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How to Respect Yourself: 14 Secrets of Self-Worth and Self-Belief

Aretha Franklin was definitely on to something. We all need a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T in our lives, so here’s how to respect yourself.

how to respect yourself

You think self-respect would be easy to have, but it’s not. There’s so many things that challenge us and our beliefs. Remember high school? Remember all that peer pressure?

Sure, you didn’t want to get wasted, but all of a sudden, you found yourself puking in the school toilet. You can still respect yourself and make mistakes, do things that you don’t want to do. That’s a part of learning and life.

Here’s how to respect yourself

If you’re finding yourself constantly going against your beliefs and feelings, then it’s time you developed your self-respect. Will it take hard work? Absolutely. And you’re probably going to have to say no to people you’re not used to saying no to. But trust me, once you start saying no, that word starts flowing out of your mouth.  

A little self-respect goes a long way. So, here’s how to respect yourself.

#1 Acknowledge your lack of self-respect. You have a lack of self-respect. It stings reading that, doesn’t it? Yeah, I know. But you have to hear it from someone. Acknowledge that you have a lack of self-respect because that’s the only way you can change. This is a phase, so push through it. [Read: How self-respect affects you and your relationship]

#2 Focus on loving yourself. This is easier said than done. I know you have a lot of distractions – school, work, boyfriend/girlfriend. But you have to turn to yourself and focus on you. If not, you won’t be able to personally develop – and you need that, we all need to grow. So, if someone is dragging you down, step on the breaks and take a time out to work on you.

#3 Follow your intuition. Follow your gut. Self-respect means respecting your intuition. Everyone has intuition, it’s a survival skill that humans are given. So, not following it would be a waste. If something doesn’t feel right, stick with that feeling because you’re right. [Read: How to live a happy life – 15 things you HAVE to know]

#4 Change the way you talk about yourself. Have you heard a friend talk about you in a positive way to someone else? That’s how you need to look at yourself. Look at yourself how your friends see you because that’s the real you.

You need to take away the self-doubt and only think about what you can do. If you keep thinking negatively, you won’t be able to complete your goals.

#5 Say “no.” You don’t have to be the “Yes Man.” You can be the guy or girl who says no. Try saying it out loud right now. NO. N-O. It’s such a small word, yet it holds such a strong impact. Of course, it’s terrifying to say it to someone, but you have your boundaries that you need to stick to. So, say no. [Read: How to say No – Stop people pleasing and feel awesome instead]

#6 Remove toxic people around you. You may have to cut some important people out of your life, but if they’re toxic, you can’t have them around. Now, if they’re your family, it may be challenging, but you need to find a way to limit the negativity. These people will simply suck your energy and destroy you slowly if you don’t.

#7 Set your own moral code. Who cares what your friends do on the weekends? If you don’t want to drink, then don’t. You need to set your own moral codes and follow them. For me, I don’t sleep with people who are in relationships. Sounds easy, but there were some moments when I was tempted.

Anyways, point is, I have that rule and I stick to it no matter what. Why? Because going against that rule doesn’t serve me anything.

#8 Learn how to handle your emotions. This doesn’t mean you have to hide behind an emotional wall and never open up to anyone. This means that you have to process your emotions *the negative ones* in a way that’s positive and productive for you. Sure, you can cry, but at some point, you have to wipe those tears and keep going. [Read: 16 reasons why you’re always being taken for granted]

#9 Don’t settle for less. Just don’t do it. I mean, come on. You literally have one life. Don’t settle for your boyfriend or girlfriend who’s cheating on you or verbally abuses you. Don’t settle. If you settle, you’re giving up on yourself and your life. You have to set your personal standards and make sure you don’t go below them *this doesn’t mean for materialistic goods.*

#10 Learn to forgive yourself. If you want to know how to respect yourself, learn to accept that all of us take the wrong path now and then. We all make mistakes, some big, some small, but we make them. But that being said, you’re going to have to let those feelings go. And honestly, it’s going to be hard.

But if you respect yourself, you’ll let those feelings go. That way, you’ll be able to move on with your life and progress to a positive future.

#11 Forgive others. It’s only normal that you’re going to have people in your life who have hurt you. But if you harbor that anger inside you, it’s only hurting yourself.

The best thing that you can do is to forgive them. It’s not about them, this is purely about you. You’ll have more space in your heart and mind to take positive energy rather than that negative crap. [Read: How to forgive someone – 15 positive ways to unburden your mind]

#12 Be honest. You have to be honest, not only with yourself but with the people around you. Honesty is a true sign that you love yourself.

You’re able to distinguish what’s good for you and what’s not and take control of your life. There are going to be moments when your honesty will challenge you, but that’s the ultimate test of your self-respect. [Read: How to love yourself – 15 ways to discover self love and happiness]

#13 Clean body, clean mind. If you truly respect yourself, then you’ll respect your body and soul. This means you’ll want to take of your body – it’s the tool that’ll take you through life.

You don’t have to work out six hours a day, but by eating healthy and exercising, you’re showing that you respect yourself. By showing yourself that you love your body, you’ll feel happy and loved.

#14 Don’t compare yourself to others. If we compared ourselves to those around us, well, we’d never get anywhere. Everyone is different, you’re just going to have to accept that. Some people will be better at painting than you or they’ll be thinner or stronger than you.

You have to focus on yourself and not pay attention to the others around you. Stay focused on you.

[Read: How to build self-confidence – 16 ways to realize you’re worth it]

Now that you know how to respect yourself, now you just have to do it. This part was easy, but it’s all up to you know. So, get to it!

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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