How do you define self-respect?
We tend to put our family’s needs, business obligations, and (hopefully) giving back in some positive way to a group or cause we believe in, as top priorities.
But it is not unusual to forget about the most important person in this pursuit of respect: ourselves. As easy as it is to say, “I’ll worry about myself later,” or “I’m just too busy,” or, my personal go-to, “there are simply more pressing things on my plate” – it is so important to remember: you are no good to anyone if you are not at your best or, at least, close to it.
This time of year we have events, family gatherings, cocktail functions, and holiday shopping to attend to. Not to mention that all of those commitments are on top of our regular, still demanding schedule. I understand the thinking, “be kind to people and they will return the gesture,” but what about being kind to yourself?
Respecting yourself, by looking after your needs, is not selfish. It is necessary. Especially for you to achieve your best self. Certainly, we are not immune to fatigue or feeling agitated when we feel overwhelmed. Sometimes we channel those emotions and take it out on others, maybe even blaming those around us and making ourselves the victim. All of this leads to anger and frustration which, quite frankly, are not feelings that usually produce any type of positive outcome.
Remember, no one is perfect. Accept your mistakes and acknowledge that you have made them. Learn from them. We have all been there when these feelings of inadequacy have crept their way into our thoughts.
So, why am I speaking on this topic? Because self-respect is a big part of your personal brand. It affects your capacity for positive expression and allows you to confidently represent yourself to society.
Here are some helpful tips that we all need reminding of, every now and again when ensuring self-respect is a mainstay of our lives and our brand.
Dress to Impress and Build Confidence
I give a talk on this very topic because it is one of the fundamentals of constructing our brands.
There is no need to apologize because you invest in your appearance, nor is this a shallow endeavor. You are your best investment, and how can you expect others to invest in you if you do not see yourself as the best asset you own?
Some may feel that it is pompous or grandiose but building your brand and personal portfolio through visual appearance builds confidence. Dressing well does not mean unnecessary expenditures or changing who you are. Because, as you know, we choose to dress in our own personal style (whatever that may be) and we take care to be thoughtful in every selection. At the end of the day, how you perceive yourself comes first and that then will translate onto others.
Equate Fitness Goals with Health Goals
Staying active throughout the year is important, but during the holidays this is an amplified issue. Whatever it may be and whatever works for you is my motto when it comes to exercise.
Some form of cardio is essential to keep your heart pumping at its best, so choose a brisk walk, a run or swim, even ice-skating. And, of course, don’t forget some weight-training helps to build strength and stamina and is essential as we get older.
Embrace a Healthy Diet
This does not mean you cannot indulge in your favorite dessert, side dish, or main course.
Keep in mind the most important thing here is portion control. If you are going to enjoy an extra helping be sure to exercise earlier that day or the next day make it a little longer workout. Have something light and healthy to eat before you attend that festive feast you’ve been invited to. And keep in mind that sugary drinks and alcohol can be sneaky culprits when trying to eat healthier.
Maintain General Hygiene and Keep Those Germs Away
Wash your hands frequently. The easiest way to catch a cold or flu is spreading germs to your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you’re traveling, taking public transit, shopping or looking after your loved ones who may be under the weather, be sure to keep hand sanitizer with you (though, nothing beats washing your hands well).
Be sure to clean your phones and keyboards as they attract all kinds of bacteria you might be overlooking. Of course, regularly seeing a doctor for things like flu shots or any medication, should you need it, is also a must.
Staying healthy and preventing illness is self-respect. Don’t take it for granted.
The Importance of Integrity and Morals
Keep these two parts of you in check at all times.
You will be surrounded by negative people, posers, and wannabes both in real life and online. Do not be overwhelmed by people’s social media, especially if you don’t know what they’re posting is actually authentic.
For those who are violating their integrity and morals, for the sake of money or popularity, all you need to do is ignore them. Don’t allow yourself to spiral down along with them. I promise you’ll be the one sleeping peacefully at night.
Make Time for Stress Relief
How do you decompress? What makes you feel some sliver of peace amongst all the chaos?
Is it a quiet bath with a lit candle, a relaxing massage? Maybe a walk in the crisp winter air or curling up with a good book? Whatever it is you do to unwind make this a part of your routine as often as you can and do not ignore its immense value to your well being.
Sometimes, It’s OK to Walk Away
If you find you are upset after learning someone said unkind things about you or you feel wronged after someone has plagiarized your work – take a second to understand those legitimate emotions. But don’t let yourself stoop down to their level. Be one-step better and control your emotions and walk away. If you engage, it could lead to embarrassing moments that might be detrimental to the personal brand you have worked so hard to build.
Self-respect first and then take the high road. Treat them with kindness and compassion – they may be suffering more than you know.
Oh, this magical word!
We hear all kinds of research about the highly successful people who get up at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. There are those who state that they only need 4 hours of sleep to function at a high level, while most need a full 8 hours to be at their best.
Whatever you need is personal and unique to your body and your mind. No matter what your ideal amount is, sleep is proven to be an essential part of our lives.
All of these tips are about self-respect and adopting it into all facets of your life.
As we approach the new year, I urge you to try and incorporate some (or all) of these suggestions into your life and into your brand. Above all, love and respect yourself! That is truly the most important thing you can do to be the best version of yourself.