The Key To Understanding Yourself

DR JOHN DEMARTINI   -   Updated 8 months ago

Dr Demartini explains that your life already demonstrates who you are and what you value most. So if you would love to be your true authentic self and deepen your understanding of yourself, here’s a powerful step you can take TODAY.


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DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 8 months ago

I often emphasize the significance of values because your unique hierarchy of values are the cornerstone of your perceptions, decisions, and actions, and they ultimately define your identity and your destiny.

Every individual, including you, lives according to a unique hierarchy of values, a set of priorities that range from most to least important in your life.

Think of a ladder, as an example. Your highest values would form the top few rungs, descending to your lower and less important values towards the bottom. This hierarchy of values is unique to you, with no one else having the exact same hierarchy of values as you. This is part of what makes you unique (and one of the keys to understanding yourself).

Your perceptions, decisions, actions, and behaviors are all an expression of your hierarchy of values.

Any actions you take that are congruent with your highest values tend to be intrinsic, in that you are spontaneously inspired from within to perform them. There's likely no need for external motivation because these actions resonate deeply within you and are spontaneously acted upon.

In my case, my highest values include teaching, research/writing and travel. No one has to remind or motivate me to do any of these tasks because I take advantage of each opportunity I can to act upon them.

My lower values include cooking and driving – and that’s a different story altogether. It would take a lot for me to either cook or drive, which is why I choose to delegate those tasks to someone else who finds them inspiring.

Your purpose and expertise also revolve around your highest values. In essence, your highest values are the path of your identity or authentic self.

When you live in accordance with your highest values or top priorities, blood, glucose and oxygen go into your forebrain, which is the executive center of your brain. So, anytime you fill your day with your highest priority actions and do what is most important, meaningful and inspiring in your life; you wake up the part of your brain that is involved in inspired vision, strategic planning, objectivity, mitigating risks, execution of plans, and self-governance. You also wake up your leadership capacities because you will tend to be more effective and efficient in your actions and have more resilience and stamina in life.

On the other hand, when you fill your day with low-priority actions, the blood glucose and oxygen goes into the subcortical region of your brain which includes your amygdala. So, instead of waking up your executive center for inspired vision, you wake up your amygdala which adds valency to your perceptions and results in your cerebellum driving conditioned reflexes, and impulses for immediate gratification and instincts for the avoiding of pain. As a result, you are most likely to avoid challenges and seek an easy, less-efficient or less productive path, while also taking on the role of follower.

In a nutshell, when you prioritize your life according to your highest values, you increase the probability of living authentically, and have the greatest potential to know who you truly are.

Your identity revolves around what you value the most.

By prioritizing and organizing your life around your highest values, you are most likely to be your authentic self. It’s also where you tend to be the most disciplined, reliable and focused. As a result, you will likely feel more fulfilled and experience self-love.

Conversely, when you invest time in activities lower on your value scale, you’ll tend procrastinate, hesitate and frustrate, and require extrinsic motivation to get things done. As a result, you’ll likely feel less fulfilled and experience self-doubt.

So, identifying what really is most important, what's most intrinsic, what's most inspiring to you, is the first step of knowing yourself.

In the Breakthrough Experience, my signature program that I present most every week either online or in-person in selected cities around the world, I often have people tell me that they are unsure as to what their purpose is and how to define what is truly important to them – their highest values.

One of the main reasons behind their uncertainty is comparing themselves to others.

Like many people, you may frequently place others on pedestals and look up to them, believing they are smarter, more achieving, more attractive, have more stable relationships, or are more socially connected than you. This tendency to minimize and subordinate yourself to others distorts your own perception of your identity and often leads to you trying to inject their highest values into your own life. You try to be like them which temporarily distracts you from being your authentic self.

For example, a career woman may observe her stay-at-home friend creating exciting outings for her children, and perceive that this friend to be a better mom than she is. She may try to mimic that behavior and try to spend her free time trying to entertain her children. The result may be feelings of resentment and a lack of fulfillment because she is not living congruently with her highest values and instead trying to be someone she’s not.

