If you want to live a happy, positive, present life, you have to love yourself and an essential aspect of self-love is self-respect. Unfortunately, self-respect isn’t something that comes easy to a lot of us and a lot of aspects in our lives can negatively impact our ability to treat ourselves with respect.
While a lot of people think that self-respect makes us self-centered, narcissistic or conceited, the reality is quite the opposite. To show ourselves respect – and teach others to do the same in the process – is all about creating a deep sense of self-worth and self-love. It means we accept and respect ourselves for who we are and forgive ourselves for mistakes we have made.
Self-respect means that we take care of ourselves, which in turn makes us more attentive to others and with that creates an upward spiral of happiness and success all around us.
Here are our TOP 10 ways how to make self-respect a top priority in your life and develop healthy respect for yourself.
#1 Don’t Speak Badly about Yourself
There is immense power in the way we use words, so make sure not to speak badly about yourself and don’t define yourself by weaknesses or mistakes that happened in the past. Don’t say: ‘I’m a loser’, because soon enough you will believe what you are saying to yourself. Instead say: ‘I’m a person worthy of love and respect.’ Just like believing the negative, you will start to believe the good about yourself, you simply have to keep reminding yourself of your strengths and the values you have to offer to the world.
#2 Be Honest About Who You Are
Get really honest with yourself – and with others as well – about who you are and who you aren’t. Honesty isn’t just a lot less work, it is also a lot more enjoyable. Respect your interests and talents and follow your heart. Know what makes you happy and what you need to avoid. Keep in mind, honesty is the ultimate sign of respect and the more honest you are with yourself the less likely you will be compromising what matters most to you. Pay close attention to your emotions, feelings and thoughts and no matter how hard it may be, the truth is always the best way to go.
#3 Stop Trying to Fit In
While this is easier said than done, the only way to happiness is to be your unique, quirky and real self. Just consider all the people who take ownership of what sets them apart and leverage it to their advantage. What is the advantage of blending in? Sure, you’ll be part of a group, but at what cost? Be who you are, own who you are, respect who you are. There is no point in compromising yourself just to fit in because nobody wins, but if you are who you truly are, the right people will be drawn to you.
#4 Learn to Say ‘No’
We tend to avoid conflict by agreeing to things that we don’t actually want to do. Respect yourself enough to say ‘No’ to things that you know aren’t good for you. This doesn’t make you a bad person, it actually makes you a strong, respectable person. And an added bonus of learning to say ‘No’ is that you free up a lot of time and energy to do the things you actually enjoy doing and spend time with people that make you happy.
#5 Honor the Miracle That You Are
Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror, and we mean REALLY look at yourself and stare in awe and wonder at the amazing miracle that you are? It’s a miracle that you are here, it’s a miracle that you have this amazing, functional body that carries you through life, it’s a miracle that you can stand in front of a mirror and admire how wonderful you are. Practice self-love and instead of seeing flaws, see opportunities and personality. Make it a daily practice until you reach the point when you can look into the mirror and honor the miracle that you are by meaningfully saying ‘Wow, I’m beautiful.’
#6 Learn to Forgive
In order to move forward in life, we have to learn to let go and forgive our past hurts and wounds. Holding on to resentment only hurts ourselves even more and creates a pattern of resistance that holds us back in all areas of our life. Start by forgiving yourself first and foremost for any past mistakes and then move on to others and understand that we are all just trying to the best we can with the knowledge we have.
#7 Practice Self-Care
Every single day take some time, even if it’s just a few minutes, to do something good for yourself. Practicing self-care is detrimental to our happiness and overall well-being so make it a point to make time for ‘me’ time every single day. Check in with yourself, tune into your intuition, meditate, take a bubble bath, go to a spa, do something creative, watch the sunset or take a walk in the park. Whatever makes your soul sing, do it and do it often.
#8 Exercise and Inspire Your Mind
A big part of cultivating respect for yourself is to make sure you feel good physically and treat your body with respect. Lower your stress level, eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis because the more you respect your body, the more respect you will feel for your whole self. And just like you need to respect your body, you need to respect your mind as well. Continuously feed your mind with new information and new experiences, inspire your mind with people, books, podcasts and movies and soak up everything you can. All this will help you to grow and empower yourself, which in turn will make it much easier to respect yourself.
#9 Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Comparison is the thief of happiness and joy and the more we compare ourselves to others, the harder it becomes to develop and cultivate self-respect. We all are guilty of comparing ourself to others at some point or another, it’s hard not to, but keep in mind, no matter how well you think you know someone, you never truly know everything. You just see the highlighted reel of his or her life that he or she is willing to show the world. You will never know what’s going on behind the scenes, so show yourself some respect and stop comparing yourself to others. Focus on your own development and journey and only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday.
#10 Never Settle
One of the best ways to show yourself respect is to never settle for less than you deserve. And remember, we all deserve the very best. We have one life to live and we deserve to have the best of everything we want: the best career, the best health, the best people, the best emotions and feelings, the best love… Don’t settle until you make your life the best you can.
There can be many reasons why it is difficult to show yourself respect from staying in a job that doesn’t make you happy to loving someone who doesn’t love you back to surrounding yourself with people who doubt your abilities to wanting things simply because everybody else has them. While you may not always have control over your circumstances, you always have control over how you treat yourself. Learn how to respect yourself and in the process you show the rest of the world to do the same.
SHOW YOURSELF RESPECT AND VIEW YOURSELF IN A POSITIVE LIGHT
Joschi & Monika