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3 Steps to Develop Unwavering Self-Respect (Trust Me, It Matters)

Tonya Wetzel
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The self-love movement is in full swing and that’s great! But perhaps it’s time we focus more on self-respect. . .

With all this focus on self love, self-respect seems to have taken a back seat.

Self-love is great. It’s important for a healthy ego and overall well-being.

But it can be a very confusing concept. The word “love” gets thrown around a lot in our society. We love our significant others, best friends, vacations, pets, new outfits, strangers’ posts on Instagram and chocolate.
 

Self-respect doesn’t fade when you find yourself in a new situation or when things aren’t going your way.

 
At times, our love for others, work or hobbies seems to consume us. It’s the first thing on our mind when we wake up in the morning, and the last thing we think about before we drift off to sleep. Our love can consume us almost to the point where it’s palpable, we feel it in our souls.

Other times our love and passions seem to wane. The newness wears off, interests fade, disagreement seeps in, and we find ourselves questioning love. During these moments we have to remind ourselves love doesn’t equate to passion.

Learn How to Say No and Set Healthy Boundaries With These 10 Tips

Ancient Greek language used six separate words to help differentiate between forms and concepts of love.

Although we have a few synonyms for love in the English language, we predominantly use the term love as an all-encompassing word. With so much ambiguity around love, it can be hard to make sense of what’s meant by self-love.
 

 
 

Self-Love Is Great, But It’s Time to Focus On Self-Respect

Self-respect isn’t based on your standing in life, position at a company, body shape, how you’re feeling that day or any other external qualifier. Self-respect doesn’t fade when you find yourself in a new situation or when things aren’t going your way.

Self-respect is having pride, value and confidence in who you are as a unique individual. It means honoring your worth, living with dignity and acknowledging both your talents and shortcomings. Simply, it’s acknowledging your intrinsic value.

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What Does Living With Self-Respect Look Like?

  • Having the courage to stand up for yourself when needed
  • Focusing on your positive traits and viewing flaws as areas for growth
  • Living a life that honors your core values and beliefs
  • Treating yourself and others with dignity and respect
  • Trusting your instincts
  • Knowing your worth and that you are worthy
  • Being proud of who you are and who you are becoming
  • Focusing on your own goals rather than comparing yourself to others
  • Taking necessary time for wellness and self-care
  • Using a positive inner dialogue with thoughts and feelings
  • Being empowered to say “yes” or “no” as desired
  • Accepting responsibility for your actions and their consequences
  • Enforcing healthy boundaries with yourself and others
  • Choosing friends wisely and cutting ties with those that pull you down
  • Forgiving yourself and others when needed

 
If these are characteristics you want in life, you may need to spend time developing self-respect. At first, that may sound daunting, but there are practical tools you can use to develop self respect. Read on!
 

 
 

3 Steps to Develop Unwavering Self-Respect:

 

1. Define Your Morals, Values and Boundaries

A foundational way to develop self-respect is to define your morals, values and boundaries. What are your non-negotiables in life? Include anything that’s important to you. It’s ok if your list looks wildly different than others.
 

Using your morals, values and boundaries as a reference point will help you create a life fueled by self-respect.

 
Write these down and keep them handy for easy reference. Use this list for the next several months as your daily affirmations. Reflect on them in your journal practice. Use them as a guide to help you make the easy and difficult decisions in life.

Using your morals, values and boundaries as a reference point for your daily life will help keep you on the path you desire and help you create a life fueled by self-respect.

Learn How to Say No and Set Healthy Boundaries With These 10 Tips
 

2. Use Positive Inner Dialogue

Another way to develop self-respect is through managing your inner dialogue. Do you ever find yourself talking negatively to yourself, or using disparaging comments when you make a mistake? These thoughts and comments all erode our self-respect.

Require the words and thoughts throughout your day to be positive, affirming and character building. This doesn’t mean you always have to look on the bright side or have a sunny disposition regardless of what’s happening. Sometimes life is hard, and situations are miserable.
 

Require the words and thoughts throughout your day to be positive, affirming and character building.

 
If you’re having a day consumed by negative inner dialogue, you might find it helpful to write down your thoughts. This writing can be free flow, and don’t worry about spelling or grammar errors. You may even write down words or feelings, without using sentences.

Once you get these feelings out, burn or throw away your paper. The physical act of writing your thoughts on paper, and then discarding it, can be helpful to stop them from racing through your mind.

Create a habit of positive self-talk even when you’re having a rough day, and you’ll soon find yourself with a new level of self-respect.
 
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3. Invest in Your Personal Care

An overlooked way to develop self-respect is to see your actions of self-care as a tool to promote self-respect. Setting aside time for your wellness is paramount, and a true indication of where you are in your self-respect journey.

Things like eating healthy, drinking water, exercising, practicing yoga, meditation, mindfulness and/or other wellness activities are all actions we take to show ourselves respect and care. Nurture your body and soul regularly, and you’ll find your sense of worth and respect growing.

Create a Realistic Self-Care Routine From These 17 Simple Practices

 
 

Move Over Self-Love, It’s Time to Focus On Self-Respect

Step aside self-love, it’s time for self-respect to take the spotlight. It’s time to have pride, value and confidence in who you uniquely are.

Self-respect instills a sense of freedom. Freedom to be and love and do what you were uniquely created for. Perhaps Aretha Franklin knew best. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is what we need.

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Tonya Wetzel

Tonya is a RYT-200 yoga teacher at Loft Yoga, BSL in Bay St Louis, Mississippi. She loves that she gets to share the joy and healing that yoga brought to her life. In addition to teaching yoga, she flips houses with her husband. Outside of work, Tonya is a travel enthusiast who loves the outdoors and adventure, spending time at the local beach, good wine, geocaching, and playing with her three dogs.

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