Personal Values: Meaning, 25 Examples & How To Discover Yours

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We all have values that guide us and shape our decisions. These values are deeply held beliefs about what is important in life and how we should conduct ourselves. 

Knowing your values is essential for living a meaningful life and ensuring your actions align with what you believe in.

Personal Values Meaning, 25 Examples & How To Discover Yours

Understanding your core values can help you make better choices, set goals, and prioritize tasks. It also helps cultivate self-awareness, an important part of personal growth.

In this article, we’ll discuss personal values and provide a list of core values to help you start discovering your own.

Understanding Personal Values: An Explanation

Understanding your values helps you define what is important and how you want to live your life.

Your personal values are the things that you believe are most essential in life, such as honesty, integrity, loyalty, respect, and trustworthiness. They influence your behavior and decision-making process by providing a framework for what is right and wrong.

Your values also dictate how you interact and work with others towards shared goals. If someone else’s core values conflict with yours, it could lead to tension or disagreement between you.

Your values are also closely aligned with your beliefs and feelings about yourself. What you value reflects your feelings about yourself and what is important to you. It’s an expression of who you are and can help shape the life that you want for yourself.

A Compilation of 25 Personal Core Value Instances

Here’s a list of the top 25 personal core values to help you determine your priorities. Personal values are:

  1. Compassion
  2. Integrity
  3. Respect
  4. Kindness
  5. Honesty
  6. Gratitude
  7. Empathy
  8. Humility
  9. Patience
  10. Self-discipline
  11. Loyalty
  12. Optimism
  13. Adventure
  14. Flexibility
  15. Responsibility
  16. Courage
  17. Openness
  18. Generosity
  19. Creativity
  20. Health
  21. Love
  22. Balance
  23. Security
  24. Learning
  25. Growth


Compassionate individuals understand that everyone around them is experiencing their struggle in life and can show empathy during difficult moments and when someone else’s success needs celebration too!

This core value encourages all forms of caring, understanding, emotional support, kindness, cooperation, consideration, and more – all from a sincere place within ourselves towards others who may need it most at any given moment.


Integrity is an important core value because it guides our behavior and keeps us in check when faced with difficult choices or situations.

It’s the foundation of trust, loyalty, and ethical decision-making. Integrity means being honest, truthful, reliable, responsible, and accountable for our actions – all essential to cultivating meaningful relationships.


Respect serves as a reminder to be mindful of how we treat others – whether they’re friends, family members, colleagues, or strangers.

By practicing respect, we can learn to appreciate diversity and foster appreciation for different backgrounds and perspectives. This mindset helps us create strong relationships with those around us while also enjoying ourselves!


Kindness is an important core value because it’s the foundation of giving and receiving love. Showing kindness to others can be as simple as a random act of service or a genuine compliment. Still, it’s also about understanding that everyone is worthy of kindness, no matter their differences.

Being kind helps us nurture relationships and create strong connections with those we meet along life’s journey.  


Honesty is a cornerstone of a meaningful life. It fosters trust and strengthens relationships by allowing us to be our true selves with those around us. Being honest also helps us stay in touch with reality, as it sets the foundation for making choices aligned with our values and beliefs.


Gratitude is an essential core value because it teaches us to appreciate what we have and not take anything for granted. Practicing gratitude helps us focus on what’s important instead of what is lacking – which can bring peace, joy, and contentment into our lives.

Fostering a spirit of thankfulness also allows us to recognize how far we’ve come and encourages us to keep striving toward our goals.


Empathy is an important core value because it allows us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and understand their feelings without passing judgment or expecting anything in return.

This level of understanding can promote compassion towards others and help bridge gaps between different cultures, religions, and backgrounds.

Practicing empathy will also help you become a better communicator by giving you insight into other peoples’ perspectives. 

Empathy - personal value


Humility is an important core value because it helps us to stay grounded and remain humble in the face of success or achievement. It encourages us to recognize our limitations and not take ourselves too seriously, which can promote healthy relationships with others.


