I hung up the phone today with a different feeling then ever before… I had a sigh of relief. I had finally told the person who I continued to keep in my life, that I just couldn’t do it anymore and that I deserved more respect then that.

That was the day I finally learned what self-respect was.

Self-respect is defined as “pride and confidence in oneself; a feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity.”

But what does that really mean to you? For me it took me to hit the ‘enough is enough’ in my life before I truly understood what it meant.

I do know what self-respect isn’t, it isn’t …

  • Letting that same person hurt you over and over again
  • It isn’t allowing a guy to cheat/lie
  • It isn’t letting someone take credit for your work
  • It isn’t apologizing for who you are
  • It isn’t cutting yourself down or letting others to

* if you have any of this in your life, please reevaluate**

Self-respect is…

  • Walking away from anything less then what you deserve
  • Having standards for yourself and sticking to you
  • Letting go of people that bring you down
  • Not running from bed to bed, man to man
  • Not apologizing for you who are
  • Being honest with what you want and actually only allowing that in your life
  • Chasing the dreams you have
  • Surrounding yourself with empowering people

It took me many years to understand that this meant. I don’t think I can share what self-respect is and isn’t without being more honest with my journey to find it.

Self-respect is just like self-love and finding your own beauty. I have dated guys over and over again that didn’t show me respect and I allowed each of them to treat me that way. I let guys cheat, lie, bail on plans and make promises they didn’t keep. I allowed them to not treat me with respect of honesty, courage and love and it was all because I didn’t know what I deserved. It is so easy to say what self-respect is and tell other people, but to do it yourself is hard. You have to let go of people you don’t want to. I finally understand that all I was doing was hurting myself, I was not respecting myself at all. I allowed these guys to take advantage of me and give them multiple chances regardless of how they treated me. The day I walked away from the last one was my step toward understanding what I deserved. It was hard, I cried, I wasn’t sure on my decision but I stuck with it…and I am glad I did. I now only allow respect. If I do not receive it I explain what needs to change and if it doesn’t I walk away. Want to know how it feels to do this… FREE. It feels free.

Self-respect is not only in dating but it also in the way you allow others to treat you, through friendship, through work environment and through what people say about you. You are allowed to stand up for yourself, you are allowed to not be treated wrongly. But you also have to be able to share your feelings to them because some people don’t realize what they are doing and then you get to choose what you do next.

Self-respect also comes from within. You need to feed your body with the right nutrients, you need to speak kindly to yourself and your body and you need to make sure you laugh daily.

So if you do anything today, give yourself a reality check on how much self-respect you give yourself and make changes if you need to. I promise you it is worth it.