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Confidence Starts Here: The Importance of Self-Respect

If you struggle with self-respect, you’re not alone.

Many people struggle to respect themselves. Sadly, our lack of respect for ourselves can damage how we see ourselves and how we see the world. It can also destroy our confidence.

Confidence isn’t just what’s on the outside.

In reality, confidence isn’t even what people see. It’s what you’ve built on the inside that makes everything on the outside appear more strong and capable.

Self-respect leads to greater confidence.

The great thing about confidence is that it’s not just something that we’re born with. It’s actually something we can learn and develop.

For anyone who struggles with confidence, knowing that it can be learned should bring you hope and give you something to work towards.

My hope is that I can help develop confidence in others so that they can feel happy and confident in who they are.

I believe there are four important parts to confidence: self-respect, self-acceptance, self-worth, and self-love.

When I speak to groups of women about confidence, I use a method I created called the REAL method.

The REAL method includes these four actions: Respecting your reflection, Embracing your failures, Asking yourself what you want, and Loving the person in the mirror.

In this article, I want to discuss the first step of the REAL method—Respecting your reflection.

I believe that self-respect is foundational to gaining greater confidence.

Respect isn’t just something we give to others.

When I was little, I was taught to respect my elders, to respect my teachers, and to respect my family members.

It’s interesting to me, however, that when I think about it, I don’t ever remember anyone saying to me, “Simone, you need to respect yourself.”

Still, first and foremost, we need to respect ourselves. It’s such an important concept.

So, I find it a little funny that I was never taught that directly as a child.

That’s not a dig on my parents at all. I just don’t think it was something a lot of people talked about.

But respecting yourself is one of the absolute most important things you can do for yourself.

When we don’t have self-respect, it’s hard to move forward in the world.

We feel like we’re always letting ourselves down because we’re doing the things that other people want us to do.

When we don’t respect ourselves, we lose out on the opportunities to do the things we actually want to do because we struggle to stand up for ourselves.

We need to respect our reflection.

When I talk about respecting your reflection, it’s not just the way you look in the mirror. It’s the way you feel inside.

It’s looking back at your past, admiring your reflection, and thinking of all the things that got you to this moment.

Whether those things from your past are good or bad, it doesn’t matter. They are all a part of who you are.

We have to respect those pieces—all of them—because they are all part of the reflection of who you are today.

And if we want to change something about ourselves, this is how we start.

We have to love ourselves—all of who we are.

In this way, instead of tearing ourselves down, we can build upon the foundation we already have.

Take time to see yourself.

Every morning, I have a routine. Part of that routine involves looking in the mirror and intentionally seeing the good in myself while repeating positive affirmations.

I look myself in the eye because we have got to start getting comfortable with ourselves. If we can’t even look ourselves in the eye, how are we going to be comfortable talking with other people and looking them in the eye?

Maintaining eye contact, even with yourself, is a huge confidence builder. And you can increase that confidence even more with positive affirmations.

Each day, I start my day with five I AM statements.

I am strong.

I am beautiful.

I am smart.

I am capable.

I am more than enough.

Of course, I change it up every once in a while, depending on what I have coming up in my day.

Still, every morning this is my routine. And I repeat these statements five times every morning so that my brain really starts to believe what I am saying.

Positive affirmations can increase our self-respect.

When I teach this concept to others, sometimes I will have people tell me that it just doesn’t work.

But my response to them is always the same—it does work.

There are so many different research studies that show how positive affirmations affect your brain.

Think of it this way: if we can believe all the negative lies we tell ourselves on a regular basis, then why can’t we believe the positive things?

And if we had a choice, wouldn’t we want those positive things taking up space in our mind rather than the negative lies we tell ourselves?

I know I would.

But it has to be a habit. It has to be something we do on a regular basis.

The more we tell ourselves the truth of who we are, the more we will believe it because we are building that muscle memory.

And the more we believe the truth of who we really are, the more self-respect we will actually develop.

We need to train our brains.

Think of it this way, when we train our body, we can’t just go to the gym one time and expect to have massive muscles. We have to work at it.

Bodybuilding and fitness take commitment and training.

It is no different when we are training our minds to see ourselves (and the world) differently.

Just like we train our bodies, we need to apply the same time, commitment, and training to develop our minds.

In this way, we are helping our brain to overcome that natural negativity bias it is prone to. And we are providing a mentally healthy alternative—a better place for our mind to go.

We all know that fitness for our body works, but it takes time and effort. And so does fitness for our mind.

When you apply the principles, it works.

I know it works because this simple practice has changed so much about how I move forward in the world.

My challenge to you.

Because this practice has been so life-changing for me, I want to extend a challenge to you to try it.

For the next week, make this practice part of your daily routine.

It may feel uncomfortable at first, but what doesn’t feel uncomfortable when you’re first starting out?

Keep at it. Make it work.

Remind yourself of the importance of self-respect.

You are strong, you are beautiful, you are smart, you are capable, and you are more than enough.

It’s time to find your courage and take back your confidence.

Meet Simone Knego

Simone Knego is an international speaker, award-winning author and two-time TEDx Speaker. Her work has been featured on ABC, NBC, and CBS and in Entrepreneur Magazine and Yahoo News. Her literary contributions have been honored by the National Indie Excellence Award and the NYC Big Book Award. Simone has not only summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, but she is also the heart of a bustling household with six children, three dogs, and one husband of 31 years. As the creator of the REAL Method, Simone continues to inspire and impact teams, fostering growth, and promoting self-discovery. 

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