Judith Zackson, PhD, Founder and Clinical Director of Zackson Psychology Group says, “Self-respect is the everyday discipline of loving who you are. It is the bedrock of developing self-acceptance and self-love.”1 If you think that’s easier said than done, you’re not alone. These tactics can help.
Self-advocacy starts with loving and respecting yourself but that doesn’t always come easy—and there’s a reason for it. Low self-respect can be an ugly cycle that lasts for generations. Parents who don’t value themselves are likely to pass that on to their children, and the effects can last a lifetime:
- Do you rely on external validation?
- Does your life seem to lack meaning?
- Do you have a negative self-view?
- Do you develop unhealthy relationships?
Any of these sound familiar? First, know that it’s not your fault. And second, you can absolutely take back control. Start by re-evaluating your own sense of self-worth. Feel overwhelmed? Consider the benefits. According to Zackson, here’s what you’ll gain from leveling up your sense of self-respect:
- Internal sense of happiness
- Commitment to upholding personal values
- Ability to establish boundaries
- Strong sense of dignity
And these are more than benefits, they’re also valuable tools. Looking at life like a video game, this is where you level up. If you’ve ever felt unworthy or you’re currently struggling with your own sense of self-worth and want to level up but don’t know how, then start with these 3 daily mental exercises:
- Commit to accepting yourself
- Identify your values and focus on your internal qualities
- Challenge negative thoughts and reject self-doubt