Self Worth and Self Respect

Self-Respect

Self-worth, self-esteem or self-respect, is an important quality to acquire (to gain for oneself through one’s actions or efforts). Sadly, many people have low self-worth. Everyone could benefit from doing some introspection and put effort into ensuring that they place worth and value in themselves. Low self-esteem could possibly be the number one issue that is sabotaging your life.

Some people interchange self-worth with self-respect, but it is very different. Yet through self-respect, you can increase your self-esteem. Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. Self-respect is earned through our productive efforts and positive contributions coupled with our accepting and appreciative mindset. {Copyright @ 2010 The Ultimate Lifestyle Project} The Ultimate Lifestyle Project link, at the bottom of this blog, is a SlideShare presentation resource for understanding more about self-respect.

 

Philosophers have contemplated self-respect for many centuries. There are many areas that philosophers have some disagreement but in the area of self-respect, there is agreement that self-respect is very meaningful in everyday life. And that it is essential in ensuring that you have a satisfying and thriving life, a life worth living.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”   ~ Louise L. Hay

Obviously there is no advantage in having an overinflated esteem; instead, it is advantageous to have confidence in your abilities, a belief that you can handle whatever is thrown at you and possess virtues that are part of your character; this will impart qualities in yourself that allow you to be an honorable person. Having these attributes will make your life much more peaceful and will bring you an unwavering joy that does not depend on circumstances or what others think of you.

Introspection

Webster dictionary defines introspection

Is observation or examination of one’s own mental and emotional state, mental processes; the act of looking within oneself. Or in other words, is the examining of your own thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Introspection can also be known as self-examination, self-questioning or soul-searching. 

This is a very useful exercise in realizing what you actually think of yourself. Take inventory, celebrate your accomplishments, review your failures to help you change in a healthy, positive way so that you do not make the same mistakes. Choose to share your abilities and talents with the world. Incorporate virtues into your character so that you can be proud of yourself. This will significantly increase your self-esteem.

Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”   ~ Benjamin Spock

 

Attitudes and Thoughts

“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”   ~Kristen Neff

Use introspection and take the time to check in with yourself. Get a piece of paper and a pen and write down thoughts you have about yourself. Write down your strengths, your weakness, your accomplishments, challenging obstacles that you have overcome; write anything and everything you believe about yourself.

Now go back and analyze each thing that you have written. Take time to feel proud of yourself for your strengths. Think of your weaknesses as opportunities to improve yourself; this is a great way to increase your self-esteem. As you read through your list, remember that everything we believe about ourselves isn’t necessarily true. Everyone has different thinking styles, and belief systems, sometimes our thinking styles and/or belief systems are not serving us well and are destructive. If this is the case, then it would be advantageous to change your belief system or the way you think so that it serves you well and brings you self-respect.

If you are being controlled by your thoughts, take back that power! Make your mind work for you. Make a commitment to yourself to think positive thoughts. Commit yourself to guarding your thoughts and not allowing yourself to think of anything negative. Intentionally fill your mind with positive things and avoid filling your mind will anything negative.

Self-talk, the inner critic is many times the greatest battles we face in this life. Take power and stop with the inner power struggle, stop letting your thoughts control you; you control your thoughts! This will make a profound difference in your life. It takes lots of patience and determination but it will be well worth the effort. Most of your thoughts or your complaints are habits. Therefore, like any other habit you can change it. Of utmost importance is that you replace negative thoughts with positive ones. And remember it takes 21 days to change a habit. Start to pay close attention to what you say and think, especially about yourself, and try to be complain-free for an entire day. If you have a complaint then immediately start thinking and talking about your blessings.

Stop thinking why you are stressed and start thinking about how you are blessed.   ~Unknown

You have one life. Spend it well, go out and live. Make yourself proud.   ~Unknown

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”   ~Howard Washington Thurman

Character

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”   ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

For the purpose of this discussion on self-worth, a character will be defined as a moral or ethical quality; such as having an honorable character. There is much written about morals, virtues and other qualities that contribute to having an honorable character. The Greek moralists Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and Stoic philosophers are some of the most influential individuals to contribute to the nature of virtue and the nature of a virtuous person. Of these, most attention is given to Aristotle’s views, since most other philosophical discussions of character are indebted to his analysis. The Greek moralists believed that for a virtue to be a part of your real character it must be stable and enduring, not a result of a comfortable life or good fortune, but from learning or cultivation.
{http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-character/}

“Our self-respect tracks our choices. Every time we act in harmony with our authentic self and our heart, we earn our respect. It is that simple. Every choice matters.”   ~Dan Coppersmith

Learning about virtues is a valuable tool to improve yourself as a human being and will increase the respect you feel for yourself. There is more information about virtues at http://virtuesproject.com

What are the Virtues?

Love. Kindness. Justice. Service. Virtues are the very meaning and purpose of our lives, the content of our character and the truest expression of our souls. For people of all cultures, ethnicities, and beliefs, they are the essence of authentic success.

Virtue means power, strength, inherent quality. Virtues are the content of our character, the elements of the human spirit. They grow stronger whenever we use them.  As a six-year-old once said, “Virtues are what’s good about us.” 

Each of us has both Strength Virtues we can rely on, and Growth Virtues that are the challenges of our character. A lifelong learner never gives up hope that at any moment, we can awaken a virtue by choosing to live it. The Virtues Project™ is all about bringing virtues to life. @virtuesproject

Loving and Caring for Yourself

“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” ~ Mark Twain

It is essential to love and care for yourself. It is not an option, it is a responsibility.

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”   ~Eleanor Roosevelt

You are here for a purpose, and it is your responsibility to find that purpose and live it out to the best of your ability. When you perceive and believe about improving your self-respect in this manner, it may make it easier for you to make this a priority in your life.

“When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small.  My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.”   ~Kim McMillen

When you love and care for yourself, then you are preparing yourself for opportunities as they come your way. If you have a healthy confidence in yourself, then you will be more likely to take calculated risks that may make your dreams become a reality. Many people do not live out their dreams because they lack self-confidence. When you have self-respect, then you will believe that you can do anything you really have the desire to do. Usually, nothing is stopping you but YOU!

There are many different types of ways to love and care for yourself. The most important way is to give yourself a break and realize that you are an imperfect human being. No one is perfect, and it is self-sabotaging and destructive to expect perfection from yourself. When you care for yourself, you will have healthy expectations of yourself and this will allow you to be more productive and useful in your life. It will also improve the quality of your life. In Captivating Hope’s post entitled ‘A Better Way to Live Life’, there are ways to take care of yourself to ensure you are healthy physically. And by choosing to work on the virtue of self-respect, you will be taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally. Making the decision to work on other virtues will provide you with the means to become the best version of you that you can become.

 

 

 

 

 

9 comments

  1. You have such powerful responses. I love them. Sadly, there are many people that in spite of deep introspection cannot see the worth or value they possess. These are the people I help everyday. I pray that everyone could see themselves as powerful, unique and a special gift to the world. Thank you for your incredibly insightful comments. Have a blessed week 🙂

    Like

  2. I’m so glad to have read this post. About two years ago, I realized I had high self-esteem (for a lot of reasons), but low self-worth (for a lot of reasons). It made no sense to most people I spoke to, but now I’m glad to see something that kind of validates what I suspected.

    Like

  3. I love the Louise Hay and Eleanor Roosevelt quotes. It amazes me that some people use themselves as a punching bag. They don’t feel they have anything to offer, and couldn’t possibly be individuals of and for their own sake. Your post is wonderful because readers in dire need of introspection can find proof how worth it taking a longer look inside can be. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

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