By Jackline Saleiyan- Priceless Facilitator, Nairobi, Kenya
By Jaqueline What is self-respect? It is a form of self-love where you value your uniqueness and make life choices and decisions from the authenticity of your personality. An internal gratification and satisfaction that provides clarity on who you are; a rare personal quality that yields confidence, compassion, understanding and fulfillment.
In today’s world there are so many influences that challenge our values therefore it is important to know your values and live by them. Have you ever felt confident and proud in your own ability and worth? In case you have been wondering, that is self-respect defined. If you haven’t been feeling confident and proud in your own ability and worth, do not worry. We will take you on a journey, hopefully by the end of this journey you will have learnt a whole lot.
So, why is self-respect so important? Because it is the greatest gift we give to ourselves. When we have it, we become more conscious and motivated to live our lives with personal integrity despite whatever anyone thinks or says about us. You see, self-respect breeds a positive character which helps you strongly defend your values and beliefs. What is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular hence the reason why you need to stand by your values.
Additionally, it reflects on your inner being, who exactly are you.? You see it is very difficult to show respect to others if you lacking self-respect. You can only give someone what you have inside you, for yourself. Treating others with respect mirrors the level of self-respect you have for yourself. Please note that in as much as self-respect starts with you, it is designed to help you have better interpersonal relationships. Self-respect does not mean arrogance, bragging, or pushing other people around. Even while disagreeing with others, you can respect yourself equally and value what they believe without stepping on their toes and most importantly, not COMPROMISING on your values.
Gaining self-respect is about learning your worth, knowing your value and standing for yourself. Once you are privy to all this, you know when to say “NO” to what compromises your social, mental, emotional and even financial health. This is important for making mature decisions that impact your life and the lives of others connected to you. Knowing who you are opens you up for better relationships because you are neither going to tolerate mistreatment from others nor will you be caught mistreating others. Since we, often sub-consciously, teach others how to treat us, based on our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, it is crucial that if we want loving relationships in our lives it begins with respecting and loving ourselves.
Another reason that self-respect is important is because, you can accomplish anything. It is personal empowerment that fills you with a sense of confidence and competence. When you have the courage to be your person and courageously express that person to others, life becomes more rewarding and fulfilling. The lack of self-confidence breeds a shy character that distances you from the society, from initiating activities and away from yourself. You become goalless and you lack direction in life. But when you are empowered and respectful to self and others, you become less of a target for bullies and individuals who are out to harm you without mature defenses.
As a young lady you need to have an innate understanding value as a person. This way you are guided from within regarding your actions, behavior and decisions. You will also have the ability to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and view your shortcomings not as failures but as areas of growth. Remember no one can diminish your value unless you give them the power to; with self-respect you will be more mindful of who you let in your circles. Remember the power is within you and you have the whole dominion to determine your destiny.