Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Learning Respect

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." – Maryanne Williamson
Since it’s December, I’ve been thinking about doing a reflection piece on a lesson learned this year, but couldn't pick one to focus on. I stumbled upon this quote the other day, and it really got me thinking about a lot of the conversations that I’ve had over the past year.

And so here is my lesson learned and advice to you: love yourself; and above all, respect yourself.

I truly believe that our fear of incompetence has, time and again, prevented us from achieving greatness. But why are we more afraid of our light, our talents, and our significance? We constantly allow people to take advantage of us, and hide behind the shadows of others in the name of humility. Over time, this becomes a habit. We allow our self-image to shrink, and in return, self-respect begins to fade. Then, when people treat us badly, we accept it. We don’t challenge; we don’t refuse to be treated that way; we don’t stand up for ourselves. We just accept. And that acceptance becomes a signal to people that it’s ok to treat you badly, and the cycle continues. Often, inaction is the loudest, clearest action. But it’s time to break that cycle. Do not stand for disrespect.

Stop thinking that you’re not good enough. There is nothing wrong with you. You have incredible potential that you are completely unaware of because you are worried about your imperfections and insecurities. But it’s time to let go of self-pity. You are a person – an amazing person. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that. You will strive for greatness, and if people try to hold you back, you will let them go. You will not settle because you deserve better. You deserve the best.

Now I’m not saying become a self-involved egotistical person. I’m saying give yourself credit. You don’t want to look back on your life years from now and think, I could have done better. Do better now. And the first step is to respect yourself. Love yourself. And trust me, it will change your life in unthinkable ways.

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