone with fairness and justice.

7. Kindness – Human Goodness: Believing in the inherent goodness of people can make us kind and generous.

8. Loyalty – Faithfulness: The belief in the importance of staying faithful can reinforce loyalty in relationships.

9. Courage – Resilience of the Human Spirit: Believing in human resilience can inspire bravery in the face of adversity.

10. Humility – Limitations of the Self: Recognizing inherent limitations can foster humility.

11. Perseverance – Power of Perseverance: Believing in the value of hard work and persistence can inspire determination.

12. Adventure – Life as a Journey: Seeing life as a journey full of experiences fosters a value of adventure.

13. Autonomy – Self-Determination: Believing in self-determination underlines the right to make independent decisions.

14. Family – Family as a Fundamental Unit: Belief in the importance of family connections and bonds.

15. Creativity – Power of Original Thought: Believing in the transformative power of original thought promotes creativity.

16. Health – Importance of Health: Believing in the importance of maintaining physical and mental health underlines the value of a healthy lifestyle.

17. Knowledge – Knowledge as Power: The belief that knowledge empowers individuals can instill a value of continuous learning.

18. Ambition – Success through Effort: Believing that hard work and effort lead to success fosters ambition.

19. Community – Interdependence of Society: The belief in the interdependence of individuals within a society can make one value community contributions.

20. Sustainability – Sustainable Living: The belief that sustainable practices are necessary for the preservation of the earth reinforces the value of environmental protection.

21. Accuracy – Belief in Precision: Believing in the importance of precision and attention to detail underpins the value of accuracy.

22. Results – Belief in Achievement: The belief in the importance of achieving goals and producing tangible outcomes directly aligns with the value of results.

23. Leadership – Belief in Influence and Guidance: This belief, which relates to the idea that one person or a group can guide others towards achieving common goals, aligns with the value of leadership.

In each case, the belief serves as a cognitive acknowledgment or understanding about the world that supports and informs the related value. These beliefs can shape behavior and influence decisions in ways that align with the corresponding values.


Understanding your beliefs and values is not just a journey of self-discovery, but also a path to self-improvement. As you delve into these personal aspects, you may find they shape your actions and decisions more than you realize. Moreover, aligning your actions with your values can lead to a more fulfilling and authentic life. 

Keep in mind, discovering your values is an ongoing process. You may find that your values shift and evolve as you grow and experience different phases of your life. And that’s perfectly okay—it’s part of being human. After all, we’re not static beings; we’re works in progress, continually learning, growing, and evolving. 

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