There’s a saying that goes, “Dress not for the job you have, but the job you want.” And no doubt, that advice applies not only to job seekers and the ambitious, but it can apply to all areas of your life. Having some personal respect helps you exude confidence even when in those situations where you’re unsure or not as confident as you should be.

happy couple enjoy luxury sunset on the beach during summer vacations
happy couple enjoy luxury sunset on the beach during summer vacations

After all, to feel good is to look good. This exudes confidence and is comfortable in your skin. As another saying goes, “Fake it until you make it.” The idea here is to put on an outward display of how you want to be seen and thought about and act accordingly until that’s the image that others have for you. Again, it falls under the idea of having some personal respect for yourself.

Understanding Self Respect

But what exactly is personal respect? Personal respect — also known as self-respect — is a state of being. It begins as a process of knowing what your ethics and morals are, understanding your individual attributes and weaknesses, and accepting all your good with your bad.

In other words, it’s being self-aware that you have some good qualities and bad ones. And it involves treating them as part of your whole being, not as a strength or weakness, as that may only cause unnecessary guilt.

Be Honest With Yourself

Take some time to self-reflect on what you do well and what you don’t do as well. Don’t be harsh on yourself, though, if you fall short of your ideal expectations. Instead, just try to become aware of what you do well and want for your life. If you fall short somewhere, strive to improve those weaker areas. Ask friends, colleagues, and trained professionals to evaluate what you believe to be true about yourself, and take heed of the advice they give you.

Accept What You Can Change (And What You Can’t)

Understand that there are things you may do well and things that you don’t do as well, especially related to others. Don’t compare yourself to what others have and can do. You don’t know what they sacrificed or the work they did to achieve those things. Other times, there are advantages by birth or location that others may have over you and your advantages over them.

As the saying goes, “Everyone is struggling with something you’re not aware of, so be nice.” And this saying applies to yourself as well. For example, don’t compare how you look with the model in the magazine. You are a different body type than they are. They have professional makeup (even for the male models!), specific lighting, and other tricks to make the outfits look amazing.

Another thing is don’t stress if your hairstyle is different from what you see in magazines or social media. Those images are created to look that way. You’re unique, and you learn to accept how you look. For example, you may have blonde wavy hair or thick straight hair. For others, you may have curls or want to find the perfect curl for the look you’re trying to achieve.

In those cases, you may want to utilize a curl pattern chart or other hairstyling guides to provide some insights into the types of products to highlight your hairstyles. You may have some skills that you take for granted and other skills that require more time to develop and perfect, so be kind to yourself and don’t compare what you have to what others may have.

In short? Accept your strengths and weaknesses, recognize what you do well and give yourself credit for it, and don’t beat yourself up over things you struggle with or don’t do as well as others.

Spend Time On Self-Improvement

As you take stock of your strengths and weaknesses and align those with your life goals, spending time on self-improvement is the next step in improving your self-respect. This is the perfect opportunity to choose to make a positive change in your life.

It can range from increasing your exercise and improving your nutrition, to becoming more educated and adept at a particular skill or interest. All of these are great ways to improve yourself and gain some confidence from accomplishments. And setting aside some time for self-improvement will go a long way toward a better self-image, and belief in yourself will grow as a result.

Be Conscientious Of Your Hygiene

Taking an outward approach to your self-image is just as important as your actual self-image. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall, short, slim, or robust. As was discussed, dressing for how you want people to see you is an essential phase of perceiving you—this is a necessary foundation for reinforcing how you feel about yourself inside.

Part of self-respect is to take the time with personal hygiene. Daily cleaning, washing your hands, routine maintenance such as trimming your nails and hair, and brushing your teeth are basics regardless of your wealth or living status. How we treat ourselves reflects our internal level of self-respect, so taking time for daily personal hygiene is the rudiment toward better wellness and living.