Self-discipline is an essential core value as it allows us to restrain ourselves from engaging in activities or behaviors that might harm our well-being or personal development.

Being disciplined requires us to set boundaries for ourselves and be mindful of how we spend our time and energy – which can lead to increased productivity and improved focus.


Patience is a core value, allowing us to remain calm in difficult or trying situations. Practicing patience will help us stay rational and level-headed in all aspects of life, allowing us to see different perspectives and consider alternate solutions to problems. Not only that but having patience can also reduce stress levels and improve our overall mental health.


Loyalty is an important core value that demonstrates commitment and trustworthiness towards someone or something.

It helps people stay true to their values even when times get tough, enabling them to maintain relationships with others despite differences in opinion or lifestyle choices. Cultivating loyalty encourages respect for oneself and others, making it a great quality.


Optimism is a core value that allows us to remain hopeful and positive despite difficult or challenging situations.

People who practice optimism can use it to look at life in a more positive light and cultivate an attitude of resilience when faced with adversity. It helps us focus on the good rather than just the bad and promotes growth rather than stagnation.


Having an adventurous spirit encourages us to be brave and take risks occasionally. Taking calculated risks sometimes allows us to experience different things outside our comfort zone while developing courage and resilience.

An adventurous attitude doesn’t mean engaging in reckless activities; rather, it involves embracing opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery.


Being flexible is important as it enables us to recognize when the situation calls for a change in plans or strategies. People who can adapt quickly and effectively can use this skill to their advantage, allowing them to be better prepared for whatever comes their way.

Cultivating flexibility helps us remain open-minded when approaching new ideas, challenges, and situations.


Responsibility is a core value that encourages accountability and dependability. It is an important reminder that our actions have good and bad consequences.

Taking responsibility for one’s actions encourages people to think twice before acting, preventing unnecessary mistakes. It also teaches us how to learn from our mistakes so we can take steps toward improving ourselves.


Courage is the ability to face our fears and take risks to achieve a goal or accomplish something we believe in. It takes courage to try something new or step outside our comfort zone, but it also allows us to learn more about ourselves and gain confidence.

Being brave enough to take action in situations where others may hesitate can be incredibly empowering.


Openness involves being open-minded, tolerant, and accepting of different points of view. This attitude encourages healthy dialogue between people with varying opinions and lifestyles, allowing us to learn from each other while respecting individual differences.

Developing an open mindset helps promote understanding and empathy towards others, creating a more harmonious environment for everyone involved.


Generosity is the quality of being kind, generous and giving. It encourages us to help others without expecting anything in return. We can be helpful with our time, money, service, or material possessions.

Being generous helps those around us and boosts self-esteem, reminding us that we can make a difference in someone else’s life.


Creativity is thinking outside the box and generating new ideas. It requires imagination and an open mind to explore possibilities that may not have been considered.

While creativity often involves artistic expression, such as painting or music, it can manifest in problem-solving or innovative thinking toward new challenges.


Health involves physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, eating nutritious foods, getting enough rest, and engaging in activities that promote psychological balance. Taking care of our health helps us stay energized and strong enough to face life’s challenges.


Love is an emotion that transcends all boundaries and encourages connection with others. It can be expressed through words or actions such as acts of kindness or spending time with those we love.

With love comes acceptance and understanding, even when we don’t always agree on things. Cultivating relationships based on love allows us to experience true happiness and joy.


Balance is essential for overall well-being as it promotes harmony. It involves balancing work and leisure, rest and activity, and time spent alone or with family and friends. Achieving this equilibrium makes us more productive while maintaining harmony in our relationships.


Security is the sense of safety we feel when we know that our basic needs are met, whether financial security, physical security, emotional security, or any other form of protection from harm.

Achieving this sense of safety helps us relax and enjoy life instead of worrying about what might happen.


