Virtue of the Week: Self Respect

Self Respect

Here’s how to gain self-respect in 12 simple steps:

  1. Determine your values: Random action based on guess-work or the opinions of others won’t do the trick. Your actions must be guided by your values, and your values must reflect your authentic self. These values are the foundation for every decision and action in your life. Act against your values, and you’ll lose respect for yourself. If you don’t know your values, make a list of your value words. Spend some time on this exercise. Everything else hinges are defining these for yourself.
  2. Write a vision: Once you know your core values, it’s time to think about how you want to apply those values in your life and work. Are you mindfully creating your life or simply reacting to circumstances? Do you know who you are, what you want, and how you’re going to get there? Take control of your life by creating a vision for it. Even if your vision seems impossible or improbable, write it out anyway. Define your ideal in every area of your life, from your relationships to your career. If you need help writing the vision, read this post.
  3. Choose your priority: After you complete your vision, choose one area to work on that will have an immediate positive impact on your life or career. Create a very specific goal related to this part of your vision. For example, if your vision is to buy a house in a particular city, then your first goal might be to start saving $200 a month. Or it might be to create a plan to move to that city. Make your goal “smart” — specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.
  4. Take action: Once you define your first goal, break it down into action steps, and create a calendar of action to perform those steps. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much when you first begin. Take very small actions daily so you are motivated to proceed. As you create momentum, you’ll be inspired to tackle bigger parts of your goal. Small achievements boost your self-respect and confidence, and create energy to keep going.
  5. Create accountability: Announce your goal publicly to family and friends or even on social media. Report daily on your actions, and ask for support and feedback. Accountability has been proven to accelerate action and success. If no one knows what you’re doing, you’ll be more likely to quit.
  6. Ignore your thoughts: One of the reasons we avoid taking action (and therefore lose self-respect) is because of our negative self talk. The minute you create your vision or define your goals, your mind will swoop in to harass you. It will present all of the reasons why you won’t be successful and all of the potential negative consequences of your actions. Don’t listen. Fearful feelings and self-doubt arise for everyone when they implement change. As you continue to take small, positive actions, those thoughts will diminish.
  7. Change your thoughts: Beyond just ignoring the negative thoughts, be proactive in replacing them with positive, affirming thoughts. Positive affirmations aren’t simply feel-good statements. Affirmations have been proven to enhance performance, reduce stress, improve willpower and self-control, improve problem solving and creativity, and build social confidence. When practiced deliberately and regularly, affirmations reinforce the neural pathways in the brain, making the connection between two neurons stronger. Write a list of positive affirmations related to the inevitable success of your goal. For example, an affirmation might be, “I am living in a beautiful home that I can afford in Hood River.”
  8. Expect setbacks: Failures and mistakes are part of taking action. Expect them to happen, and change your mindset about them. These setbacks don’t have to impact your self-respect or confidence if you view them as stepping stones to your ultimate destination. Anyone who has ever been successful experienced many setbacks on the path to their success. The key is to mine any nuggets of information from the setback and use those nuggets to help you try again more successfully. Once you learn from your setbacks, move on as quickly as possible without looking back.
They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.Mahatma Gandhi

Video clips about self respect: