top of page

Values that damage your self-worth unconsciously

What’s the most expensive Pokemon card?

Well, if you’re a Pokemon nerd, the answer is the Pikachu Illustrator card, which comes in at $375,000!

But why so expensive, you’re probably thinking.

The thing about this particular card is that it is rare, with only 41 ever created. Twenty-nine people are on the record of owning this card since they brought it into Professional Sports Authenticator for certification. And of those certified, many were in pristine conditions. The owners took great care of the cards, knowing their value can significantly decrease with any damage.

When we follow poor values in life, we damage our self-worth.

And unlike those Pokemon cards, we bring our self-worth with us wherever we go. Whether that’s meeting new people or trying something new. We carry our sense of worth around, and other people will notice it. A lot of the time, how we value ourselves determines if we have a great experience or not. That being said, it’s important to genuinely know our self-worth. But the problem with that is that we tend to follow bad values that significantly lower how we view ourselves. And in this article, I’m going to show three poor values that degrade your self-worth. Obviously, there are many more, but I want to start with three commons which are:

  • Money

  • Excess Sexual activity

  • GPA

Let’s get our hands dirty with money.


This is one of the most common values that corrupt people. That whole idea of equating your self-worth with your bank account or how much you make is disastrous. Because if you pay attention, there is always going to be someone making more money. And when this value drives your life, it will have you feeling insecure and jealous.

Then again, money is a sensitive topic. But we have to understand that money has its place in our lives, but it cannot be the main priority. Value money as a tool and nothing more. Even Seneca, the rich Stoic philosopher had a similar view of money:

“For the wise man regards wealth as a slave, the fool as a master.”

I have a family member that is a slave to money.

This person will rip off anybody to save their pennies. And family is not excluded.

When I was living with this family member, they decided to start charging rent. Now, I gave this family member a couple of thousand dollars every year to help around the house. And besides that, I’ve been living there for free without any trouble. But all of a sudden, they decided to charge me rent. They told me “either $500/month or get out.” Even though I tried to negotiate the price down since I was a student and didn’t want to move. This family member did not budge. So I left. And this family member felt insulted I wouldn’t pay them. Our relationship has never been the same.

Money is a tool, it’s not something to sacrifice relationships for.

That being said, this was an extreme case. But still, we need to treat money as the tool it is. And to get a good sense of money as a tool, you should read financial books to get the basics of personal finances. I highly recommend the book I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. I’m not a fan of Ramit Sethi but this book does provide the basics of personal finances which anybody can find useful.

Alright, with money out of the way, let’s get even dirtier with sexual activity.

Excess sexual activity

For some reason, especially with men, the number of women to sleep with has become something to brag about. I don’t know where this started but it has definitely taken off in the past 10-15 years, where sleeping with a lot of women is equated with masculinity.

Mind you, I have no problem with guys sleeping with multiple women.

The only problem I have is when it is a value that drives people’s life. So instead of focusing on the things that matter, like a personal mission, meaningful friendships, etc. Some dudes just focus on how they are going to get their next lay. Wasting years following this value, only to realize it wasn’t worth the time and sacrifice.

The Youtuber Aba from the channel Aba & Preach spoke about how he had his player phase. Where he openly followed the value of bedding many women from all his partying and dating. But it dawned on him this value was overrated when he was in bed, lying next to a woman, wondering why he was even there? That introspection, of why he was having aimless sex with women, made him realize he was wasting time and effort with this value.

Even though I am not a big fan of his YouTube channel, I do respect Aba because he shows a rare maturity. And if you learn to not follow the excess sexual activity value, you’ll be on your way to having the same maturation as Aba.

Now moving on from the dirty parts, let’s get to something that can be squeaky clean.


In university, GPA is a big deal to many students. GPA can determine what programs you get into. Whether it’s medical school, dental school, master’s programs, etc. GPA is king in a lot of post-secondary institutions.

However, equating your self-worth to GPA is wrong.

First of all, not all GPAs are created equally. A 4.0 GPA in engineering is incredible compared to a 4.0 GPA in International Business (as a business grad, we made fun of International Business majors, so I can’t help myself). And don’t even get me started with how GPAs in some schools are more meaningful than GPAs at other schools.

I digress, but having GPA as a personal value will do more harm than good. Similar to money, you will get insecure and jealous of others with higher GPAs. It becomes exhausting to constantly think about GPA, where you are comparing yourself to your peers.