Attempting to inject the highest values of others into your life is often reflected in the language you use – phrases such as "got to," "have to," "must," "should," "ought to," "supposed to," and "need to" – may creep into your thoughts and conversations. These phrases are valuable feedback that you are likely not being authentic and would be wise to realign your life with your own highest values.

It is also wise to remember that when you compare yourself to those you perceive as superior, you tend to undermine your potential and suppress your ideas. What others may call self-limiting beliefs and self-sabotage beliefs are essentially just feedback that you’re not being authentic, not being your true self, and likely don’t know yourself as deeply as you could. Learning to recognize and understand this feedback can be a game changer on your journey to knowing yourself and being authentic.

The Distorted Lens of Comparison

I often use this example to explain how subjective comparing yourself to others can be:

Imagine three bowls of water before you: one at 40 degrees, another at 72 degrees, and the last at 140 degrees. Although objective measurements yield these temperatures, the moment you place your hand in the colder water and then move it to the room-temperature water, your subjective perception shifts.

You'll likely perceive the 72-degree water as much hotter than it actually is due to the comparison to the cold. Similarly, placing your hand in the 140-degree water and then into the 72-degree water will tend to make the latter feel much colder than it actually is.

This principle applies to your self-perceptions as well. The instant you compare yourself to others, your view of yourself tends to become distorted and subject to bias.

Instead of an inclination to compare yourself to others, thereby altering your self-perception, it is wiser to welcome others into your heart and maintain equilibrium through a more reflective perception. Once you achieve this balance, embracing reflective awareness that what you recognize in others (both the things you admire and the things you dislike) also exists within you to the same degree, you are more likely to attain authenticity and more accurate or objective self-knowledge.

The Balancing Act of Self-Knowledge

When you infatuate with somebody, you tend to be temporarily conscious of their upsides, and unconscious or ignoring their downsides. You’re experiencing subjective bias, you have a confirmation bias on their positives and a disconfirmation bias on their negatives. As such, you’re likely ignorant of their downsides, you are missing information in your conscious awareness, and don't really know them.

When you're resentful of somebody, you're likely conscious of their downsides, and unconscious of or ignoring their upsides. You’re experiencing subjective bias, you have a confirmation bias on their negatives and a disconfirmation bias on their positives. As such, you tend to be ignorant of the upsides, you are missing information in your conscious awareness, and you don't really know them.

However, when your perception of them is symmetrical in that you can see both sides of them at the same time, that is when you are most likely to truly know them. When you bring the unconscious conscious and you have both their positive and negative equally in your awareness.

The same applies to you. You really only know yourself when you see both sides of yourself equally and simultaneously.

If you put people on pedestals, you'll tend to minimize yourself with shame and be ignorant of your upsides.

If you look down on people, you’ll tend to exaggerate yourself with pride and be ignorant of your downsides. The result is that you’ll be less likely to understand or know yourself, and will tend to experience chaos, uncertainty and unfulfillment in the process.


Because whenever you're too humble or too proud to admit what you see in others is inside you, you tend to have disowned, dismembered and deflected parts, which create a void and a feeling of emptiness.

That's why, when you judge people, you tend to feel empty.

When you love people and embrace what you see in them inside you, own whatever you see, and level the playing field, you likely have a clear interpretation of who you are. As a result, you are more likely to love yourself, know yourself, and get to be your authentic self.

How to identify your values

Determining your own unique set of values can be done on my website at no cost. In essence, the Demartini Value Determination Process takes you through 13 very specific questions – here are 5 simplified versions of the 13 questions

  • What do you fill your primary intimate, personal or professional space with most?
  • How do you spend your time primarily when you are awake?
  • How do you spend your energy most and what energizes you most?
  • How, where, or on what do you spend your money most?
  • Where are you most organized and ordered?

To determine your values just sign up for the FREE online process here: The Demartini Value Determination Process

When talking about your core or highest values, I am talking about what your life ALREADY demonstrates as being important to you.

