Being respected amongst others is quite wonderful, right?
When you look into the eyes of the people around you and feel a mutual respect for one another, it is quite special. There’s no urgency to prove your worth or need to show how capable you are. There’s no hostility or apprehension. There’s a common understanding that allows you to show your human decency for one another without restriction. And any disrespect towards another feels like disrespect towards yourself.
But don’t you find this last part to be quite interesting?
If for no good reason, you choose to disrespect another person, it feels like you’re disrespecting yourself — which also means, if you choose to respect another person, it feels like you’re respecting yourself. So there’s something happening on a deeper level that isn’t very easy to notice. There’s a guide of some sort watching you and judging everything you do.
Whilst you may think it is passive, it is actually deciding whether you respect yourself
There is a critic somewhere in you, judging you based on everything that you think and do. This critic moulds an opinion that stays with you throughout your days and influences the words you speak and the choices you make. It affects your self-esteem and in a subtle way, it is what you use to reveal yourself to the world. So, for anything to change on the outside, it must first change on the inside.
What I am trying to say here is, if you wish to have respect outside yourself, you must first have respect within
Everything you do must stem from a deep respect for yourself, like saying no to the things that bring you no value and committing to the things that make you feel valuable. Every time you resist the attraction of wanting others to respect you, something changes in you, you begin to respect yourself more. And as you do this, you leave little room for others to disrespect you.
As Confucius said,
Respect yourself and others will respect you
Here is what I wish to leave you with,
Stop Trying So Hard To Get Others To Respect You
Everyone around you has their own life to live. They have their own expectations and their own standards, most of which you may never live up to, and there is nothing wrong with this. You were never meant to tip-toe around others nor forsake your own values to satisfy them. Such things will only tame you and the potential you have to become someone you admire. Think about what Rita Mae Brown was trying to say when she said,
The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself
You were meant to be so much more, not for others, but for you. And you can be if you choose to be. But it all starts within and the changes you are willing to make to create a standard for you to uphold. Start living to satisfy that little voice within telling you that you can be more because as you do so, you will become more, you will earn your respect.
Because, as Michel de Montaigne once said, the greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
Pay Attention To Your Inner-Critic
When you are asked by your everyday experiences to choose between right and wrong, which do you choose? Do you back down when you should be taking charge? Do you lie when you should be honest? Do you give in to others when you know you should trust your inner voice? Choosing the right path is often difficult, but regardless, it is something you should strive towards.
Because in you lives a critic who is not afraid to judge you
It watches everything that you do and holds an opinion of you. This opinion becomes the foundation from which you live your life. It affects the conversations you have and situations you face. It will be there with you for the rest of your life, so understand that others may judge you, yes, but you do too. Do your best to act in a way that helps you hold a better judgement of yourself and the respect will follow.
Follow the advice of Robert Tew — respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.
Because Life Becomes Better Once You Have Earned Your Respect
It kind of slows down to be honest, because you no longer chase others, you no longer seek to prove yourself to others. You may accept their opinion, but you do not need it to live your life. All you need is the satisfaction of knowing that everything you say and everything you do stems from a deep and profound respect for yourself.
And the mirror becomes easier to look at because you now have a healthy relationship with yourself
You will know what you align with and be brave enough to follow that path. You will also know what you don’t align with and be brave enough to not follow that path. And as you improve this relationship with yourself, you improve your relationship with others because you will never be able to disrespect another without first disrespecting yourself. Everything will stem from your relationship with yourself.
Like Robert Holden once said, your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.
Life is different for each of us, I get that. Many of us find ourselves in unfortunate circumstances and for these reasons, we give in to being someone we cannot respect. But, as Fyodor Dostoyevsky believed, to be a human being among people and to remain one forever, no matter in what circumstances, not to grow despondent and not to lose heart — that’s what life is all about, that’s its task.
Wherever you are in life, know that for as long as you live there is hope
There is time for you to redeem yourself and do something that will reignite belief in yourself.
So, live today and do your best to live a better life. No longer put off being a better person, being a better you. Sure, some days will feel tougher than others, but you will always hold the empowering truth that you are no longer seeking your respect in others, you are growing it in yourself every day with every choice you make.
Let me leave you with the words of E.E. Cummings,
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
Invest In Your Existence, Kind Reader.