Learning is acquiring new knowledge or skills through experience, practice, observation, or instruction. It can include anything from traditional education in a classroom setting to self-learning through research and exploration.

Learning helps us grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually while building our confidence and expanding our perspectives.


Growth is both physical and psychological. It can involve learning new skills, growing, or taking risks to achieve our desired goals.

Change can be challenging as it requires us to push beyond our comfort zone. Still, this experience helps develop resilience and personal empowerment, which are essential for a successful life.

The Significance of Personal Values and an Accompanying List Highlighting Their Advantages

Personal values are critically important and can profoundly affect our lives. Understanding your core values can help you make better decisions, set goals, and prioritize tasks.

These values help to create a sense of purpose and clarity in our lives, providing us with a framework for making ethical decisions.

Furthermore, personal values can be an effective tool for self-realization and growth. Assessing and identifying our core values can help us become more aware of our motivations and behavior patterns. It also allows us to live a life aligned with our beliefs.

Here are some of the key advantages of having personal values:

  • Self-Knowledge: Knowing your core values lets you know yourself better and make informed decisions about how you want to live.
  • Clarity: Core values clarify our beliefs and feelings about ourselves and others. This helps set boundaries within relationships and manage conflicts when they arise.
  • Motivation: Having clear personal values motivates us to live up to our highest standards, enabling us to reach greater heights.
  • Guidance: Our core values act as guiding principles that keep us focused on what’s important in life, helping us stay on track to achieve our goals and aspirations.
  • Resilience: Understanding your values helps build resilience against obstacles because it provides an internal compass that directs you back onto the right path whenever you feel lost or overwhelmed by challenges or setbacks in life.

Overall, having a set of personal values is essential for leading an authentic and fulfilling life. It’s important to take the time to reflect on what matters most to us and then make decisions that are in alignment with those values.

A clear sense of our values can help direct us toward meaningful action, giving us the strength and courage to overcome obstacles.

Advantages of Upholding Personal Values

Upholding personal values has many advantages for leading a meaningful life.

One advantage is that having a clear set of values allows us to make decisions aligned with our beliefs and feelings.

This helps us stay true to ourselves, enabling us to remain in control of our lives and have more confidence in our choices. It also allows us to maintain healthy relationships by setting boundaries and fostering respect.

Advantages of Upholding Personal Values

Core values can also be a great source of motivation as they serve as guiding principles that keep us focused on achieving our goals.

By keeping track of what we value most, we can remain committed and stay on course toward reaching our desired outcomes. This helps to build resilience against any obstacles or setbacks we may face along the way.

Understanding our values can lead to greater self-knowledge and awareness. We become more aware of who we are, our personal strengths, and what type of life we want for ourselves – providing clarity about what’s important in life.

This helps us gain insight into how to direct our actions toward meaningful results, encouraging us to take action with purpose and intention.

Ultimately, upholding personal values is important to living an authentic and fulfilling life. By reflecting on what matters most, making decisions that align with those values, and staying motivated by our guiding principles, we open ourselves up to a world full of possibilities, allowing us to reach greater heights than ever.

A Guide to Discovering and Delineating Personal Values

Let’s now dive into how to discover and delineate your values.

Step 1: Recognize instances when you felt the utmost happiness

To begin discovering and delineating your values, it is important to reflect on moments in life that made us feel the happiest or even take the personal values test to discover what you value the most.

This could be when we received a job promotion, had an amazing vacation, or got accepted into college. These happy moments can indicate most in our lives, representing things that have brought joy and satisfaction.

For instance, if we felt particularly joyful about getting accepted into college, this may signify that education is important to us.

If we thought seriously about going on a dream vacation with friends or family, this could demonstrate that relationships are valuable for us. Being conscious of these events and reflecting on their significance can provide insight into how to prioritize our values.

In addition to recognizing moments where we felt the utmost happiness, it is equally important to evaluate other experiences in life, such as successes or failures.

