Self-love is one of the main components for living a more present life. And self-respect is a key element of self-love.
The more you can learn to respect yourself, the more you’re able to love yourself – it’s a seemingly simple equation. Unfortunately, self-respect isn’t so easy to come by (for a lot of us). There are more than enough outside influences (and other factors) that lure us away from the kind of self-respect that we want and need.
A few ways you might be tempted away from self-respect: choosing to love someone who doesn’t love you back (or who treats you badly); staying in a job that makes you unhappy; believing that you need to have certain things (or people) in order to be happy; surrounding yourself with people who bring you down and treat you (or themselves) negatively; wanting things because you think you “should” want them; or comparing your life to other people’s lives and thinking they have it better.
As you can see, there are more than a few reasons why you might find self-respect a bit difficult and, unfortunately, nobody is immune to them. Obviously, you don’t have the ability to control all of these reasons, but how you treat yourself is absolutely within your control.
Here are a few tips + reminders of how to make self-respect a top priority:
- DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS
One of the best ways to garner more self-respect is to never settle for less than what you deserve. And you — we all — deserve the best life has to offer. You have one life to live and you more than deserve to be surrounded by the best people, have the best career, the best feelings, etc. Don’t ever settle.
- GET TO KNOW YOURSELF
If you don’t want to settle, you have to know what it is you really, really want. You have to get in touch with yourself and what matters to you. When you know who you are, you’re able to focus on the activities and people that support you (which increases your levels of self-respect).
- FORGIVE YOURSELF
Letting go of the past can be hard, but in order to respect who you are today, you must let go of who you were back then. It’s a part of life; we all make mistakes. But those who respect themselves know how to leave those mistakes in the past where they belong. You can’t go back and change things, but you can take what you’ve learned and move confidently forward.
- FORGIVE OTHERS
If you’ve been hurt in the past, forgiveness can feel extra hard. But walking around feeling hurt and angry, makes it more difficult to have self-love. By letting go of the pain others have caused you, you’ll open up space in your heart and mind for more uplifting experiences and people. Forgiveness is always healthier than clinging to pain.
- CULTIVATE A TRIBE OF POSITIVE PEOPLE
Respecting yourself means surrounding yourself with those who respect you — and themselves. Negative people (even those who are not negative directly to you) are draining, and believe it or not, that negativity can and will start to rub off on you over time. You’ve heard the old saying: you are a combination of the people you spend the most time with? Take a look at the people in your own life. And respect yourself enough to make sure that those people are positive influences.
- BE CONFIDENT
The more confidence you have in yourself, the easier it will be to treat yourself with love and respect. However, confidence isn’t always that easy to come by. You’ve gotta work for it. A few simple ways to get started: give yourself easy wins by doing things you know you’re good at. Accept compliments and take note of when others are proud of you. The more you do things that build up your confidence, the more confident you’ll feel.
- BE HONEST
Honesty is the ultimate sign of self-respect. When you’re honest with yourself, you’ll see what’s good for you and what’s not so good. You’ll be less likely to compromise on what matters most to you. Being honest with yourself in practice is actually pretty hard. So be sure to pay attention to how you really feel and what you really think. Many of us are great at the art of self-deception. And of course, being honest with others is just as important as being honest with yourself. Even when it’s hard, the truth will set you free.
- HONOR YOUR BODY
What greater form of self-respect is there than treating your body with love? It can help to think of your body as the body of someone you dearly love. Nourish her with healthy food, exercise, low stress. Respecting your body is an essential component of self-respect. Your body is the delicate and precious vessel transporting you around this world, and it’s up to you to take care of it.
- NOURISH YOUR MIND
Taking care of your mind by nourishing it and loving it is just as important as taking care of your body. Take yourself out of the normal day-to-day by engaging in new experiences and learning new things. Step out of your comfort zone and try to find new perspectives. Curate a list of go-to resources for information and inspiration — books, websites, people — and soak up all you can. The more you know, the more you grow.
- WATCH YOUR SELF-TALK
Have you ever noticed the language you use when you speak about yourself (whether outwardly to others or just inwardly to yourself)? It can be eye-opening to see the hurtful and damaging words we use about ourselves. The way you speak about yourself says a lot about how much self-love and self-respect you have. Pay attention to how you speak about yourself. When you notice negative words arising, see if you can find a word that means the opposite and flip the negative into something positive.
- STOP COMPARING
Theodore Roosevelt rightly said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And he was (and is) very right. The more you compare yourself to someone else, the more difficult it becomes to cultivate self-respect. It’s hard not to compare, especially in this day and age of social media. But remind yourself that, no matter how well you know someone, you don’t ever know everything about his or her life. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes. Nobodies life is perfect (that’s a fact). If you want to have more self-respect, focus on what you have, not on what you lack.
What about you? Do you struggle with cultivating more self-respect and self-love in your life? Do you have tips or tricks that make the process easier (and maybe even more fun)? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so drop me a note in the conversation box below and let’s chat!
Photo by MartinaK15