Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #12
Treat yourself with the same dignity and respect you give others.
I look in the mirror and what do I see? The question that I asked myself seven years ago and the answers were not very pleasing. I have always battled with this concept and beat myself up over it many times. Can I genuinely look at myself and say yes, I am worth it? Most of my life this would end up in an instant, no you are not, and to me, that is the saddest part. I have only actually embraced my self-dignity a few years ago when I decided to take control and win the war that I battled with myself for so many years. I can honestly say today that I am worth every minute of every day.
What is self-dignity? To have self-dignity one must have self-respect and a sense of being worthwhile. Mastering self-respect can be a hard task to grasp and takes a lot of work if you are struggling with not having feelings of self-worth. Here are seven ways to help you gain a sense of self-dignity.
1. Have Encouragement
Having a way to encourage yourself is a great way to help you gain self-respect. Surround yourself with positivity and good influences in your life. Give yourself a chance to grow and never give up on how you want to feel about yourself. There were days that I lost my encouragement and on those days I would listen to positive music. One of my favorite musicians is Matisyahu, and his message always helped me get through my worst days. Find a source that gives you the hope to keep going on in your journey.
2. Perfection is Not Happiness
Perfection is not crucial to happiness. Not being perfect is one lesson I had to take to heart when I was finding my self-dignity. I always thought I had to be perfect and that mistakes were weaknesses. What I didn’t understand is that this was a distorted way to think and that with errors comes growth and growth is essential in finding one’s self-dignity. I was so focused on being perfect that I let my self-worth go down the drain because I was always beating myself up over nothing. When I let go of the perfection problem I noticed that I was happier and that I wasn’t as anxious about things. When you make a mistake in life take time to reflect on this mistake and move on because you will grow from this reflection.
3. It is Ok to Say No
Not being able to say no can be hard for someone who struggles with self-worth. Many times I considered myself a people pleaser and would agree even if that is not what I wanted to have happened. I feel it was more of a fear of not being accepted by those around me. I starved for acceptance because I did not recognize myself. When I started to say what I wanted to say and do what I wanted to do I gained a sense of power. I had control over what I thought was right. Being able to say no and be comfortable also gave me freedom from always being told what people would just automatically expect from me. It is ok to not go with the flow that’s part of being an individual.
Also, remember that it is ok to say no to someone who wants to bring you down. There are people out there that merely might wish to see you fail. Rember that this is not your problem and you do not have to accept their treatment. Stand up for yourself and be strong. Embrace who you are and love what makes you different from others.
4. Have a Plan
Just like setting goals having a plan for life gives you the motivation to work on things you want to change. Plan on knowing how to handle certain situations and people around you that might affect how you view yourself. If you are prepared, it will be easier for you to deal with these situations in life. Not everyone and everything will be on your side, and that is ok as long as you know how to handle these types.
5. Do Something
Do something fun and make the day great. Many times if I have a bummer day I just solely go for a walk to clear my thoughts and breathe. Read a good book or listen to pleasant music. Anything to boost the mood you are battling is better than just sitting there feeling bad about yourself. Enjoy life and remember that you are worth the time take and check with yourself. Invest in a hobby that makes you happy. Nothing is better than using your energy and creativity on something that heals you.
6. Choose You
Choosing you is not selfish. I had a hard time with this one when I became a mother. I had this desire to sacrifice myself and my world for my kids. I still do this, and every once in a while I need to take a step back. How can you help anyone when you are not helping yourself. Everyone needs time to reflect and grow and not choosing yourself holds you back from doing this. When I need time, I take time, and when I am done, I am a better mother, wife, and person for taking the time. Many times when dealing with not feeling worthy you feel as if you should not love yourself and this is not the case. Take the time to help yourself gain the respect you deserve.
Getting up and moving can naturally boost your mood. Not only can this be positive to your mind it can be positive on your physical aspect as well. Exercise gets the body and minds active. Physical activity can get the endorphins going, and it can also help you in times of stress. I have friends that run merely because it is a form of therapy for them. Exercise can help you focus on goals and challenge you in ways you never thought possible. Challenging yourself can boost confidence and give you a sense of accomplishment.
How much are you worth? Take the time to understand and appreciate the things you do. Remember not to let negative people and actions get in the way of enjoying who you are. Surround yourself with positive people and energy. Know that you are not perfect and it is ok to be who you are. Being able to be strong will help you see your dignity.