The importance of self-respect – 10 steps to improve your life.
When all is said and done, the only thing that really matters in life is being happy. Not just content, not just satisfied, but fulfilled and full of meaning. This is a hard goal to reach, and one that’s impossible to live up to all the time. Life is a series of waves, of peaks and troughs, of ups and downs. No one is happy all the time. We tend to experience more lows than highs, and those lows can be much more intense than the highs are. It’s rare to be in a low point in your life and not know it, but it’s all too easy to be living well and to not fully appreciate it.
The best way to improve your life is to have self-respect. To demand that others treat you the way you’d treat them – with compassion and respect.
Here are twelve ways to increase your self-respect and improve your life.
1. Don’t allow yourself to be used
People will attempt to take advantage of you throughout your life. Realising when this is happening can be difficult. People are often sly and manipulative.
2. Know when to say no
Part of having self-respect is being able to turn people down when you don’t want to do something. Be in control of your life. Tell people ‘no’, and stick to your word.
3.Don’t feel pressured to make everyone like you
Not everyone you meet will like you, and that’s okay. It would be weird if they did. People are different, people like different things. Some people aren’t nice people. Life goes on. However, don’t use this as an excuse to be rude and nasty to people because “who cares what they think?”. Treating others the way you’d like to be treated is an important part of having self-respect.
4. Have integrity
Integrity is perhaps the most important and elusive of those traits vital to a sense of self-respect. It means holding yourself accountable to your own moral code and principles, and sticking up for what is right – even when (especially when) it’s not beneficial to you personally to do so. The high road is a tough one to tread, but it’s infinitely rewarding.
5. Stand up for yourself
Don’t allow yourself to be a pushover. In an ideal world, everyone would be nice to each other and we’d all get along. Unfortunately, the real world isn’t like that. When it really comes down to it, you need to have your own back and be willing to get your hands dirty to defend yourself.
6. Know yourself, know your worth
Have confidence in your abilities. Everyone is good at something, even if you haven’t figured out what that something is yet. Keep trying new things until you do. You have value and you matter. Remember that.
7. Do what makes you happy
If being happy is the most important thing in life, then doing whatever makes you happy is the best way to ensure you enjoy your life. As long as it’s not hurting anyone else, do whatever it is you enjoy doing.
8. Spend your time wisely
Don’t make the mistake of thinking money is the most important commodity in life. Time is. Spend it wisely, doing the things you love and with the people who matter most to you. Once the time is gone, you can’t get it back. Don’t be a person full of regret on their deathbed, thinking of all the things they should have done with the time they had. Your life is ending one second at a time.
9. Prioritise the important things in your life and balance them
We often try (and more often fail) to juggle a large number of different things. Prioritise which ones really matter to you and to your self-growth and focus on these, learning to balance them so that you can healthily and realistically manage all the areas of your life.
10. Meditate, don’t medicate
One of the most important lessons to learn when it comes to having self-respect is how to deal with life’s problems in a healthy and constructive manner. It can be all too tempting at times to drown your sorrows at the bottom of a bottle. The best thing you can do to keep yourself focused and healthy mentally is to meditate often. It’s a skill – practice it. No one is perfect at it straight away, but stick with it and it will help you to become a better, happier person in the long run. Keep in mind that the idea isn’t to silence your thoughts, but to let them come before calmly and gently reminding yourself to try and focus on breathing and keeping a clear mind.
Written by Maverick,
Staff writter for Lessons Learned In Life, Inc.