I have recently observed a significant increase in my self-respect and a correlating decrease in my tolerance for bullsugar. How about that.
Here are five things that happen when you stop caring about what others think and start living a life true to yourself:
1. You feel better.
In every way: physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. You start taking care of you instead of everyone else. I used to put everything and everyone else before myself, convinced that by doing so I was “building a beautiful life for my future self.”
Then it dawned on me:
I am the foundation for this beautiful life and as such I have to make sure the foundation is a strong one. That means putting my health and well-being first. In the long-term everything else will benefit from me taking care of myself.
If you still need justification, think of it this way: everything you work for is an extension of you. It would be nothing without you–not the other way around. By this logic, by taking care of you, you ARE taking care of everything else (work, relationships, etc.) by securing it with a strong foundation.
2. Others start to respect you, too.
You set the example. You set the standard. You are the opening act. If you don’t show consideration, respect and dignity towards yourself, nobody else will either. The relationships you end up keeping (whether by choice or by chance) will be the ones that mirror the relationship you have with yourself. This includes friendships, professional relationships and romantic relationships. We like validation for the beliefs we already hold, and if those beliefs are that we are somehow insignificant or inferior, it’s quite detrimental.
3. You get the things you REALLY want.
Actions follow thought and we can self-sabotage without even knowing it. If we don’t believe that we are worthy of the things we need and want, we act in ways that make it so. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. First we have to ask ourselves what it is that we truly need. Then we can manifest it into our lives through GRATITUDE for what we have and EXPECTATION for what we want/need.
4. Everything improves.
Work gets better. Schools gets better. Your body image gets better. Waking up gets easier. Going out is more fun. Staying in is more fun. Food tastes better. The sun shines brighter. Why? Because you finally believe you deserve these things and you’re open to accepting them. Others look at you with respect and treat you accordingly. You find yourself doing things that make you feel alive. You’re taking care of yourself. Your health improves. Life feels better.
5. You clean up your friends list.
No, I’m not talking about Facebook (although you probably will do that, too). This happens both naturally and intentionally. Most of us have toxic people in our lives. Can you think of anyone who, after interacting with them, you feel drained or slightly depressed?
These people feed off of cynicism, pessimism and negativity. When we don’t respect ourselves, we remain a constant supply for these emotional vampires. Passivity is an open invitation for them to continue to disrespect and take advantage of us. Stand up for yourself like you would your little sister. Speak up when people are wrong. Defend your decisions. Don’t explain yourself. Keep some stuff to yourself. You don’t have to be accepted or approved of by anyone else. Approve of your own damn self.
I’m still working on this and everyday it gets easier. It’s truly astounding to see how life unfolds when you change your trajectory. So do it. Live better.