To value oneself with respect is not conceited nor is it self-centred. It is rooted in a deep sense of worthiness and understanding that you are in fact “enough”. In loving and respecting oneself it is easier to love and respect others.
The problem is we often go about this in the wrong way. We look outward for acknowledgement and affirmation. INSTEAD we need to look inward as it is here that we will find the love and respect that we are searching for.
Here are some ideas on how to discover our value and respect for ourselves
- What makes me respect myself
- Honesty about who I am and who I am not
- Respect yourself by taking action
- Stop trying so hard to be normal
The only way to stand out is to be your idiosyncratic, real, quirky self. It’s easier said than done, but consider this: all those folks you look up to have taken ownership of what sets them apart and leveraged it to their advantage. Besides, if you don’t own who you are, you blend in. And what’s interesting about that?
- Don’t let other people define your boundaries
Many people have good intentions, but their advice is often clouded by their emotional baggage. So when someone tells you “you’ll never be able to do that” or “you shouldn’t” or “you can’t,” ignore them until you have figured out for yourself what’s true.
- Learn to say no
It is important to remember that when you say yes to someone or something you don’t want to say yes to you are saying NO to yourself and the people you do want to spend time with
- Let whatever you get done today be enough
Self-respect means not engaging in being overly self-critical, judging or restricting.
It’s so easy to chain ourselves to a to-do list and then gauge our worthiness on its completion. How about a purposeful shift towards self-kindness?
What if, as you finish one task and contemplated the next, you said to yourself: I could do this, or I could not. If I choose to stop now, I will allow whatever I have completed today to be enough and I will not beat myself up for it.
How’s that for respecting your bandwidth?
- Know that you are not your genes
We could spend a lifetime untying the knots of our past, but at some point, we must realize the knots are no longer ours. They belong to our parents, grandparents and their grandparent’s parents. The lineage is complex and lengthy and effortlessly passed from one generation. We have a choice and at any point we can reflect on our childhood influences and declare: “This is not my story. I am not my genes.”
- Apologize with self-respect
Saying “I’m sorry” is seldom pleasant or easy, so if you’re going to do it at all, make it count!
Spend time learning not to make excuses. (Because that’s just disrespectful to the other person and your integrity.)
So next time you’re tempted to plead your case, lay a hand on your heart, check in with that inner barometer and listen to the truth. If an apology is called for courageously, offer one (minus the excuses).
- Be willing to accept reality
You must be willing to see things and people as they are. It can be painful to acknowledge that there is a problem with ourselves, our loved ones, or a situation. But if you don’t deal with the problem with curiosity and courteousness, your situation will be prolonged. And that is not very respectful of your time and energy.
- Write love notes to your body
Our health, like everything else in our life, is a relationship. The more we pay attention to it and nourish it, the more our body thrives. When we make the decision to become healthier we can often find ourselves in front of the mirror looking at our bodies and wondering what we need to “fix.”
Instead of making self-deprecation your morning ritual, stand in front of the mirror and list three things you love about yourself.
Later, write them down, preferably on sticky notes. Then pick the one or two that make you feel the way you want to feel every single day and leave these love notes on your bedroom mirror, in your wallet, on the TV remote and read them even on those days when you might not feel that way.
By focusing only on our self-perceived faults and flaws, we’re basically giving permission for the rest of the world to focus on them too.