Reflecting on how we coped with difficult situations and analyzing why certain decisions were made can also provide us with invaluable information about ourselves and the behaviors that guide us.

Step 2: Pinpoint moments of intense pride

Our values are often formed and shaped by moments of intense pride. For instance, achieving something we have worked hard for, such as taking an exam or winning a competition, can feel gratifying and give us a strong sense of accomplishment.

Similarly, if we help someone in need or receive recognition for a job well done, these experiences can evoke feelings of validation and gratification.

By reflecting on our proudest moments, we can better understand what brings us joy and satisfaction. Whether it’s working on projects to better the community or dedicating ourselves to a cause that we believe in – recognizing these experiences will help us define our values in life.

Taking the time to appreciate these moments allows us to recognize how far we have come and inspires us to take on future challenges enthusiastically.

Step 3: Identify periods of maximal fulfillment and satisfaction

Maximal pride and joy can be found at various times throughout our lives. For instance, when we make meaningful connections with others in our community, such as volunteering for an organization close to our hearts or engaging in conversations with those we look up to for advice.

Sometimes, moments of maximal fulfillment can also come from within ourselves. Taking the time to appreciate our accomplishments and reflect on how far we have come can bring a sense of gratification.

In addition, if there are hobbies or activities we have dedicated ourselves to over extended periods, these experiences can also bring immense pleasure and joy.

Step 4: Extract your values from your experiences of joy, pride, and contentment

Extracting our values from experiences of joy, pride, and contentment can help us better understand what is most important to us in life. We can reflect on moments of immense gratification and realize that these experiences have shaped our values and beliefs.

For example, if, more often than not, we find ourselves helping those in need or dedicating time towards volunteering for organizations that align with our personal beliefs, then it is likely that generosity, altruism, and compassion are some of our core values.

Similarly, let’s take the time to appreciate accomplishments made within ourselves, such as setting goals to improve self-esteem or completing a challenging project at work-ambition and dedication may be two of our top values.

Step 5: Rank your values according to their importance

Once we have pinpointed a set of values that have been derived from experiences of joy, pride, and contentment, it is important to rank them in order of importance. This allows us to prioritize our values and better understand which ones are essential to lead meaningful lives.

We find generosity, ambition, and dedication our top three values. In that case, we can determine which one holds the greatest significance for us by reflecting on how much they influence our daily decisions.

Suppose generosity is consistently at the forefront of our actions while ambition or dedication might sometimes take a back seat. In that case, generosity is likely our most important value.

By recognizing the personal values that define us, we can approach life with a greater sense of purpose and appreciation. This will enable us to make more mindful decisions that align with our values and ultimately live richer, more fulfilling lives.

Step 6: Reconfirm your value system

It is not uncommon for us to forget or neglect certain values over time, so it is important to assess which ones are still relevant in our lives routinely. Doing this can help us better understand when changes must be made and adjust accordingly.

We can start by revisiting our list of values and reflecting on how each has influenced us over the past few years. If a previously important value no longer resonates with us, it may be time to replace it with something else or reassign its rank in our hierarchy.

It is also beneficial to occasionally compare our value system to those around us. This can help us gain new perspectives and reconsider what values are most meaningful for us as individuals.

Ultimately, reconfirming our value system allows us to stay true to ourselves and ensure that we remain focused on leading an authentic life.

The Methodology of Ranking Your Values

Ranking our values is not a one-size-fits-all process. It requires us to reflect deeply on what matters most to us and how our values shape the decisions we make each day.

To do this, we can start by writing down a list of all the values that are important to us. This can include anything from generosity, ambition, dedication, loyalty, integrity, compassion, etc.

Once we have our list of values, we will begin ranking them in order of importance. We can do this by considering how much each value has influenced our daily decisions and actions over the past few years.

If two or more values seem equally significant, it may be helpful to take some time and reflect on which one holds more meaning for us in the long term.

