Self-Regard simply put, is the way in which we regard or disregard ourselves. Self- regard refers to feelings of positivity and acceptance towards ourselves, knowing and appreciating our positive qualities as well as negative qualities but loving ourselves through it all. Having a positive self-regard is associated with feelings of self-confidence, self-acceptance, self-respect and self-assuredness. Individuals with a healthy self-regard are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and still feel good about themselves.
Self-regard is an essential element of a person’s identity and therefore plays into every aspect of their life, including the workspace. Self-regard will determine if you are secure and trusting in relationships. Self-regard will determine how you respond to disappointments and challenges. Self-regard will also affect the way you interact with others especially in conflict situations. A person will a healthy and positive self-regard will have the self-confidence to take on challenges, recover quickly from set-backs, will push themselves to achieve at higher levels, and will be recognised as being confident and capable.
Guidelines for enhancing Self-Regard:
Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses; know what your weaknesses are but don’t dwell on them. Focus on the positive. Remember that nobody is perfect.
Be aware of all those things you tell yourself to put yourself down. Write these negative thoughts down in a journal. Think of a healthier, more positive thought to challenge or negate each negative thought. Beliefs are not cast in stone and you can at any point shift the limiting beliefs that are holding you back including those that negate your self-regard.
Life can disappoint us and it is through set-backs that we learn and grow. What’s important is not how often you stumble, but how quickly you get back up.
Take responsibility for your happiness
Life is full of choices, even happiness is a choice. As rational thinking beings we can at any stage choose to make a change in our lives – all it requires is some strength and courage. Don’t wait for other people to make you happy.
Your needs matter
It’s OK to be selfish. At times you must prioritise your needs. If you continuously put your needs aside to please others you will be setting a precedent and others will soon take advantage of this. Why should anyone else be more important to you, than yourself? The only exception is perhaps a mother-child relationship. Set boundaries with others and be assertive.
Keep good company
Toxic relationships are extremely hazardous to your mental health. People who constantly take without giving in return, who leave you emotionally drained and feeling bad about yourself are no good and need to be weeded out of your life.
Set goals and track them
Don’t take a laissez-faire approach to your life. Put pen to paper and actively map out goals for yourself and monitor your progress along the way. When you have achieved a goal or a particular step along the way, mark it and take note of it. This will help you to be more mindful of your progress and achievements which is encouraging and helps you to stay motivated and positive. Often in our fast-paced lives today, we achieve something and quickly move on to the next agenda without taking the time to reflect on what we have done or reward ourselves for our efforts. Give back to yourself, you deserve it!
Be aware that your inner state is known by others even when we are not expressing our true feelings. This information is gathered by the emotional brain. Therefore, being connected in an authentic way (not being afraid of who you are) and being connected to your greatness or potential is important as others can sense this.
As soon as you become aware that you no longer wish to have these negative thoughts about yourself. You have the power to change it. Simply by accepting negative feelings and releasing them, as they arise. You have the power to change your thoughts, feelings and intentions and in so doing change your life.
By enhancing your-self-regard, you will feel more content and confident about who you are. Your chances of success and fulfilment in both your professional and personal life will be enhanced.