Lack of self respect is a lack of dignity. Conversely, intact dignity indicates a strong inner sense of security and self-worth — a state of being in which you know that you matter and can do anything you set your mind to. Self-respect is synonymous with a deep sense of inner confidence — not ego, but a grounded and realistic trust in yourself and in a power greater than yourself.
If you feel that you lack self-respect, work on building up your personal dignity. Personal dignity is a state of being rather than an action; a noun, not a verb. Here’s a few ways to establish (or regain) that state of being in your life:
Know What You Stand For
Everything from childhood traumas to societal pressure can interfere with your self perception and identity. In extreme cases of abuse, your identity might have been all but obliterated. To reclaim your identity, figure out what you stand for. Ask yourself: What do you care about? What do you value? What do you fight for, and where are you headed? Find one focused goal or cause upon which you can build and toward which you can direct your energy.
Stop Blaming Yourself
Your enemy is your own self-perception and self-defeating attitude. Do not give up on yourself. Thinking poorly of yourself is part and parcel of lacking personal dignity. To bolster your self-respect level, forgive yourself for whatever happened in your past, and view your potential as unlimited.
Protect Your Dignity
You cannot be at peace with yourself if you are not protecting your dignity like a mother bird protects her hatchling. Boundaries are a fundamental key to self-respect. Are there lines you should not be crossing? Do you need to be more private about certain aspects of your life? Where would you benefit from stronger boundaries?
Exercise: Spend some time writing in your MyMLC journal, or simply meditating, about what it would be like to go through a day with more self-respect. How would it change your interactions at work, at home, and on the street? Start living your vision now.
Go deeper into this subject: How to Live on Your Own Terms | One Small Step | Arise and Shine | Comfort My People | Your Guide to Personal Freedom Counting the Omer: Week Seven