I’ve recently been learning about self-respect because I don’t think this is something I have really put my focus on in the past. I’ve been focusing on a lot of other things such as helping other people flourish, but never showed up for myself in the same way I would for other people, when in reality, I should be doing the other way around. Slowly, I’ve been learning that in order to fill in others, I need to fill in my own cup first.
I have always deemed myself as somebody who is always unworthy of anything. I have always thought that I do not really deserve much. I have also always put myself last in the order of priorities. It’s insane how I have never realized I have always neglected myself. My actions are always leaning towards others’ fulfillment, comfort, happiness, and contentment in the expense of my own. It was very wrong. I was very wrong. Little did I know that the more I downsize myself, the more I am only proving how little, if existent, my self-respect is.
So I have listed down a few realizations I am currently working on.
We should be able to tell ourselves apart from the others.
You can only do this by deeply knowing yourself. This is not only limited to the things you like, the people you are a fan of, your favorite places, nor food to eat. Knowing yourself deeply comprises of a lot of things – including who you are, what kind of person are you, what your belief system is, how you react in situations, et cetera. When you know yourself, you will never (let me stress that further), you will never be bothered by what others say or perceive about you. You will never have to wait for people to compliment you, as those are either just ingenuine, if not an icing to an already great cake. You will never have to be affected by criticisms, or judgments, or mockery. Knowing yourself by heart has got to be one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. Because when you know you, nobody can tell you otherwise.
We should be careful of what we say about ourselves.
I am learning to compliment myself. In the past, it will always be a cringy routine to have to praise myself or even give myself the slightest credit for things I have accomplished. My standards are way up high when it comes to aesthetics too, for example, and I kind of really disgust myself in a sense since I can’t get to my desired physique. But I have learned to stop doing that. I figured that I should be careful what I let my body hear, otherwise it will act upon it. If I continuously tell myself I am sickly, I will eventually really be sickly. If I engrave the belief that I am fat and flabby, then my body will really make its way to be that if not more. So in that, I knew I have to be my own friend. These days, I would thank my body for everything it did for me as opposed to hating my body for how it looks. These days, I would give myself virtual pats in the back for doing things that help me move forward, for finishing tasks, and for being good. These days I look at myself in the mirror and smile at myself while looking myself in the eye and tell myself that I am beautiful, that I am worthy, that I have a nice smile, that my intentions are pure, and that I strive to be the best in the best way I know how. Self-affirmations help me get to my core.
We should have limitations and boundaries.
I have never had these in the past. What I thought before was, as long as I can do it, as long as I can help others, as long as I keep doing good – then that is okay. I only learned in the latter days of my life that that is never okay especially if it is already costing me my precious time, my positivity, and my peace. I have learned that if I let people take and take, that I would eventually be left with none. This is where boundaries and limitations should be made. People who drain you in any aspect (emotionally, mentally, financially, physically) should either be cut-off or be given only limited access to you. Wherever there is disrespect, walk away from it. If you feel like an option, just go. If you have to have second thoughts, the answer is no. Don’t be afraid that you’ll run out of people – you will encounter so much in this lifetime if you only open up your doors. And believe me, there will be people who can respect your limitations and boundaries and never dare cross them or test the waters even, especially without consent.
We should be stern about our values and beliefs.
Our values and beliefs are just some of what makes us, us. You know what I mean? Character, personality, traits, mannerisms, talents, skills, culture, experiences, traditions – there’s just a lot that makes us who we are. But values and beliefs are some of what we can choose and decide on, unlike our race, nationality, or even skin colour. What are your core values? What are your core beliefs?
Does LOYALTY matter to you for example?
How about INTEGRITY?
Can you do away without GENEROSITY perhaps?
What for you is HUMILITY?
These things. Ask yourself: “What matters to me?” and really dig deep. List them all down if you think it will help you.
And then, once you figured all that out, the most important parts are these:
(1) Work on becoming one / closer to becoming the value/belief you chose.
(2) Never get swayed.
We should walk the talk and practice what we preach.
Self-respect goes hand in hand a lot with self-trust. Whatever you say you will do, you HAVE to do. If you say you’re going to start eating healthy right now, act upon it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You just have to show up for at least the 1%. “Why?” I hear you ask. It is for the mere reason that you lose self-trust whenever you say something and not act upon it. Imagine someone, who promises you s/he will do such and such for you and ends up not doing it. Disappointing isn’t it? That goes the same for yourself. If you promise yourself something, if you tell yourself you’re going to start something, if you set your mind on a certain goal – whatever it takes – DO IT. Otherwise, just don’t say it in the first place so you don’t always end up disappointing yourself. It’s funny how we can sometimes blindly trust people we barely know but hardly ever trust ourselves. It should be the other way around. Learn to trust yourself + follow through what you promised even when nobody is looking. Because guess what? YOU are looking. Right? Integrity, baby.
So yeah, so far, these are what I have been learning. I have such a long way to master self-respect. Honestly, I feel like I am only in the fifth percentile of the whole process, if I were to measure where I am. Although if this can help at least one or two individual, I guess I can already rest my case. 🙂
Disclaimer: Please don’t mix this up with trusting God, as that is a whole different topic and perspective. I’m only speaking about the bare minimum ounce of trust and respect one has to have for themselves. I appreciate you all for understanding.