It is also beneficial to consider how our values compare to those around us. Doing so will provide us with new perspectives and allow us to reassess what’s truly important for our individual needs and goals.

We must remain open-minded and honest about what matters most throughout this process. This will ensure that our values system reflects who we truly are and accurately represents the direction we want our lives to go.

By taking the time to rank our values, we are creating a strong foundation for a fulfilling and purposeful life.

We will better understand what’s truly important to us while allowing us to make more informed decisions in line with our beliefs. This ultimately leads to greater satisfaction and fulfillment as we move forward on our journey.

How to Modify and Adjust Your Value System as Required

One way to modify and adjust our value system is by understanding the importance of self-reflection. Self-reflection involves looking within ourselves and assessing how our beliefs and values guide our actions.

This process requires us to be honest with ourselves and identify areas where we need to make changes or adjustments. We can then realign our values with actions, ensuring we live according to the most important principles.

Another way to modify and adjust our value system is by incorporating feedback from others into the evaluation process. Asking for feedback from people we trust, such as friends, family members, mentors, or colleagues, can help us understand how our behavior may impact our relationships.

It can also allow us to see things from another perspective or receive constructive criticism, which can help us make positive changes in our lives.

Finally, it’s important to remember that as we grow and evolve, so should our values. We should continuously reassess what matters most in life and strive for growth in all aspects; emotional intelligence, physical health, spiritual connection, etc.

This will help ensure that we remain authentic in our beliefs while allowing us to make necessary adjustments.

Integrating Values into Everyday Life

Integrating values into everyday life can be challenging, but it is essential for living an authentic and meaningful life. Values are the foundation of our decision-making process and should be considered when making any decisions.

By consciously thinking about our values and how they apply to each situation, we can ensure that our findings reflect those values and remain true to ourselves.

When making decisions with integrity, it’s important to take our emotions out of the equation and focus on the facts instead. This will help us make more informed choices as opposed to ones driven by fear or impulsivity.

Additionally, it’s important to think broadly about the implications of our decisions without prioritizing short-term gains over long-term success. This will ensure that our actions are in line with both our immediate needs as well as with our core values and beliefs.

Living authentically is based on the premise that we honor who we are at every moment and stay true to ourselves even when faced with difficult situations or discomfort.

It requires self-awareness and a deep understanding of what matters most in life; being mindful of these qualities allows us to make decisions based on what truly resonates with us instead of caving into societal pressures or expectations from others.

In addition, living authentically involves setting boundaries to protect one’s energy, time, and resources so that we can devote them to activities that align with our individual needs and goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is family considered a personal value?

Yes, family is considered a personal value. Family is an important aspect of many people’s lives and often serves as an anchor of stability that shapes our values and beliefs.

For some people, their family is the most important thing in their life, while for others, it may be less so. It is up to each individual to decide what role family plays in their lives and how this affects their values.

What values do you hold as a student?

The values that one holds as a student may vary greatly depending on individual circumstances and experiences. Generally speaking, students prioritize learning, growth, exploration, critical thinking, and self-improvement. These are all important aspects of academic success and personal development.

How can I articulate my values in writing?

Writing is an excellent way to express your values and beliefs. One of the best ways to do this is to reflect on your life experiences and what you have learned from them.

Think about how those lessons shaped your views on various topics such as morality, relationships, education, etc., and try to capture that in written form. This will help you better define and articulate your core beliefs.

Could you provide examples of beliefs?

Beliefs are deeply held opinions or convictions based on our worldviews. Ideas may include religious faith, political ideology, ethical principles, social justice advocacy, environmentalism, human rights, etc. Whatever your thoughts may be, it is important to recognize and respect the values of others.


Knowing what goes on your personal values list is important to understanding your core identity. It can help you make decisions, prioritize tasks based on what matters most, and remain true to yourself.

By reflecting on life experiences and engaging in meaningful dialogue, it is possible to define and articulate your values in writing.

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