Project-Self: Self-Respect and Self-Worth

20180704_080112

As I live my life and deal with everything being thrown at me, there seems to be this recurring feeling that never really goes away.  Whether it’s on my good days or not so good days, the topics of self-respect and self-worth are front row and center.

For the past few years, I made a commitment to myself to get to know myself better from within.  When you give yourself what you need first, you get it in return.  For example, if you feel you are not getting respect, ask if you respect yourself first.  If you feel like you are not feeling worthy or validated, are you aware of your own worth?  It also works on the flip side.  For example, if you don’t respect yourself, it is difficult to show respect to others.  If you don’t see your own worth, you will not see it in others either.  This is why it’s so crucial to pay attention to how we behave in all our relationships.  So many people give unsolicited advice to friends, family and even strangers on how they should live their lives but when it comes to themselves, they can’t take their own advice.

Ironic?  Absolutely.

So where do we begin?  With ourselves; by realizing we are enough and deserve happy and healthy relationships right from the get-go.  When in doubt, it’s time to have a little pow-wow with self-respect and self-worth to remind us we need to set boundaries with people and sometimes walk away from it all.  Self-compassion plays a huge role when we are struggling through something like this and we can start talking to ourselves the same way we would to a good friend, in a loving and forgiving way that supports our mental and emotional health.  If you are not a priority in someone’s life then why is it ok to be an option?  If that person you are with is not a priority, then why do you keep holding on?  If someone is treating you badly, ask yourself why you keep letting them?  If someone can’t see your worth, make sure that someone isn’t you.  Rise up.  It takes a lot of strength and courage to let go of toxic relationships that only feed your ego and not your soul.  If you are in an unhealthy relationship and know it, ask yourself why are you staying?  What I know for sure, is that I would rather be on my own than with the wrong person.  Life is way too short and wasting time with someone or with yourself is not a good idea.  We all have a choice and whatever you decide, you are responsible for it.  If you want to make a change, then you have to take action because thinking about it won’t change anything.

By taking action, you are showing self-respect and self-worth because you know in your heart you deserve more than what you’re getting and you are honoring your feelings.  Bravo for realizing it because as soon as you do this, the world opens up and the Universe responds by supporting you.  Draw a line in the sand, stand up, say no, walk away, let go, do what you need to do but just make sure you do something that supports YOU.  Speak your truth!

I would like to share a short letter I wrote.  It isn’t for one person but for the collective bunch who try to disrespect any of us and can’t see clearly.

 

“Dear You,

I know you are struggling to pay attention to me, see me for who I am and make me a priority in your life.  I just want you to know, I don’t need your validation because as of now, everything is over and I’m validating myself.  I’m not upset, I’m awake.  I see what I want and need in my life and I know I deserve more because I’m so worth it.  Out of respect, I have to walk away and since this is a one-sided relationship, this doesn’t work for me anymore.  I can no longer sit here looking straight ahead and seeing the past and no future.

All I ever asked was for you to spoil me with loyalty, love, respect, affection, attention, friendship, and great conversation.  I can finance myself just fine.  Apparently, that was asking too much of you.  What is too much for me is waiting, wondering, and wishing for a life that doesn’t exist with you.  It’s too expensive for my mental and emotional health, I am worth so much more than you’ll ever know.  It’s unfortunate that previous relationships poison present ones because when things are not dealt with at the moment, they carry over into the next relationship.  That isn’t fair to either side but it happens all the time.  Future relationships lose their chance of being healthy if nothing changes from within.

Now I realize that sometimes you have to love people from a distance to let them become who they need to be and sometimes you need to love people from a distance so you can be the person you need to be.  I am owning my emotions so I can let them go while moving forward.  Due to the circumstances and as a sign of self-respect, I have to go.  Maybe one day you will realize you hurt the one girl who would never hurt you.

“People will teach you how to love by not loving you back.  People will teach you how to forgive by not apologizing.  People will teach you kindness by their judgment.  People will teach you how to grow by remaining stagnant.  Pay attention when you’re going through painful and mysterious times.  Listen to the wisdom life is trying to teach you.”  ~ Meredith Marple

All the very best to you and thank you for all the life lessons.”

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
XX

** I hope you are enjoying the Project-Self blogs so far. Thank you to everyone for reading and liking them.  As I write I learn and as I learn I write.  Working on myself is a process but it’s also one I enjoy doing and I hope you do too in your own life ❤

** “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” is available at online bookstores worldwide and at FriesenPress online bookstore.  I am grateful for all the love from my readers.  Please check out the wonderful reviews people have left on my website 😀

~ Dare to live courageously…

 

 

How To Say “No” With Grace and Love

Creating-Healthy-Boundaries

For many women and some men, just the thought of having to say “no” to someone or set a boundary can create the sweaty palms, a racing heart and feelings of shame.

I recently attended an event that a friend of mine created and I was honoured to be one of her guest speakers.  My topic was centered on how to take care of yourself while taking care of your business.  We always take care of our clients and colleagues only to find out later that we forgot to take care of ourselves along the way too.  Why do we do that?  Maybe we were just brought up that way, we don’t want to disappoint others because we know how bad it feels, or is it because we don’t have the right words to let someone down with grace and love?  On the other hand, is taking care of yourself before taking care of others a selfish act?  One thing I do know is that I’ve been there and I’ve learned from my mistakes.  I am a helping professional on two levels, a life coach and a nurse.  Saying “no” is usually not part of my vocabulary but over the years, I realized it can be and asking for help is a sign of strength, contrary to popular belief.  If you ignore your boundaries, you are headed for burnout.

In order to have a more well-balanced life, something’s gotta give.  Where do we draw that blurred line?  A great place to start is with the oxygen mask theory by putting your own oxygen mask on first because caring for others requires taking care of yourself first.  You can only give the oxygen in your tank so you must monitor it at all times so you have enough to give to others. It is about creating a healthy boundary for you.

Cheryl Richardson, a guest on the Oprah Show and author of The Art of Extreme Self-Care says “when we all care deeply for ourselves we naturally begin to care for others, our work, friends and family in a healthier, more effective way.  We tell the truth.  We make choices from love instead of guilt and obligation.”  My favourite chapter in her book is called “Let Me Disappoint You” which is about mastering the art of disappointing people, learning ways on how to manage their disappointment by not taking it personally and by setting some boundaries by saying “no” out of respect for ourselves.  Clearly, there will be times in your life where a “no” is inappropriate but when you have a real choice, consider your options before jumping in and saying “yes!”

So how do we end the madness?

*Buy some time…when someone asks a request of you take your time to give your response.  You could even say “I need to check with someone before I commit” (even if that someone is you).  Prepare the other person that you might not be able to commit upfront so they can consider other options if needed.

*Absolute yes or no…is this request something you absolutely need to do or not do?  When you use the word absolute, it changes the importance and urgency of the request just a tad which can be helpful in making a decision.

*Tell the truth with grace and love.  You can say “I feel bad about letting you down but I need to, my plate is full.”  Don’t leave the door open when you need a lock.  There is no need to over explain which is what most of us tend to do because we feel guilty.

One of the hardest things to do is say “no” to someone you care about and having to manage their disappointment.  However, what’s even harder is saying “yes” to someone you care about when you really want to say “no” then having to manage your anger and resentment towards them long term.  Think about what drains you and what replenishes you.  After all, this is your life and you are in charge of it.  Remember, you are not responsible for everyone’s happiness or sadness for that matter.  You are most responsible for your own.

Take good care of yourself…and live an authentic, meaningful life.

Much Grace and Love,

Jennifer