Make Self-Respect Your Priority

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How many times have you exhausted yourself from obligations and people’s request?
Did you ever felt burnt out and became stagnate in all the things you are supposed to do?
What about having to say sorry because you missed deadlines due to having too much on your plate?

Unless you are a super duper AI robot who has 8 arms and 3 brains, chances are, you will feel some form of exhaustion or tipping point in your life where you are just totally burnt out.

Self-respect, what does that have to do with burnt out?

Well, if you make self-respect the core essence of your lifestyle, you will make so much better choice and eliminate the unnecessary obligations.

When you have self-respect, here’s what will happen:

Say no to things that do not deserve your attention

Do you know we make about 35,000 choices on average per day?
That’s a lot of decisions!

We all have very limited time and energy in a day.

We are constantly surrounded by opportunities and people everywhere, every day. It’s very easy to say yes to a lot of things but it’s not necessarily good because we only have so much time and energy.

The best is to evaluate what’s suitable for us and choose wisely.

For example, you’ll want to choose people who gave you the respect you deserve.
You’ll engage in activities that make you feel good or happy.
You’ll set boundaries on people who ask more than what you can give.

And all that comes down to having a high level of self-awareness and really understand yourself.

Are the choices you make actually make you happy or is it tied with guilt?

Something to think about.

Prioritize personal well-being

To have self-respect means you will honor your body and pay attention to its needs.

The fundamental of success is to value your own well-being.
You must take care of yourself before you can take care of others.
If you respect yourself, your needs will be the priority.

As Oprah explained so well in her interview at Harvard, you can only give when your cup is full, so make sure your cup is full first before you give to others. This way, you will feel abundant and happy when you are ready to give.

Focus on improvement instead of trapped in guilt or shame

Things will not work from time to time, it’s part of life.

Whether it’s the project you are working on or things not working out with other people, things may go very wrong and it’s bound to happen.

None of us like those moments but it happens to everyone.

What’s important is that you cope with these unfavorable situations and think,
How did I get here?

Then we’ll start to realize, a lot of the choices we make or the things we said has led us here.

Let me repeat that.

A lot of the choices we make or the things we said has led us to where we are.

That means, the yes we said, the no we didn’t say, the agreement other people shove at us and healthy boundaries we didn’t set.

Yes, painfully, there are a lot of thing in life we could have avoided if we simply just say no.

We could feel shameful that we let those things happen.
Or, we may feel guilty we are incapable of controlling the situation when things go very wrong.

Those emotions are part of growth process because it ties with pain and nothing like painful experience gave us the most memorable & valuable lessons so that we won’t do it again.

Acknowledge those feelings and allow yourself to feel crappy at those times.

Eventually, those emotions will pass and you can reflect on what you can learn from this experience.

Now, a little comfort message for you.
Everyone has made some sort of unfavorable choices before so you are not alone.

Things can get a lot worse. Focus on the improvement and don’t get caught up too much in self-shaming or blaming too much.

You will be okay.

Do not waste time in other people’s drama

There are people who desperately need to prove themselves and some do it by harming others.

They might put you down.
They might shame you in public.
They may gossip behind your back.
They may say very mean things in email or text.
All to make them feel good and to prove they are right.

It could be a lack of attention or love from childhood or maybe past experience when other people do the same to them or they learn it from their peers. If you can understand on a deeper level, it’s all about insecurity.

Empty vessels make the most noise.

What they do or say reflects their character. You don’t have to comply and play along with the drama.

There’s nothing we can do to change them, don’t sweat it.

A split-second of fighting back may seem like the person won the battle, but they actually lost the war.

Is it even worth our energy & time?

I’d rather have a response less than 3 words that can defend myself beautifully instead of raising my voice and get all puffed up. That’s classier.

Even better, we can simply walk away gracefully, move on with our priorities and our life.

Think before you act

Many life occurrences happen fast and we usually react along with it.

The reaction usually is how we are brought up and base on the experiences we have from others.

Sometimes, our actions are tied to fear and it may not be the most favorable response.

I, like many others, have regret on a lot of things I said or done. I often wish I could go back in time to respond & act with higher EQ.

At the end, it’s part of the learning process and it’s just life.

A lot of times, it’s not even about you.

People listen to your words and react according to their knowledge, experience, and background. They may have some serious triggers from the past.

It’s important to know, however, that the things you do and the words you say may have an impact on others and it reflects back to yourself.

If you have self-respect, you’ll likely to pause and think before you act.

Give yourself time to process things

We are constantly exposed to things and people. Things happen fast and we often just jump to conclusion and react whatever we have in mind.

The thing is, it’s kind of important to understand what the hell just happened.

We made a choice, things happen, people come and go.
How did we get here and what should I do next?

The best way to process things is through meditation, flotation tank, journaling, talking to a good friend who is a great listener, and be alone for a while.

I also highly recommend 3 books that have helped me understand a hell lot of things about myself and others.

One of them is Childhood Disrupted by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. The book explained how much of negative impact childhood trauma could have on a person and their adult life from biology, neurology, and psychology standpoint.

This book gave me a very knowledgeable insight to why we do the things we do and why we have certain habits and reactions.

The second one is The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel A. van der Kolk.

In this book, the author describes how our behavior is deeply tied with our past traumas and how it influences everything we say or do.

It’s a very informative read that can help you understand deeper about yourself and other people.

When you can understand the world from this level, you can start to see things from other people’s perspective.

The third is Reinventing Your Life, by Jeffrey E. Young.
This book is very useful because it has lots of questions to help you evaluate and process things in the past and comparing it to where you are now.

When you are able to process and recognize the toxic pattern that was taught from your childhood, you can decide as an adult on what to let go and how you want your life to be.

Give yourself some time and space to reflect what happened so you have time to learn the important things and analyze what to do next.

At the end, take it easy my friends.
Life is short, don’t take things too seriously.

We are all just humans fumbling and stumbling trying to understand what the hell just happened and what to do about it.

Have self-respect and save yourself first before you can help others.

Things are really amusing if you take a step back and look at it from an observer’s point of view.
self respect Vivien at the beach

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