GPA is just a grade.

Sure, it will determine what programs you can get into. But there are so many other things that can determine your career that will prove to be more useful than a 4.0 GPA. Things such as social/networking skills, conflict management, business skills, management skills, etc. A person who invests and works on himself will tend to turn out better than people who just focus on GPA. Because people whose lives revolve around their GPA tend to be static, leaving themselves to be vulnerable to the sucker punches life will eventuality throw.

And this is what happened to a lot of my wife’s peers from her master’s program.

So my wife graduated with a master’s in international affairs. Exactly what that program is, I am not sure, But what I did know, was that my wife was annoyed by a lot of her peers.


Well, my wife was a mature student, going back to school after some years in the workforce. Where her peers went right into the master’s programs after getting their bachelor’s. So a lot of these kids did not have much life experience. The only experience they had was their academic career, where they worked diligently to get the best GPA possible. And when these kids went into their master’s programs, they carried the mindset of overvaluing GPAs. And as a result, they studied hard trying to get into the best internships.

The unfortunate part is that when these guys graduated from their master’s programs, they found that they didn’t have a job in place. Even though they worked hard in their internships, a lot of them didn’t get extensions. Now they are freaking out and wondering what they are to do.

Not to be a dick.

But if they were just a little wiser and focused on other values, like developing their social/networking skills, or resilience. They would have dealt with impending unemployment much better.

That’s the thing about following poor values, it distracts us from the things that are actually helpful in our lives. That’s why in my upcoming eBook (Foundation of Personal Development), I have a section on values. Values are integral in our personal development but are too often ignored.

Now some people might disagree with my views, which is fine.

One disagreement people have is: What if these external standards help me feel better about myself?

In this day and age, it can be tough to feel good about yourself.

So we try to find anything that can help us. And sometimes these poor values (money, sex, GPA) can improve our self-image.

My only counter to this is that you are building your self-worth on a very shaky foundation. As I said, when you meet someone who is a little better than you on that poor value, you will succumb to insecurities and jealousy. Oftentimes, feeling much worse off, to begin with.

In The Secret Lair membership site, I have to help members reinforce new and better values instead of following the poor ones. Because it’s tough doing this on your own and it helps to have a group that can remind you when you get off track. Whether it’s with dating, career success, etc, we have each other’s back in The Secret Lair. And we ensure we are following values that we chose genuinely and properly, instead of following random ones unconsciously.

While people are recovering from poor values, there is one mistake that can happen: Replacing one external standard with another.

When we discover that we are following a poor value, we tend to get rid of it.

However, this poor value gets unconsciously replaced with another poor value.

Which is not really making progress.

So to override this mistake, what we have to do is write down the values we want to follow. Get a piece of paper out and write them all out. And review these values on a weekly basis to ensure you are being immersed. And as a bonus, reduce your social media and Internet consumption, as this is a culprit for unconsciously feeding us poor values.

Anyways, you have to understand that your life is your responsibility. And that includes the values you are committed to, regardless of whether they are unconscious or conscious.

Time to get wrap this up with the summary.

  • Poor values damage our self-worth.

  • Three common poor values are money, excess sexual activity, and GPA

  • Money is a poor value as it can create unnecessary insecurities and jealousy. There is usually someone out there who has more. Money has its place but needs to be put in its rightful place in life.

  • Excess sexual activity is commonly thought of as modern-day masculinity. So people will neglect the things that matter in life and chase women. This is a waste of time and effort. Plus, it can cause insecurities and jealousy when we compare ourselves to others.

  • GPA is a poor value followed in schools. People will focus solely on GPA and neglect the other important career skills to navigate post-school life. Again, like money and sex, it can cause insecurities and jealousy when we meet someone with a better GPA.

  • Although these poor values can make us feel better, it’s temporary, and usually leaves us off worse.

  • A simple mistake people make when getting rid of poor values is replacing them with another poor value. We need to be conscious of the values we choose, so it’s best to do this manually, with regular reviews.

Values play a large part in the quality of life.

So we have to make sure that we don’t unnecessarily damage ourselves by following poor values. Because with a little more deliberation, we’ll soon see not only our true self-worth but our lives as more valuable than the Pikachu Illustrator card.


The Charismatic Nerd


bottom of page