Answering the 13 questions from the Demartini Value Determination Process will help you identify what your life already shows as evidence of being a priority to you, your highest values, instead of what you think SHOULD be a priority or something you presume might help make you feel happier, more successful, or more fulfilled.

In other words, you will be able to clearly identify and verify your highest values from what your life demonstrates to be most important to you.

Instead of engaging in constant comparison with others, it is wiser to assess your daily actions against your unique hierarchy of highest values or your core values. It is wise to analyze how your life mirrors your highest values, as actions speak louder than words.

I do whatever I can in my Breakthrough Experience program, and every talk I do, to help people live an inspired and intrinsically driven life. The key to doing that is knowing what’s highest on your values and living your life according to that.

If while you’re reading this you recognize some of the signs of living by your lower values and you’d love to align your life so you can open up the opportunities of living by your highest values, then join me at my signature seminar the Breakthrough Experience. It’s been a profound turning point for so many people and can be for you too.

During our time together, I will show you how to:

  • Determine your highest and most intrinsic values,
  • Structure your life according to these most purposeful values
  • Prioritize your daily actions,
  • Delegate lower-priority actions,
  • Live more objectively
  • Develop your executive center and greater executive function,
  • Transform hindsight into inspired foresight,
  • Learn how to use the Demartini Method to dissolve emotions and empower your life,
  • Learn how to own the traits of the greats so as not to live in people's shadows but to stand on the shoulders of giants.
  • And so much more.

The magnificence of who you are far exceeds any fantasy or comparison you could ever impose upon yourself. If you lack certainty and clarity about who you are, and if you’re not honoring yourself as you are, then I’d love to show you how to transform that at the Breakthrough Experience seminar.

To Sum Up

Your highest values serve as the foundation of your identity, driving your perceptions, decisions, actions, and ultimately shaping who you are.

By living congruently with your highest values, your actions tend to become intrinsically driven instead of requiring extrinsic motivation to get things done.

The power of comparison, a trap many people frequently fall into, distorts your identity if you attempt to subordinate your highest values to those you perceive as superior to you.

Here are three action points to embark on a journey of self-discovery and authenticity:

  1. Highest Values Alignment: A wise place to begin is by identifying your highest values and aligning your actions with them. Utilize the free confidential Demartini Value Determination Process to gain clarity on what truly matters to you. This alignment will provide a strong foundation for living authentically.
  2. Release Subconscious Baggage: Join me at the next Breakthrough Experience and utilize the Demartini Method to dissolve subconscious baggage. By letting go of past wounds and fantasies, you pave the way for genuine self-empowered presence and a balanced perspective on yourself.
  3. Embrace Reflective Awareness: Instead of comparing yourself with others, it is wiser to focus on assessing your daily actions against your higher core values. This practice fosters self-awareness, reduces judgment, and unlocks your true potential.

Your greatest contribution comes from your uniqueness – not from fitting in. I would far rather be number one at being me than number two at being anybody else.


Are you ready for the NEXT STEP?

If you’re seriously committed to your own growth, if you’re ready to make a change now and you’d love some help doing so, then book a FREE Discovery call with a member of the Demartini Team so we can take you through your mini power assessment session.

You’ll come away with a 3-step action plan and the foundation to empower your life.


Book Your TICKET for Dr Demartini's Breakthrough Experience

If you’re ready to go inwards and do the work that will clear your blockages, clarify your vision and balance your mind, then you’ve found the perfect place to start with Dr Demartini at the Breakthrough Experience.

In 2 days you’ll learn how to solve any issue you are facing, transform any emotion and reset the course of your life for greater achievement and fulfillment.

You’ll unlock your true potential and lay the groundwork to empower all 7 areas of your life.

Get ready to take your life to a whole new level of meaning and purpose.

Today is the day you step into your power and value yourself by investing in your inspired life when you sign up for Dr Demartini’s signature seminar the Breakthrough Experience:

Click HERE to book your TICKET on the Breakthrough Experience