Self-Respect vs Self-Esteem — What’s the Difference?
Self-respect and self-esteem are not the same. Self-respect is a component of self-esteem and is based on valuing yourself for who you are. Self-esteem concentrates on the value you give to your abilities and skills.
Self-respect refers to the positive feelings that you have about yourself; you value who you are. It is these feelings that make you act in such a way so that you can maintain that positive regard for yourself.
Having self-respect is very important. It is a form of self-love, showing that you accept yourself for who you are, no matter what others say. If you are lacking self-respect, you can easily be ridiculed and put down by others. It is much more productive to take positive action based on having a healthy self-respect, regardless of your thoughts and feelings. Your actions also will help improve your self-esteem.
Having a diminished, or lack of, self-respect makes it hard to exist in everyday society because others are constantly hammering on how you feel about yourself by the way that they treat you, and by the way that you allow yourself to be treated. Having self-respect reinforces that you have standards and principles by which you live. When you set boundaries that you do not let others cross, you are reinforcing your self-respect.
Self-respect is not something that applies only to a certain type of person. Everyone has self-respect. It is what makes you value yourself as a human being. When you learn to respect yourself you can learn to respect others as well.
Self-esteem comes from how you think and feel about yourself. It refers to the value that you have for your specific abilities. If those abilities and skills are challenged, it is up to you to deflect those challenges, thereby maintaining both your self-respect and self-esteem.
It can easily be damaged by the opinions of others, since they are usually challenging the skills that confirm your self-esteem. When you feel that your skills are deteriorating or are not up to standard because of the remarks you get from others, you will have problems with your self-esteem. On the contrary, your self-respect cannot be destroyed so easily.
You can still feel good about yourself, though you may temporarily be feeling down that your skills and abilities are not as strong as you believed. Therein lies the difference between self-respect and self-esteem. When you have a healthy self-respect, the path back to self-esteem is far less difficult.
If you want to improve your self-esteem, enhance self-love and improve your overall feelings about your life. Action is the most powerful force for positive change you can apply. Combine action with positive thinking, and you have the ability to improve both your self-respect and your self-esteem.
Self-esteem comes from feeling good about yourself because you have a personal satisfaction from successfully completing what you do. In wanting to maintain that feeling and keep your self-esteem elevated, you are likely to maintain the level of accomplishments that you are currently achieving. Your confidence rises from your self-worth and abilities, and the hard work it took to achieve them.
While self-respect and self-esteem are intricately intertwined, there are differences, and you need to pay attention to all aspects of both to achieve and maintain the positive feelings about yourself that they provide.