Respect. What does it mean to you? Are you chasing it through mindless pursuits? Is the respect from your family and friends your main indicator of success? Or do you have an entirely different point of view? Lately, I’ve spent a sickening amount of time contemplating why our world is so enamored with earning the respect of others; often forgetting to earn the respect of the only person that really matters: You
The Endless Pursuit We want the amazing job so our friends and family will respect us. We want the good grades so that we can be seen as intelligent and the next big thing. We want to have the “perfect” relationship so people know we have what it takes.
But in blindly chasing respect from our family and friends, we often forget to earn our OWN
respect. Now, don’t get me wrong, being respected by people you care about is an amazing feeling, but it means nothing if we don’t remember to love and cherish ourselves first. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that you’re the center of the universe, and that you’re the only person that matters. But really, how often do you live for yourself? How often do you do create art just because? How often do you indulge in the activities that bring you joy? How frequently do you spend time just being present, not caring about how much success or admiration it brings? Busting your butt for good grades just so you can hang them up on your fridge is a worthless pursuit. Working a job you hate just so you can have the status of a “high roller”, is like being stuck listening to Miley Cyrus on repeat. Tolerating a relationship because you’re afraid of change does more harm than good. Again, I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t do your best, or that you should chase your happiness at the cost of others. What I am saying however, is at the end of the day, you need to be happy with yourself and the current path you’re on.
The Search Within
All the admiration in the world, will not fix the void that you yourself must fill. If you’re not happy with yourself everyone loses.
Only when you respect yourself can you truly begin to pursue the change you so gracefully seek. No particular accomplishment will make you respect yourself. Respect starts within.
You must consciously choose to respect the very being you are. This isn’t easy. Many of us, including myself, have plenty of limiting beliefs that we must battle every step of the way. When you’re battling with negative thoughts and struggling to find your calling, it’s difficult to respect your apparent misery. But the truth is we’ve all been there before. Contrary to popular belief, no one has it all figured out. I could lie and say that I always believe in myself 100 percent. But to be honest, the last few months I’ve struggled with what this very blog post is about. I haven’t been respecting myself like I know I should. I haven’t been respecting my limits and have consequently struggled to find my state of flow. I’ve been chasing the respect of others at the cost of tuning out my soul. Learning to respect yourself is an always evolving process. The more you respect yourself the easier it becomes. There will always be times of struggle, but by searching within you can reduce your struggle significantly.
Building Your Own Self Respect
I risk sounding painfully cliche, but it has to be said. I believe you are remarkable. Yes you. Question is, do you? You’re reading this for a reason. Chances are, you have high aspirations and want to do tremendous things in the world, and for that fact alone you’re on the right path. While many people want to reshape the world, very few take the steps
needed to. Start with self respect. Here are a few steps to build your own self respect. Forgive Yourself:
You can’t have a healthy relationship with yourself if you continue live in the past. That time you came up short on your last project? It’s over. The time you suddenly lost your values and hurt someone you love? It’s OK. Not forgiving yourself isn’t you being strong, it’s you being stupid. Respecting yourself is the only way that you can make up for your shortcomings in the past. Chase Your Dreams
: Rather than chase the respect of your peers, instead chase your dreams. When you live each day with your goals in mind your energy is contagious. By chasing your dreams you’re saying you’re not afraid of coming up short. It means your OK with your shortcomings. Chasing your dreams is a sign up true respect. Stop Beating Yourself Up
: Because many of us want do amazing things in the world, we often feel let down if we don’t always hit the home run. But the truth, is even the smallest act can have a tremendous affect on humanity. Don’t think you have to push yourself to the point of exhaustion everyday to make a difference. Don’t expect little from your friends and family, and drown yourself with your own colossal expectations. Do what you can and be pleased with the result. Commit:
Right now, make the commitment to only focus on what you can control: respect for yourself.
Let admiration and praise come when it’s time. Don’t waste a single moment worrying about how people regard you. Do what you do best and the respect will come.
The Chase Ends Here
Your ability to respect yourself is far more important than earning respect from anyone else, because when you learn to respect yourself, the seemingly endless search suddenly comes to a halt. Only by respecting yourself, will you then begin to earn the respect of others. Only when you realize that you’re whole without the superficial high of praise can you find the happiness you seek. Believe me when I say that when you don’t respect yourself, it seems like the world is out to get you. Yet when you begin loving yourself fully everything begins to change. For just a moment, stop chasing the respect of your family and friends. For just a moment, start earning the respect of the person you so often neglect. The search for respect ends here. The search for respect ends with you.