Respect is not given but is earned.
I’ll give you a guess on how it’s earned.
You said ‘put yourself first?’
Don’t Be a Dick
Put yourself first doesn’t mean eating all the doughnuts in the break room before anybody else gets there.
It doesn’t mean putting yourself in front of the line at the bar.
And it definitely doesn’t mean finishing first. (ladies can thank me later)
Putting yourself first has nothing to with being an inconsiderate dick, it’s about taking care of yourself because… who else will?
People might not like it all the time. but they’re not the ones that has to look at your beautiful mug in the mirror every morning.
Put Yourself First… First
You’ve got to be your number one fan, not your mom, not your girlfriend, YOU. You’ve got to believe you’re worthy of putting yourself first before anything else can happen.
You don’t slap a steak onto the frying pan before adding the oil, that’s how it gets burnt. If you don’t want to get burnt, you’ve got to believe in what you’re selling and it starts with this.
Live life according to your values.
What are your values?
Pick a random number of people you admire, let’s say 5.
What qualities/actions of those people do you admire? What do you not like as much?
Then pick 5 people you love to hate.
What qualities/actions of those people make you choke like you’ve got a hair on your tongue? What makes you gag less?
The qualities/actions that appear on both lists?
That’s your ten commandments. It tells you what you must do and what you musn’t do at all costs lest you incur the wrath of the gods of self-respect. And believe me, you don’t want to know what that feels like. But you should, at least once, so you remember the pain.
The other items on your list are your periphery values. The ones that appear more have more weight and that’s how you should order them in terms of importance.
Your goal is to align yourself with all the values no matter how important they are, but if you’re just starting start from the top.
Self-respect is something you have to build and I’m glad for that. It means that you have some level of control of how you feel about yourself and how others treat you.
Why people respect self-respect
People buy Ferraris to signal to others how much money they have and what kind of person they are. Having self-respect is like walking around in a Ferrari, you signal to others the quality of your character. People who have character have high standards for themselves, and people who have high standards for themselves have high standards for the people around them, so people treat you accordingly.
It also signals you take action. Self-respect isn’t a passive endeavor. If self-respect was an iPhone app, it would be Flappy Bird. You have to constantly tap at your values to maintain a high level of self-respect and sometimes it means doing things that aren’t easy. Like confrontation.
If you treat yourself and others well, you’ll come to expect the same from others and sometimes you’ll have to confront them. There’s no “best” way to handle it, you just have to confront them in accordance to your values.
If you’re not a fighting guy, don’t fight. If you are a fighting guy, punch first.
If You Can’t Even Take Care of Yourself
If you can’t even take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of the people around you? Your friends? Your family?
You to practice putting yourself first so that when you need it to take care of the people around you, you can actually do something.
It’s like a stick of chapstick, either you use it or lose it.
So if you haven’t heard it enough, here it is one more time.
Put yourself first.