Do you respect yourself? No, do you really respect yourself?

I had been investigating the concept of self-respect quite deeply as part of university dissertation but reading an article on at the most opportune time really brought the point home. Self-respect is important.

Depending on your definition, self-respect may actually fall into self-love but I think self-respect is somewhat deeper. It’s about aligning all your outer actions with your inner values. It’s ensuring that you practice what you preach and that you are a person of integrity.

I think nurturing and developing a strong sense of self-respect is difficult in today’s competitive culture fuelled by the constant gaze of social media and the tyranny of traditional media. It’s even more difficult in hedonistic university environments.Often you compromise your personal values in order to keep up with every Tom, Dick and Sally or feel the need to jump on bandwagons to prove to others that you’re ‘woke,’ educated, liberated (or liberal, but we’re not talking about specific ideologies today) and an all round good human being. Self-respect, however, is not about pleasing the outside world. It’s about silencing that noise and connecting with your true self, your core values.

Self-respect let’s you rest easy each night knowing that your thought and ideas align with your everyday actions; it’s the thing that allows you to look at yourself in the mirror each day and smile back at yourself. It’s that inner voice that tells you you’re making a mistake or the one that pushes you to speak up and act against something you find unjust.

Values and ideals change as you get older but your sense of self-respect is also meant to evolve as you do. Instead of keeping up with the Joneses (or the Kardashians nowadays), ask yourself what’s really important to you and how you can live out those inner thoughts. Do you want to travel? Are financial security and career progression of the utmost importance – at the expense of your social life? Are you down with no strings attached or hell bent on an emotional connection before any kind of physical one? Give yourself regular space to check in, review and change what’s not aligning with your true core value system.

By Martha Ngatchu 


The Move

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