Respect yourself.

These two words are so simple yet it is probably the one thing we struggle with the most.

Self-respect is about loving yourself and practicing self-care.

It’s about staying true to your values and not being willing to compromise when those values are challenged.

It’s not being conceited or narcissistic, rather, it’s about teaching other people how you want to be treated. And learning how to treat yourself in the same kind and loving way.

Respect develops in childhood.

When I was a child, I was taught to respect my elders, my parents, and my teachers.

Additionally, I was taught not to talk back and to listen to what they have to say because they have so much knowledge.

I agree with all those things. And I truly believe that respecting others is an important part of being a good human.

But in all those lessons on respect, I don’t ever remember a lesson on the importance of respecting myself.

Of all the lessons on respect, the lesson to respect yourself is the lesson we need most of all. This is because our ability to respect ourselves gives us a greater ability to respect others.

There’s a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that says, “They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.”

This is something we need to really think about.

We need to look within and determine if we really do respect ourselves.

What does respect look like?

Let’s say you’re in the workplace, and someone is constantly dumping their work onto you.

And you just keep doing the work, not even knowing why you’re doing it. You just keep on doing it because you just accept that it’s what you’re supposed to be doing.

But the other person is getting all the credit for the work that you continue to do. This is a great example of not respecting yourself.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do your job. But you should be doing the job you’re supposed to be doing—and not someone else’s job.

Likewise, when you’re in a relationship, and the other person treats you like a doormat, they clearly don’t have your best interest in mind.

There are endless examples of how we disrespect ourselves while not even realizing that we’re doing it.

And because of this, I want to focus on five ways you can respect yourself better.

Look at your values.

The very first thing we can do when learning to respect ourselves is to look at our values.

What are your values? This is an important question to ask yourself.

Values are beliefs of what is important to you in your life.

Is it integrity? How about loyalty? Maybe it’s cooperation or commitment.

Think about what your values are and how you want to be treated.

Remember the quote that says, “Treat others as you want to be treated yourself?” You should also treat yourself as you want others to treat you.

Look at your relationships.

When establishing relationships, make sure to surround yourself with people who empower you.

Life is too short to be dragged down by people who don’t respect you and who will step all over you.

Set boundaries in these relationships and make sure that you are not allowing others to take advantage of you.

The whole point of a relationship is to have mutual support.

It’s also important to remember that when someone is giving you advice, take it with a grain of salt.

Similarly, when someone tells you that you can’t do something or shouldn’t do something or you’ll never be able to do something—stop listening.

Their bad advice is usually their own issues that they are pushing forward onto you.

Understand that you are in control of your own destiny. You need to realize what it is you should do for yourself while still striving to be the good in the world.

Practice self-care.

Self-care isn’t selfish.

Think about what you need mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially. In all of these things, you need to take time for yourself.

We too often focus on doing everything for everyone else and stop taking care of ourselves.

But when we respect ourselves, we realize the importance of taking care of our own needs.

It actually makes us a better all-around person.

Part of taking care of ourselves is learning to say no.

I know this is incredibly challenging. But you can’t say yes to everything or you’ll never accomplish anything.

Do the things that you feel called to do—those things you’re really passionate about.

And tell yourself it’s okay to say no to the other things that get in the way.

Stop trying to be normal.

This is an important principle. There is no such thing as normal.

Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing.

Be authentically you.

Focus on what makes you unique instead of trying to become like everyone else.

Everyone else has already been taken.

Just be you.

This is the best advice I could ever give you when it comes to learning how to respect yourself.

Allow yourself to be exactly who you are.

Give yourself some grace.

We are all so busy and we have so many things on our plate. There are too many things we need to finish throughout the day. And there is never enough time in the day to do it all.

I want you to remember that whatever you finish today—that’s enough for today.

Don’t worry that you didn’t complete everything. That’s what tomorrow is for.

Tomorrow is the day given to you to finish the things you didn’t get done today.

Showing yourself respect means giving yourself grace. It means that you stop being critical of every little thing you do (or don’t do).

Stop judging yourself. Be kind to yourself. Respect yourself.

It’s not going to happen overnight—nothing ever does. It takes consistent practice. But if you are consistent at it, it will happen.

Start with positive affirmations, write in a gratitude journal, take time out to do something you love. The most important thing you can do is whatever it is that works best for you.

Remember that self-depreciation ends where self-respect begins.

Above all, you will find that when you respect yourself, others will respect you, too.

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