After recently writing about a Poem by Charles Chaplin on Self Love and Self Respect I decided it was time to write about how to start reclaiming our own self love and self esteem.

You may wonder why I chose the word “Reclaiming” within my title instead of simply naming this article “Four Easy Steps Towards Self Love And Self Esteem”…. the reason why to me it was important to use the word “Reclaiming” is due to the fact that I believe all of us have experienced Self Love and Self Esteem.   This is not an article aimed only for those who feel at one point in their adolescence or adult life felt secure on themselves, and then experience an event which left them feeling as if they lost these “attributes”.   Self Love and Self Esteem otherwise know as Self Respect are not attributes, they are not add-ons but part of who we are.

When we were born we were not born without these; it is through our early experiences in life when either these character traits were fortified or we lost them.   At one point or another YOU knew how to love yourself, even if it was so long ago you can’t even remember it.  At one point in your life you saw yourself and your surroundings with wonder; you knew what you wanted and liked before anyone else.  At one point in your life you were fearless, yet something happened which hinder the growth of these character traits.

It may have been your own caregivers, it may have been society in general who taught you to believe on how not to trust your judgement… how to give up on what was healthy self love in exchange for the over misunderstood, over valued “self sacrifice”; teaching you that in order to be good first you had to be good to your neighbor.

They forgot to teach us that our first love should be us!…only when we truly love ourselves and our spirits are full can we give to others out of the fountain found within our own spirit.  They forgot to teach us we are worthy of being heard even if our opinions were not to be the ones followed.  They forgot they were dealing with pure raw energy and power in child form; castrating our minds and our spirits for the sake of a society which thrives on guilt and self sacrifice.   We were subjugated to a society which erroneously asks us to give our power to so called more knowledgeable leaders who don’t even know who we really are.  They forgot to teach us the difference between a guide and a controller.

How much further would we be if they actually would have let us blossom…protecting us when we needed shelter and protection from the abuse of others, teaching us the difference of self entitlement vs self love appropriately.  How much further ahead would we be as human beings and as a society if we had been taught not only mechanical disciplines based on false rewards systems; but also had spent time teaching us to become introspective, to meditate, to see all disciplines as a whole vs seeing them as separate branches.  More importantly how much further would we be if they actually taught us we were powerful not powerless; teaching us that one man/woman CAN change the world, but it starts with believing and working first on yourself.

I believe if our society taught us more to value our inner power to create, we would make healthier choices.  It is only natural if you were taught you were precious; based on who you are and your own developing of your gifts not based on overprotection and over giving; then you would treat yourself as the precious being that you are.  We would not go around looking for ways to self destruct, to inflict pain to our souls because we feel so unworthy that we need to tolerate and seek punishment in order to make some sense of our unhealthy unfulfilling lives.

If we saw our selves as precious, we would respect others way of living and thinking without feeling threatened because we ourselves feel satisfied and respected.  If we saw ourselves as precious we would NOT seek drugs, pornography, alcohol, promiscuity, vengeance in order to band aid the pain within ourselves; we would recognize within us lies the answers to our problems.  If we saw our selves as worthy, we would not be afraid of our shadow, rather we would embrace it as one embraces a best friend who is there not simply to give you what you feel you want; even if its detrimental to yourself; but instead gives you what you need to continue discovering more of your inner power.

Respect is the basis of love, and love is the basis of self-esteem. In order to first raise you your self-esteem, you need to first respect yourself.

People who do not respect themselves; in its true sense not in some type of pious, dutiful way but by presenting themselves for who they really are; lack sincerity, lack self responsibility, and can exposed different types of self-destructive behaviors, not just addictions.  If they can learn to promote true respect for themselves, they could bring about great changes in their lives.

It is not necessary for you to experience a drastic lack of self respect in order for these steps to be useful.  If you can learn to respect yourself even a little more; becoming more genuine, learning to say what you mean and not what you think others want to hear; then your self-esteem will grow in an amazing way. It does not hurt anyone of us to work on improving our level of sincerity and responsibility.

How to foster self love and self respect:
Be Honest With Yourself….Learn to know and accept yourself. Recognize what you like, what you really want, and what makes you feel bad. Do not tell lies, and do not try to pretend to be someone you are NOT even before your own eyes.
Do Your Work…. Even if you feel bad, DO NOT neglect your tasks or pending issues. Work on all of them, one at a time. This way you will feel more and more relieved, and you will begin to see yourself as someone responsible…

Fulfill All Your Promises… Integrity above all. Keep all the promises you make to others, unless there is a major reason stopping you from doing so.  Learn to take the time to weigh the promise you are about to make; don’t ever make a promise to someone out of a desire to get approval.  Above all, fulfill your own promises…

Accept That Only You Are Responsible For Your Life… Only you can make your life better. From now on decide to take control of your life. If you have dreams work towards them; let them become your greatest motivation. You will need constant work and effort, but if you stay motivated enough, YOU WILL ACCOMPLISH THEM…

These tips are key to learn to respect yourself… Make them part of your life. They are the first step necessary for you to raise your self-esteem…and if you already live with respect by being genuine no matter what others think, then remember you can use these tips to reaffirm your commitment to being the real YOU even more…