15 Clever Ways to Practice Self Respect

January 17, 2018
women laugh into her hat while sitting on grass

With everything we want to accomplish in our lives, taking care of ourselves (mentally and physically) can become a difficult task. However, there are people that seem to have that self care figured out, and there are a few nuggets of wisdom we can learn from them.

These people have learned that pleasing others isn’t about giving up their self respect. They can show their love for people while taking care of themselves. They seem to have a reserve of energy to use during the times when it truly matters. They have learned to accept the things they can’t change, and are confident in their own life choices.

So how do you apply this philosophy in your own life?

15 Ways to Practice Self Respect and Self-Love

You understand that happiness is more important than money.
Yes, it’s important to have enough money to pay the bills, and put food on the table. But it’s also important to find satisfying work that you don’t hate getting up and going to every day. You understand that if taking a pay cut means doing something that makes you happy, then it’s worth it.

You don’t have to answer texts or emails the moment you receive them.
You respect the person you’re having dinner with enough to wait to respond to that notification. You feel the desire to be a human being most of the time, not an appendage attached to a smartphone. You don’t have to be reachable all the time. We existed just fine before iPhones were invented!

You don’t apologize for who you are.
You hold your head high and embrace the wonderful person that you are. You do not start emails with “sorry”, you do not apologize for taking time to rest, and you do not feel bad about wearing white pants after Labor Day. Unless you made a genuine mistake there’s nothing you have to be sorry for.

You accept that you have changed.
You are not who you were when you were in your 20’s. You have grown into a different person with different values and goals. You cannot drink alcohol the way you used to, or stay up quite as late – and hey, that’s okay. Your life may look different than you expected it to, and you’re cool with that.

You don’t measure your self worth in number of “likes”.
Your life is not about how many followers you have on Instagram, or how many people liked your post on Facebook. You find value in your friends, family, and the other real relationships in your life – not your presence online.

You know how to pick your battles.
There are plenty of moments when it’s important to speak up, and stand up against injustices. There are other times when using that energy is simply not worth it. You know when it matters.

You embrace your lifestyle choices.
Whether or not you’ve decided to have or not have children, whether you rent or buy your home, whether you wear your hair short or long, dress up or dress down, eat vegan or paleo – your lifestyle choices are yours alone. Together they make up who you are, and you love yourself for making those decisions.

You can say “I don’t know”.
You understand that you don’t have all the answers, and don’t try to pretend that you do. When you don’t have an educated response, you are okay with saying you don’t know.

You love your body.
Not when you’ve lost ten pounds, or when you can fit into your favorite pair of pants. You know you are beautiful and unique, just the way you are.

You know that not everyone will like you.
Dita Von Teese once said, “you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” You accept the fact that not everyone out there is going to love you, and you don’t try to change their mind. They just don’t like peaches.

You take responsibility to make positive changes.
Your life is in your hands, and you work hard to make it better for yourself. You listen to advice from loved ones and use it to improve. You know that your own initiative is what creates change and you embrace it.

You can say “no”.
You can walk away from a situation that makes you unhappy, and you can turn down an invitation to get much needed rest. You can firmly say “no” when you need to.

You find healthier ways to cope.
You have found a better way to deal with sadness than drinking too much or indulging in unhealthy foods. You have learned that there are more proactive ways to cope with hard times, and you find solace in meditation, exercise, therapy, or a beloved pet.

You do not compare your life to others.
You do not blame others that you see as successful but instead admire them for their strength and determination. You apply methods that they have used to accomplish goals, and practice them in your own life.

You don’t let laziness hold you back.
You don’t say you’ll get to it “someday”. You make things happen by letting go of bad habits and past reservations. You understand that life is short, so you make things happen today.

Did you realize that there are a few things on this list that you can work on? Great! There is no better time than now to reflect on your life and begin creating positive changes.

[Credit: West, Brianna. “30 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because You Actually Have Self-Respect Now.” Thought Catalog.]

Tags: mental health, personal growth, happiness, mindfullness