Do you respect yourself? No, I am not asking if you love yourself!
It’s not until recently I realized self-love is different from self-respect. Have you watched the Bollywood movie Jab we met? The dialogue “Main apne favorite hoon” (translated as “I am my favorite”) resonates with me very well. I have always been my own fan and cheerleader. Even when I was body shamed, when my face was full of pimples and when I didn’t fit into my favorite dress. I never let anything affect my self-confidence (at least not for long). Instead, I find other ways to love myself. I don’t seek self-worth in other people’s validation. I find it myself every day. Maybe why I haven’t given up on blogging / social media yet. I love my real quirky clumsy self no matter in what shape or size I am.
But does that mean I respect myself?
When I am happy I celebrate by overindulging in the wrong foods. When I am sad or disappointed I guilt eat to make myself feel better. When I’m busy, I don’t mind my self-care getting swept by the wayside. I struggle to say No to my loved ones even if it’s killing me. I regret and beat myself up for the mistakes I do so I won’t make them again.
The problem with just relying on self-esteem is the moment you have a bad day and doubt yourself, you fall prone to blame, guilt, regret, and stress. Sounds familiar? Well, that’s the story of my life.
Self-esteem can be self-love but doesn’t always mean self-respect. But when you have self-respect, you will always have high self-esteem because you know when to say “No” to bad habits or bad relationships.
How to Increase your Self Respect
1. Respect your Body
“Your body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in” I learned this in a yoga class when I was little. But it’s not until recently that I truly understood what it means. It means that taking care of your body is the only way to keep your soul happy. Make exercise a lifestyle priority, Practice yoga to improve mindfulness. I can’t stress enough, when you are physically and mentally healthy, your work efficiency also improves.
2. Respect your Boundaries.
My mom used to tell me “people will bend you more if you bend once”. Don’t be spineless, don’t let anyone easily manipulate you. Understand your limits and learn to say NO. You don’t have to do everything. You are not here to please others.
3. Respect your Weaknesses.
If you know your weakness, accept them instead of brushing them off. Always see them as opportunities for growth and character-building.
4. Respect your Time.
Manage your time efficiently. Ask yourself what’s really important and balance your priorities. It is very important if you are a blogger to know your worth and don’t give your time to brands that don’t respect your hard work.
5. Respect your Needs First.
When it comes to your health and happiness, always take care of yourself first before meeting other’s peoples need.
6. Respect your Environment.
Create a wonderful environment around you that will reflect your beauty and character. De-clutter, clean up your house, car and try to be more eco-friendly.
7. Respect your Thoughts.
Let your thoughts come and go, accept them, and then teach yourself to think positively through stillness or meditation. Change the way you think, talk, and behave toward yourself.
8. Respect your Failures and Mistakes.
Take failures/mistakes as an experience instead of seeing them negatively. Turn them to your advantage, find legitimate value in them, and learn from them.
9. Respect your Goals and Dreams
If you don’t respect your dreams no one will. Make a list of goals and start with the easiest one. Accomplish it, feel great that you did something for yourself. You’ll start to become confident in your abilities while simultaneously achieving what you want.
10. Respect your Beliefs and Values.
Determine which of your beliefs and values reflect your authentic self. Stick to them. It’s yours, and under no circumstances should you change your values to suit someone else, as then you will let yourself down. Ever since I started my blog, I was very particular about sticking to my belief about dressing modestly. It really helped me to find my voice and distinguish myself from the other bloggers.
When you start to respect all the little things about you and what you do. You will start to see what you are worthy of. And when you know what you are deserving of, you will start to respect yourself. And when you command the same from others around you, they’d start to appreciate you more and take you more seriously.