Self-worth is something we all struggle with from time to time. And when you’re having an off day and the self-criticism is flying, the last thing you want is a lecture on how to respect yourself.
But self-worth and learning to respect yourself walk hand in hand. Without them, you’re more likely to make decisions that won’t serve you in the long run.
Is there a shortcut to pumping up your self worth?
Learning to respect yourself is an important first step.
How Can You Show Respect For Yourself?
We’re all familiar with what it means to show respect for others. We show respect to our teachers, bosses, and mentors. We respect those we look up to and admire.
But what does it mean to respect yourself?
Being able to respect yourself as you respect others comes down to the way you view yourself. It boils down to your sense of self, your self-concept, and your self-worth.
Having respect for yourself means valuing your opinions, thoughts, and ideas. It means recognizing that you bring something important to the table, and your voice should be heard. It means treating yourself with dignity and compassion and expecting the same from others.
If you find that you criticize more often than you celebrate yourself, you’re likely struggling with self-respect.
What’s the difference between self-respect and self-esteem?
Is there a difference between self-respect and self-esteem? While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they aren’t quite the same thing.
Self-esteem is your emotional evaluation of yourself. It’s how you feel about who you are.
Self-respect, on the other hand, is more action-oriented. You feel confident about who you are and see yourself as a person of value.
With self-respect, you feel confident that you can set boundaries around what you expect from yourself and others. And if those boundaries aren’t maintained, you’re ready and willing to take action.
Both are integral to your sense of self.
So, how can you learn to begin practicing more self-love to respect yourself more?
4 Ways to Respect Yourself for Greater Confidence
Confidence is a product of self-love and respect. And when you respect yourself, you teach others to do the same.
If you want to feel more confident, here are four things you can do to supercharge your self-respect:
1. Grow from constructive criticism
There will always be naysayers and critics.
But that doesn’t mean you have to bear the brunt of criticism and suffer as a result.
Marisa Peer, Author of Mindvalley’s Uncompromised Life Program, explains one of the best ways to deal with constructive criticism is to look for the growth opportunity.
“Look for the compliment,” says Marisa. “And decide that even the negative part is there is help you grow. You can’t grow unless you acknowledge it.”
2. Shut down toxic criticism
Marisa Peer’s approach to constructive criticism is excellent: seek the good within the bad and view it as an opportunity for change.
But what about toxic criticism?
Some people really can be hurtful, and when there’s not much good to be found in their critique, what do you do?
Marisa has a great strategy for this too:
“Try not to get defensive. Just thank them for their opinion,” she explains. “Don’t give them anything to argue with.”
Simply say: “Thank-you for sharing that.”
And do your best to let the rest roll straight off your back.
3. Define your values
It’s not easy to respect yourself when you’re not willing to stand up for your moral code. The thing is, sometimes we’re not entirely sure what that is.
As we grow and mature, oftentimes our values shift.
The best way to respect yourself and your values is to have a firm grasp on what your values are.
What do you believe in?
If you’re not sure, then trust your gut. Your instincts won’t lead you astray.
No matter your cause, whether it’s animals, volunteer work, being an ally, or advocating for another group, know your ideals, know your morals, and know where your values lie.
4. Check your self-talk
It’s true that we teach others how to treat us. And when we don’t respect ourselves, it just opens up the door for others to do the same.
One of the ways we show others that we don’t respect ourselves is with negative self-talk. Internally criticizing yourself is one thing. But running yourself down in front of others is entirely different.
All of us struggle against that critical voice in our heads.
But when that voice starts airing out our self-criticism for all to hear, the consequences can be disastrous.
The most insidious part? We often don’t even realize we’re doing it.
But when the negative self-talk becomes chronic, it can debilitate our self-esteem.
See if you can catch yourself the next time you engage in self-criticism. And instead of letting that voice bully and belittle you, try confronting that voice with a little bit of cool logic.
You see, most of the negative scripts we let run in our heads just aren’t true. But we’re so used to hearing them that we let them slide.
The next time you’ve got some poor feedback for yourself, see if it can hold up against the hard light of logic.
Chances are that self-criticism will crumble.