I have been thinking a lot about the definition of respect lately. What does that word mean, exactly? The dictionary tells us that respect is “a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important.” It is also “a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way.”
After hearing these two definitions, can you say you respect yourself?
Many people are so wrapped up in not feeling like they are getting the respect they deserve. And they point fingers at their boss, boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, children, friends and associates, blaming them for not respecting them. Before you point those same fingers, let’s look at how you respect yourself.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Wait … I respect myself!”
But, consider this: Is it really all these other people who are rude, abusive and disrespectful? If you still feel like they are to blame, I encourage you to step outside of the things that are being said and done to you for a moment and meditate on yourself a bit.
Say someone is abusive to you. What do you say? “How dare you! You have the nerve to curse at me, say mean things to me and belittle me!” Your reaction is to get upset because someone is saying negative things to you or about you.
But think about it: Are these things true? Likely, they are not! So, why are you allowing someone to hurt you by making judgments about you that are not true? If these judgments are untrue, does it really even matter that they are making them?
Perhaps the reason their words sting so much is because you think these thoughts about yourself. Are you hurt because they are judging you out loud the way you judge yourself in your own head?
If you are having these negative thoughts about yourself, what is the real issue?
The real issue is you think you are not worthy. And then, when your boss says you don’t deserve the raise, you totally flip out in anger. But is it just because they told you exactly what you are thinking?
Or consider this scenario: Maybe your partner told you that you are not a responsible person, and that they can’t trust you to handle business. You fought and fought about it as if you couldn’t believe it. But have you been constantly late on your share of taking care of the bills, dropping off rent and the tuition for your kids? Have you been neglecting to pick up the dry cleaning or that package you said you would pick up? The truth sometimes hurts.
As the saying goes, “In order to get respect, you must give it.” While respecting others is very important, life is not just about “doing unto others as you want them to do unto you.” But how about you do unto yourself as you want others to do unto you?
In other words, the actions we take, the thoughts we think, how we take care of ourselves and how we RESPECT ourselves will determine a great deal about our lives. It will also determine how people treat you.
In my own experience, I have found that the more respect I give to others and to MYSELF, the more respect that I get back on all levels: personally and professionally.
When I respect the musicians who support me and treat them well by paying them promptly and properly, they give even more.
When I respect myself and ask for the rates I deserve for the time, talents and energy I am going to put into a show or a speaking engagement, what I am asking for flows to me.
If people know that I respect myself, they treat me with a lot more respect. How we feel about ourselves and and how we treat ourselves makes a difference!
Don’t get me wrong: There is such a thing as slander and defamation of character, and it happens to even people who respect themselves and put out positive vibes to the world. When this occurs, the best defense is to respect yourself enough to live your life like the wonderful, talented person you know you are.
So, here’s my challenge to you: Start to respect yourself… REALLY respect yourself! Know your light is worth shining, and share your many gifts with the world. If you do, I guarantee that others will respect you, and you will see the fruits of your labor come to you abundantly in your personal life and in your business.