Respect Yourself First

04/20/2015 05:16 pm ET | Updated Jun 20, 2015

In its simplest form, respecting yourself means accepting "fully" the person you are. True respect, therefore, comes from an acceptance of the things you like about yourself, and the things you don't. Developing this kind of awareness is an active process, which involves a willingness to experience likes and dislikes, thoughts, feelings and emotions without denial or evasion. A lack of this kind of respect for you involves an unwillingness to experience these thoughts, feelings and emotions, thereby leading to a rejection of the self.

Once we accept ourselves, as well as honor our reality without denying, disowning or repressing our shortcomings we are on the path to grow and evolve into better people as each day passes.
This is by no means an easy task. There are some twists and turns which must be avoided; for example, some people can develop an immature form of accepting themselves bordering on narcissism. On the other hand some others may be fooling themselves about their level of respect for themselves while actually harboring serious self-doubt, a high sense of insecurity and worthlessness.

Having respect for others is not possible without having respect for ourselves. We must first love and respect ourselves before we can truly share love and respect with all others. To build this essential sense of respect, we must change how we feel about ourselves. To divert our thoughts and feelings towards positive outcomes requires re-evaluating at least, two different core beliefs. The first is a false belief that we are not good enough; and the second false core belief is that we are not 'who we should be'.

Consider using the following options as a checklist now and over time to discover your self-respect status and track your progress.

1. Let your 'true self ' guide all your personality traits in every situation.

2. Once you become aware of all negative and positive personality traits, work on your thoughts that focus on being overly critical, a perfectionist, a people pleaser, moralizer, skeptic or a doubter. These traits can be subversive to your future growth.

3. Try and build an ability to confront all your doubts, fears and misgivings respectfully.

4. It does not matter if certain aspects of your sense of self disrespect some of your actions and choices: Accept them anyway and believe in their overall worth and priority in your life. Treat your self with compassion and not with scorn.

5. Identify your current priorities based on your recent actions and choices, is there a need for some positive changes? Make a plan to implement these changes over time with patience and perseverance.

6. Finally, be aware of your thoughts and actions at all times, this is essential for proper communication and effective thinking, replacing shame and neglect with a healthy and respectful sense of self.