The Keys to Self-Respect

Self-respect, self-confidence, self-empowerment… we can’t have a conversation about success and fulfillment without tackling how we feel about ourselves.

Self-respect is the foundation of all other positive feelings about the self and the antithesis of the one thing we know we should avoid – selfishness. Healthy self-respect is built on a few fundamental truths that should be obvious but can be remarkably hard for many people, particularly creative professionals, to embrace.

Self Respect - A Characteristic of Attractivenss

You deserve to be here

You deserve to be treated well, to pursue, experience, and share happiness and success. Why? Because you ARE here. As a participant in this universe, those things are your birthright.

Self-respect has nothing to do with other people’s opinions

We all love to be admired and respected by others. Praise feels good, criticism feels bad, even if we know deep down that it helps us grow. However, other people’s opinions are their business. Whether someone likes you, your music, or your performance, is entirely out of your hands. Praise (or disregard, ugh) does not change your inherent worth.

Self-respect lives and dies by integrity

Integrity and honesty are the nutrients required to grow and maintain healthy self-respect. This requires not only being honest in your dealings with other people but also being honest with yourself.

Self-honesty is where self-respect often comes up against two opposing (and equally damaging) obstacles. The first is believing that you are not talented enough, good enough, or unique enough, to have anything of worth to offer. The second is believing that you are the best.

You are not the best. If you stand in front of a mirror every morning declaring, “I am the best (fill in the blank) ever!” you are kidding yourself. That isn’t self-respect. That is self-deception in the guise of self-adoration. There will always be people who are more “better” than you are. Even if there isn’t (and I promise there is), the world is just too big to make sure. You can’t be certain. You know it, and that doubt eats away at self-respect.

Growth breeds self-respect

So, you aren’t the best. That’s great news! That means you can continue to grow and improve. Everything we do, every person we meet, and circumstance we encounter changes us. Even the cells in our bodies are completely replaced every few years. Change and growth are critical to life.

As you pursue and achieve your goals, you are continually changing. Achieving success is wonderful, but it isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing is who you have become along the way.  

Become a person who strives to gratefully enrich the lives of others. A person who embraces his own worth and the inherent worth of every other human being. A person who uses her talents to improve the world in whatever way possible. Live to be a person like that, and you will be and feel worthy of anyone’s respect – particularly your own.

Are you looking to create a profitable, fulfilling career as a performing classical musician? Check out Concert University and the free webinar that will teach you five strategies to escape the feast-or-famine cycle. If you would like to hear the live discussion about this characteristic, head on over to now