Do you have much? Self-respect, I mean?
Not sure, huh?
Do you use self-confidence and self-respect interchangeably?
Well, what’s the difference?
Self-confidence is derived from your perceptions about yourself.
But self-respect is derived from how you treat yourself.
I used to pretty much think of them as one in the same. You’d think that one would simultaneously increase at the same rate as the other. Right?
Self-respect is in actual fact, harder, as I began to discover. Yes, my confidence in my abilities grew as I recognised more of my potential within me, but that didn’t necessarily mean that I treated myself with the respect I deserved. Too many late nights, too much procrastination, too much trying (sometimes unsuccessfully!) to live up to other people’s expectations, too much putting other people’s feelings first, too much putting my priorities on the backburner, too much allowing others to take advantage, too much, well..
not being really me.
Thinking back on it, I would be appalled if I watched someone being treated as badly as I had treated myself. I’m sure some of you would also feel the same about your lives too. And the thing is, if you have little to no self-respect, those toxic people creep towards you as surely as night follows day.
Easy, tasty prey.
If you have no self-respect for yourself, why should they have any for you? Actions are extremely important here – your poor treatment of your own self radiates like a negative beacon, drawing them in. They try to test the waters: they do something they’re not supposed to, you relent. You give them an inch. They take a mile. It goes on and on, in a ridiculous game of ‘what can I get away with?’ at your expense which increases each time, until eventually you get really hurt.
They say that you teach people how you want to be treated.
So what if you taught people how to treat you properly from the get-go, and as an added bonus reduce the number of toxic people attempting to prey on you?
Do you want to get that toxic target off of your head??
Well, stay with me…
- Be honest with yourself. This will lead you properly down the path of self-respect. Self-honesty reduces the risk of self-compromise. Get in tune with, and trust, your feelings and your intuition. They will guide you.
- Be able to answer the question: ‘Who am I?’ A difficult one, I know, but at the very least discover what your passions and interests are and what you are willing and not willing to tolerate. Know yourself and you’ll know what to activities to focus on.
- Don’t let other people’s attitudes towards you or their thoughts about you dissuade you from being your true self.
- Talk about yourself POSITIVELY. After all, you don’t want to hurt your own feelings. It can affect you on a subconscious level.
- Know your boundaries and enforce them. Don’t let others take advantage. If they try, SHUT THAT DOWN STRAIGHT AWAY!!
- Don’t compare yourself with others. This is just completely counterproductive. There will always be people smarter, richer, more attractive, faster etc. than yourself. Just concentrate on being yourself.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Them treating you properly and respecting you should hopefully rub off on you and encourage you to treat yourself lovingly too!
- Take care of and nurture your body, e.g. exercise, eat and drink properly, get enough rest etc. After all, you only have one body to see you through from cradle to grave!
- Feed your mind. Expand your horizons with books and via other methods. Knowledge is power!
- Practise self-confidence. Keep faking it until you make it. Use affirmations to help you get there and have faith in your abilities. An increase in confidence will improve your levels of self-respect.
- Forgive yourself for mistakes committed in the past. You must extricate yourself from all the negativity sinking you to feel happier and lighter. Onwards and upwards!
- Forgive others. Not to assuage their guilt (you’re not doing it for them!), but for the reason given in number 11. Never forget the lessons learnt from your experiences though. There’s no point being schooled over and over again!
So start practising and start treating yourself like the royalty you are!