Show yourself
Chen Yang, Division 2, 9th grade #ws17e-s1d2

Show yourself, Let’s begin by clearing up something: Self-respect does not make you narcissistic or conceited or self-centered ... in fact, it does quite the opposite. Self-respect is about amassing a deep sense of self-worth and self-love to show that you are worthy of receiving love and in turn, giving love.

The problem for most of us — myself included — is that we go about it the wrong way. We try to get a sense of self-worth by amassing ""likes"" on Facebook or getting a new gadget, when the truth is that external factors will never give us the self-respect we crave.

One of the concepts that allows me to respect myself is keeping my word to others. If I say I am going to do something or be somewhere, barring any emergencies, I feel best when I do what I say I am going to do. .

The only way to stand out is to be your idiosyncratic, real, quirky self. It's easier said than done, but consider this: all those folks you look up to have taken ownership of what sets them apart and leveraged it to their advantage. Besides, if you don't own who you are, you blend in. And what’s interesting about that?

Don't let other people define your boundaries.Many people have good intentions, but their advice is often clouded by their emotional baggage. So when someone tells you “you’ll never be able to do that” or “you shouldn’t” or “you can’t,” ignore them until you have figured out for yourself what's true.

Muster up the self respect to start over! Though scary, starting over will be less painful than being with a partner who doesn’t want or isn’t incapable of giving you what you need.

Self-respect means not engaging in being overly self-critical, judging or restricting. It's so easy to chain ourselves to a to-do list and then gauge our worthiness on it’s completion. How about a purposeful shift towards self-kindness? What if, as you finish one task and contemplated the next, you said to yourself: I could do this, or I could not. If I choose to stop now, I will allow whatever I have completed today to be enough and I will not beat myself up for it. How’s that for respecting your bandwidth?

We could spend a lifetime untying the knots of our past, but at some point, we must realize the knots are no longer ours. They belong to our parents, grandparents and their grandparent’s parents. The lineage is complex and lengthy and effortlessly passed from one generation. We have a choice and at any point we can reflect on our childhood influences and declare: “This is not my story. I am not my genes.”

Apologize with self-respect.Saying “I’m sorry” is seldom pleasant or easy, so if you’re going to do it at all, make it count! An important part of apologizing is learning not to make excuses. (Because that's just disrespectful to the other person and your integrity.)

So next time you’re tempted to plead your case, lay a hand on your heart, check in with that inner barometer and listen to the truth. If an apology is called for courageously, offer one (minus the excuses).

Be willing to accept reality.You must be willing to see things and people as they are. It can be painful to acknowledge that there is a problem with ourselves, our loved ones, or a situation. But if you don’t deal with the problem with curiosity and courteousness, your situation will be prolonged. And that is not very respectful of your time and energy.

Our health, like everything else in our life, is a relationship. The more we pay attention to it and nourish it, the more our body thrives. Often when we consider becoming healthier we can find ourselves in front of the mirror looking at our bodies and wondering what we need to “fix.”

Instead of making self-deprecation your morning ritual, stand in front of the mirror and list three things you love about yourself. Later, write them down, preferably on sticky notes. Then pick the one or two that make you feel the way you want to feel every single day and leave these love notes on your bedroom mirror, in your wallet, on the TV remote and read them even on those days when you might not feel that way.

In closing, remember to treat yourself the way you'd want others to treat you. By focusing only on our self-perceived faults and flaws, we’re basically giving permission for the rest of the world to focus on them too.
Shared publiclyView activity