I just want to say that loving and respecting yourself does not mean that you are self-centered or narcissistic. For me, self-love is not just for me, it is for the people that I am dealing with. When we are displaying self-respect, we are amassing a deep sense of self-worth… letting ourselves know that we are worthy of receiving love and then giving love. Sometimes, we go about doing it the wrong way. We look for our self-worth by searching for “likes” on Facebook/Instagram or buying the next new gadget, when no external factor will give us the self-respect that we crave.
10 ways that we can show ourselves some self-respect:
- Figure out what makes you respect yourself. For me, one thing that allows me to respect myself is to do something or be somewhere, barring emergencies of course, that I said I would. I feel great when I do what I say I am going to do. Also, doing for others in the world I care about builds a lot of self-respect, reading my devotionals, meditation, and disconnecting from my devices by 10pm so that I can wind down and get a good night’s rest…all of that helps to build my self-respect.
- Be honest with who you are and who you are NOT. Once you have spent time alone and you get to know what makes you feel good, be clear about it. Not just when you deal with yourself but when you are with others. Leading with honesty is less stressful and can be more enjoyable.
- Stop trying to be NORMAL! Be yourself…for real. Yes, you are real…weird…strange…bold, quirky or whatever…just do it! It can be hard but take ownership of the different things about you…then use them to your advantage. After all, do you really want to blend in? Boring…
- Define your own boundaries. Listen, most people do have good intentions, but remember that their emotional baggage will come with their advice. When people say to you, “you shouldn’t” or “you can’t”, you have to ignore that until you sit down with yourself and really figure out what is true.
- Say NO! This is such a big problem for me…for real for real. It does not make you a bad person to tell others no, it makes you strong and respectable! I have to learn to stop saying yes to things that I do not want to do so that I can create more time and have more energy to do the activities and be with the people that genuinely make me happy.
- Your identity is not in your genes. We love our families and there are both good and bad memories attached to our childhood but at some point, we must realize that those things do not define who we are today. Lineage is complex and lengthy and continues to effortlessly be passed from one generation to the next. We all have a choice to say, “This will not be my story. I am not my genes.”
- Be willing to accept your reality. We have to see people and things the way they really are. Sometimes it can be painful to acknowledge a problem, either with ourselves, with others or a situation. If we don’t deal with our problems, our situations prolong and maybe even escalate. If we go about life this way, we are not respecting our time or energy and how can we ask others to respect our time and energy when we do not offer ourselves that courtesy.
- Apologize! Saying “I’m sorry” is a hard and unpleasant action but when it is necessary, mean it. Make sure you apologize without making excuses or pleading your case and be absent of any negative attitude.
- What you accomplished today? That was enough! It is so easy for us to chain ourselves to a list of things to do and then beat ourselves up when things do not get done. We need to be kind to ourselves when things do not go as planned. We do not need to be self-critical and judgemental toward ourselves. It is self-defeating and it doesn’t help you cross anything off of the list. If things do not get done today, put it on your list for tomorrow and the next day and the next…eventually you will get tired of writing it down and just do it!
- Love on yourself. Along with having a relationship with others, we have a relationship with ourselves. That is right, your most important human relationship is the one that you have with YOU. The more we take care of our health, the more we thrive. We may not like the way we look in the mirror but we do not have to tell ourselves self-depreciative things that make us feel worse. Stand in that mirror and tell yourself three things that you love about yourself every morning. If it will work better, get out a sticky note and write yourself a love note. I have my boys write 3 affirmations on a big index card and put them on the bedroom doors every Monday that way they read it often so they are speaking good of themselves and getting it into their hearts.
It is said that we should treat others the way we want to be treated. We should also treat ourselves the way that we would want others to treat us. We really should not make our primary focus our perceived flaws and faults. If we are doing that, we are also giving the world permission to focus on them too.