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10 Ways Disrespecting Yourself Can Show Up In Your Life Pt.1

What is your definition of self-respect? Lack of self-respect? We might have different definitions of what self-respect is and isn’t. Maybe self-respect means living in alignment with higher values and principles? Setting boundaries? Not compromising one’s integrity to be liked? Living in harmony with higher values and principles? Taking care of oneself? Speaking up when called for? Being honest with yourself? Not intentionally causing harm to others?

I don’t think that we wither respect ourselves or we don’t. It can fluctuate depending on the situation we are in. We have our triggers, our unhealed trauma, our personality traits, our belief system, and other unconscious factors that can influence our behavior depending on what is happening at the moment in our external environment. I see our integrated level of self-respect on a scale from 0 – 10. When we are at level zero, there is no self-respect. At level 10, there is a healthy and embodied level of self-respect present. For instance, adults that are consciously or unconsciously yearning for their parents to love them, will go a long way to appease their parents, and in that process, they might sacrifice their integrity, values, and principles to feel “loved”. Our overall level of self-respect can be at a level 6, but the different situation that triggers our insecurity might drag us down to a level 2. The reason that I am always talking about doing Inner Work is so that we can live much more integrated in our personal power and authentic light, and not change “masks” depending on the situation we are in just to fit in. Maybe self-respect and authenticity are interconnected? Can one exist without the other?

Here are ten ways lack of self-respect can show up in your life:

1. Not keeping plans you had for yourself
When I say “plans” I mean what we have scheduled to prioritize. If you have planned time on a project, or leisure time, working out, or something else – and you do not follow through – isn’t that a form of disrespecting yourself? And isn’t it especially so if you sacrificed your time for other people´s time, out of fear of the consequences of saying “no”. Of course, there are valid reasons to reprioritizing/sacrificing our plans such as children becoming ill, and other unforeseen events that we just have to handle then and there, but this is rarely the case. Not keeping the plans we had with ourselves is an act of disrespecting ourselves.

2. Neglecting our body
Not working out or being active. Eating too much unhealthy foods. Avoiding to connect with our body, not listening to it when it signals what it likes and dislikes. Lack of self-awareness. These are all symptoms of lack of self-respect. Taking care of your body is a way of saying; “Dear body, I care about you. Thank you for doing all that you can to take care of me and keep me healthy. I will do my part because I love and respect myself.”

3. Not taking care of your mental and emotional health
How dedicated are you to taking care of your mental and emotional wellbeing? Are you dedicated to doing inner work (trauma work, shadow work, deprogramming and reprogramming, handling your triggers and projections, attaining knowledge that supports your evolution)? To take care of your mental and emotional health is a way of saying; I realize that my thoughts and emotions are affecting all my choices and actions. I am the one responsible for how I handle my thoughts and emotions. I dedicate myself to doing all I can, every day, to keep myself mentally and emotionally healthy, because I love and respect myself.”

4. Indulging in habits that you don´t feel good about
Some habits are good and some are not. Those that are not may feel good at the moment we do them, but the long-term result is a downward spiral of self-sabotage. You know which habits are not good for you, if you are honest. If you are doing something with guilt involved before, during, or after; then it´s not good for you. If the habit is something that supports your overall and long-term health physical, mental, emotional, and energetic health – then it´s good for you. If we fully respect ourselves, will we allow ourselves to be knees deep in destructive habits? Maybe, but most likely not? There are many factors involved. Even if we respect ourselves, we still have blindspots. When we become aware of our internal messages saying that “this needs stop or change”, but we just continue on without listening to the messages. Well, in my world, if I do that, I am disrespecting myself.

5. Procrastination
If we procrastinate on setting goals, planning, and taking action on things that are important to us, things that are in alignment with our values and principles, taking action that will create value in our life and potentially the life of others — but instead waste our time, attentions, and energy on trivial matters that is not creating anything of value, but are time wasting and energy draining activities — I see this as a reflection of lack of self-respect.

6. Afraid to set boundaries; saying no; telling the truth
This is a huge one. We procrastinate telling the truth because we are afraid of the consequences. We avoid setting boundaries because we fear the reactions of others. Deep down we fear rejection. We fear that nobody will like us. That we will end up alone and unloved. This is the real reason we procrastinate setting boundaries and telling the truth. However, lying to oneself and others; is disrespecting oneself and others.
Not setting boundaries and saying no is the same as saying; “I am not important, I am not worthy.”

7. Overworking
Many people that do not respect themselves unconsciously want to prove their worth, and they mistakenly do so by working hard on their job. They are really valuable to the company, no doubt, but they do not feel more worthy and valuable no matter how much they do and how much time they spend on their job. They feel better about themselves for a few moments only if they get praise. If not, they feel they are not good enough. The problem with this pattern is that they will always seek approval from the outside, and it will never be enough because they do not approve of themselves. They don´t respect, love, and accept themselves. Of course, you can respect yourself and still work hard, but then you work hard because you want to, not because you are covertly seeking approval.

8. Overgiving out of fear
We over-give to compensate for our lack of self-respect. I believe in generosity and acts of kindness – giving from the heart. Inspired giving. Most won´t admit this, but many times we give with conditions. We want something in return; approval, praise, love, understanding, respect, acceptance, to be seen and met, or something material, help, or something else. It’s nothing wrong with wanting these things, but if you do not respect yourself, you will give and give until you start to feel empty, bitter, lonely, not loved, not appreciated. Because what you want deep down is some form of approval, love, acknowledgement, etc. And the “love” we are seeking will not be sustainable if we do not love and respect ourselves. It is like filling up water in a tank that has a hole in the bottom. Most are not aware of this pattern, but they still act out this self-victimizing pattern, in thoughts, emotions, and actions. As long as we have this mind program running where we are convinced that we have to do something for others for us to be worthy, loved and valued — we will continue this behavior.

9. People-pleasing
Never saying no. Always saying yes to others so that they will like us. Not setting boundaries. Not expressing our thoughts and opinions in fear of what they will think of us. Agreeing with others even if you really don´t agree. This behavior is self-neglect in its highest form. It will never make us happy. It is a pattern that needs to go if you truly want to live from your heart. Accepting and respecting yourself. It´s good to care of others when it is the right thing to do, to have compassion for others, but not at the expense of our own time, energy, and capacity — just to be nice? When we are out to please others, we are constantly asking for validation. We want to feel needed, that gives us a sense of worth and purpose. However, it doesn´t last, because we have to continually please somebody to feel worhty. Internal approval and validation from yourself — will last a lifetime.

10. Always apologizing
An apology is certainly something that has its place in the right setting. However, some people apologize for everything, and it reflects their fear of what other people will think of them. “Please like me. I am sorry. I am so dumb. Please love me. I am a good girl/boy, please see that.” It is almost as if they are apologizing for their existence. Overly fearful of what others think of them.

Action Steps To Becoming More Aware and Practice Self-Respect

  • On a scale from 0 – 10, where zero is: I don´t respect myself at all. And 10 is: I respect myself fully. Where do you think/feel that you are on that scale? Be honest.
  • Let´s say that you are on a level 6. Imagine that you woke up tomorrow and you found yourself at a consistent level eight, two levels above your current level. What is different? What actions have you taken that have led you to a level 8? How are you talking? How are you moving your body? How is your posture? How are supporting yourself with your self-talk/inner dialog?
  • Now throughout this day and tomorrow: practice using your body, voice, and self-talk as if you already had stretched two levels above your current one.

Inner work is key.
Awareness is key.
You are the keyholder.
Remember that you are so much more powerful than you think you are.
Becoming conscious opens up the doors to change.
It is time to rise.

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