Self-Respect: Why Is Respecting Yourself Important?
We often hear that self-respect is vital. That it's a key part of having a happy, productive life, and that it's essential to healthy relationships.
However, depending on your upbringing and your life experiences, you may not really feel like you have much self-respect.
This can lead to a low mood and keep you stuck with limiting beliefs that hold you back from fulfilling your true potential. Sometimes, you might wonder if this is just your lot in life.
Luckily, self-respect isn't static – you can work to change it and to grow a more positive attitude toward yourself. But how do you approach making the change?
If you want to be proud of yourself, this article will offer you the perfect place to start.
We'll explain why and how self-respect is so important, and we'll work through a range of powerful confidence-building techniques that will begin to change how you feel about yourself.
Building self-respect has to be done consistently and over time, but the process can make a difference as early as day one.
Practicing self-respect can benefit your life in dozens of different ways, no matter what you prioritize in life.
Examples of self-respect include asserting yourself in relationships so that you get the treatment you deserve, being able to negotiate at work, and simply feeling positive when you look in the mirror.
Most importantly, when you have healthy levels of self-respect you talk to yourself with compassion and are able to feel proud of your authentic self.
Practise Self Care
Practicing self-care is a cornerstone of developing self-respect.
But what do we mean when we talk about self-care?
In short, these are habits and behaviors that prioritize being kind to yourself.
You need to be monitoring your need for rest, and knowing when to focus on your own needs.
When you treat yourself this way, you send your conscious mind the message that you are valuable and worthy of love, and that others should see this too.
In contrast, if you regularly work yourself into the ground or drain your resources, your subconscious gets the message that you're only valuable insofar as you can do things for others.
Make A Self Care Routine
If you're wondering how to start self-care, one of the best things you can do is write up a plan for a daily self-care routine.
You can change and amend this over time, experimenting with what works to rejuvenate you.
Examples of things you could add to your self-care list include:
- Having a screen-free hour away from phones, computers, and television before bed
- Setting a time past which you won't respond to work emails
- Meditating once a day
- Daily exercise (perhaps shifting the type depending on the day)
- Having fruit and vegetables each day
- Reading at least one chapter of fiction each night
- Setting aside at least half an hour each day to pursue your hobby
Adding too many becomes overwhelming rather than supportive, so choose your daily self-care checklist carefully.
The point is just to identify things that top up your energy and make you feel good about yourself.
Benefits Of Self Care
The benefits of practicing self-care are numerous.
As well as reinforcing the aforementioned belief that you're valuable and worthy of love, self-care ensures that your energy doesn't run out.
It keeps you regularly topped up so that you can be emotionally resilient, physically energized, and mentally alert.
As a result, you're better placed to do well at work, enjoy your social time, and stay healthy.
The benefits of self-care also include learning to practice mindfulness.
Notice that a lot of the examples on the sample list above involve fully submerging yourself in the moment.
How To Build Self Confidence And Self Esteem
Now that you have a better sense of why self-respect matters and how self-care helps in building self-respect, let's move on to techniques you can use to create and reinforce high self-esteem. The following self-confidence tips can be adapted to suit all kinds of goals and lifestyles, and we'll use examples throughout to help you see how you build self-confidence in a realistic, consistent way.
Steps To Confidence Building
The following steps all involve confidence-building exercises, steadily building your sense of your own value. Confidence building isn't instantaneous, so be sure to practice these exercises as often as you can in order to turn them into habits. Eventually, they will become second nature and you'll benefit from a healthier, happier sense of self.
Visualize Yourself As You Want To Be
This exercise only takes 10-15 minutes and requires finding a quiet place where you won't be disturbed.
Get comfortable, close your eyes and practice deep breathing for a few minutes.
Then, gradually build a fully detailed image of the life you want to live. Imagine feeling the way you want to feel about yourself – confident, excited, and empowered.
Imagine how you want people to respond to you – with respect, interest, and care.
Let yourself trying experience what it's like to perceive yourself this way, and to be perceived as confident.
