Many people in the world are suffering from a crisis of low self-respect and self-esteem. While a psychologist could no doubt help an individual to get to the root cause of any particular insecurity or deep-rooted issue with self-worth, it’s getting over the issue in the present that most people are really primarily concerned with.
Poor self-respect can tarnish every experience someone has in their life. They could feel guilty for getting a promotion at work, and tell themselves “I don’t deserve this”, and subsequently sabotage the opportunity for themselves. They could visit a beautiful landscape and feel depressed because of their own internalized hangups. They could meet someone they were deeply attracted to, who was attracted to them in turn, and feel convinced that the other person was messing with them because “who would want me”.
For all these reasons and more, building up self-respect is imperative. Here are a few things you can do to get you started.
Be honest with everyone
People with low self-worth are often habitually dishonest or, at least, conceal the truth from those around them. This can manifest in many different ways.
They may be sharp, politically engaged people who have strong ideas about who the AZ sec of state should be, bottle up their political assessments to avoid criticism.
They could have deep personal characteristics which are important to their identity, and which they conceal from the people around them, thus refusing themselves the opportunity to be “free” and truly self-actualized.
Break this cycle. Adopt a policy of being honest with everyone, and your self-respect will likely shoot up in a short time.
Listen to your conscience, and stop doing things that make you feel ashamed
Often, a lack of self-respect is fuelled by, or fuels, indulgence in shame-causing behaviours, which in turn creates a vicious circle and causes self-respect to plummet still further.
Everyone has a “conscience” of sorts, and while it may not be perfect, it’s generally a great idea to pay some attention to what your conscience tells you, and to stop doing things that make you feel ashamed. Likely, there’s a reason why it makes you feel ashamed, and that reason involved you being out alignment with your true values.
If you notice that you hate yourself for weeks after binge drinking, take proactive steps to stop the binge drinking.
Pursue activities that you find meaningful, don’t just do what’s expected of you
We are all obliged, to a certain degree, to do things that we don’t necessarily enjoy, but that we’re duty-bound to do. Nonetheless, if the vast majority of your life comprises of these joyless duties, you should radically re-evaluate your situation.
Do whatever you can to pursue more activities that you find meaningful, and not just the ones that are expected of you. This often takes a good degree of courage, but it can also boost self-respect dramatically.
If, for example, your family is pressuring you to invest your life in a particular career, but your heart drags you in another direction, having the courage to step outside of the box and chart your own course can have a dramatically positive effect on your self-respect.