By Marquita A Herald -
When you find you’ve become bogged down in life with too many commitments and too little time there’s a good chance the root cause is that you are suffering from lack of respect for yourself and your personal boundaries.
Respecting yourself simply means honoring your values and principles before anyone and anything else. It means trusting yourself to say and do only what feels authentic and honoring that truth. It also means listening to and respecting that priceless little voice inside when it begins to feel reluctant or anxious.
While others may show their respect for you, a healthy level of self respect can only come from within you. When you respect yourself you are able to comfortably say both “yes” and “no” to requests from others without guilt or remorse… and mean it. Neither do you need another’s approval or validation. You are the authority on your own feelings, thoughts, and needs and you act in a way that promotes your well-being by creating healthy personal boundaries.
In other words, when you respect yourself – your emotions, your thoughts, and your needs, you are no longer at the mercy of other people’s whims. Powerful stuff!
“To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, singular power of self respect.” ~Joan Didion
Don’t feel you need to defend yourself.
It’s tempting to want to defend your decision to say no to someone so they will understand your reasoning but that can back fire on you because it puts you in the position of coming from a place of weakness. It’s better to simply show a little empathy by letting the person know that you understand they are disappointed, but unfortunately, you can’t help. People need to feel heard and understood, and this is a respectful way of asserting yourself and saying no.
Think of it this way. When you say no to a new commitment to someone else, you’re honoring your existing obligations and ensuring that you’ll be able to devote quality time to them… there’s nothing worse than not being able to address a real need because our time is being consumed by the inability to say no to the squeaky wheels that surround us.
Self respect is not the same as self-esteem
While a lot has been written about the benefits of cultivating strong self-esteem, psychologists are quick to point out that self-esteem is a purely psychological concept focusing on how we feel about ourselves and what we want. A high level of self-esteem in itself won’t make you a better person or even successful.
Self respect on the other hand focuses on gratitude, humility, confidence and having an appropriate sense of one’s own dignity and integrity… it is not conditional on success because there are always failures to contend with. Neither is it a result of comparing ourselves with others because there is always someone better.
In fact, let me ask you a question. When was the last time you actually took the time to appreciate yourself for who you are right now? When was the last time you took the time to think about all the things you have accomplished – big or small – in the last month or year, maybe even dared to give yourself a little pat on the back?
There’s nothing wrong or egotistical about respecting yourself or creating healthy personal boundaries; in fact doing so creates a cascading effect spilling over into other aspects of your life. When you value and respect yourself you’ll not only find others will also respect you, you’ll also attract more opportunities, experience more fulfilling relationships, and yes, even achieving bigger and more ambitious goals.
To learn more personal growth tips and tools for living an inspired life, please visit my blog IGG – Tips, Tools & Tantalizing Ideas at: http://www.inspiredgiftgiving.com. Tip: New subscribers receive a FREE copy of my popular eBook, It’s Your Time NOW!