As you get used to visualization, challenge yourself to add more and more details.
Try adding in new scenarios, and make them as vivid as possible. Add smells, sounds, and textures.
The clearer the image, the more powerfully it reshapes your self of self.
Question Your Inner Critic
Questioning yourself is less of a daily exercise to do at a set time and more of a technique to apply every time you catch yourself thinking thoughts that are linked to low self-esteem.
Instead of assuming that your self-concept is accurate, question it.
So, for example, when you think “People don't like me”, challenge yourself to find counter-evidence – your friends, the people who trust you, the times' people have complimented you.
Similarly, when you catch yourself thinking “I can't do this!” in your career, remember the times you have succeeded and be proud of yourself.
If you want to do a specific exercise linked to the inner critic, try listing the ten things you think it says most often, and answer it on paper.
As well as using evidence against the negative voice of the critic, try coming up with a slogan to replace the negative things it says.
Set yourself up to win
By “set yourself up to win”, what we mean is that you can boost your self-respect by setting realistic goals.
Don't lower your self-regard by setting goals that are beneath you, and are so simple to accomplish that they don't really make you feel good.
However, it's vital that you avoid setting implausibly high standards that you are unlikely to meet.
When you set a life goal, make life easier and ask yourself “Is this reasonable?”.
You might be wondering what makes a goal reasonable.
Essentially, you're looking for something that challenges you to grow and stretches your abilities but that doesn't require a super-human skill.
For example, if you decide you want to start a new business, set yourself a goal of having a few clients first – not 50!
If you want to lose weight, go for a steady loss of a few pounds a week and not a stone in a month.
Don't Care What Others Think
This one can be hard in practice, but if you're going to have robust self-esteem then you need to learn how to care a bit less about what others think.
In particular, it's important to know when to put yourself first, as we noted when discussing self-care.
If you put everyone else first, you end up with no energy to pursue your own goals or pursue your purpose.
However, putting yourself first can involve getting negative feedback. At first, people will still be used to pushing your boundaries, so you are likely to get negative feedback.
One thing that can help you care less about what others think is to remember that all their opinions and beliefs are shaped by their own struggles.
Their anxieties, jealousies, and weak spots play a role in how they view you, and they're all working on themselves too.
So, often, what others think is far from a reliable guide to who you are or what you're worth.
Follow Through And Be Accountable For Yourself
Finally, no matter why you want to learn how to improve your life and your self-respect, determination, and accountability are required.
In other words, you need to be ready to keep going, even when it's challenging.
Don't give up – if you respect yourself, you'll push through and fulfilling your potential.
However, the advice “Don't give up!” is compatible with knowing when it's time to rest and practice self-care.
Just make sure you reflect honestly on whether you're taking care of yourself or simply avoiding something that intimidates you.
Keeping a journal is one thing that can really help with maintaining accountability.
Each day, note down what you've done to contribute to your overall goals.
Alternatively, make an agreement with someone you trust, and hold each other accountable.
For example, you might meet once a week, discuss where you are in your overall plans, and keep each other on track with positivity and encouragement.
Learn To Respect Yourself More Using Secret Mirror Work
If you want to take the next step in developing healthy self-respect, Dr. Joe Vitale's secret mirror technique can help you take your confidence to the next level.
Famous for his ho'oponopono practices, Dr. Vitale explores how to mirror work and mirror motivation exercises can stop you from being held back by past experiences and outdated negative beliefs.
At the heart of the mirror, technique is looking directly into your own eyes as you reflect on the things that make you proud to be you.
What are your biggest strengths, your major accomplishments, and the things you contribute to the world?
For example, you might say “I love every part of myself” or “I practice self-acceptance on the deepest level, and my self-respect grows every day.”
With Dr. Vitale's secret mirror technique, you can confront lingering negative beliefs that have been hard to shift.
However, this is just the basic exercise, and you can learn how to develop it into something even more powerful. The more you know, the stronger your self-respect will be.