How you value, and see, yourself is a reflection of how you represent or ‘sell’ yourself to others.
What is self-regard, you may ask?
What comes to mind for many is ‘self –respect’, while others may think of it as being ‘conceited’ or ‘vain’. Self-regard, however, is the ability to accept and respect one’s strengths and weaknesses. It is the ability to still feel good about yourself despite your weaknesses.
Why is self-regard important?
In your journey to success, whether it be for personal growth, financial gain or to climb the corporate ladder, a true and in-depth understanding of yourself is important. If we are able to identify and accept our own strengths and weaknesses, it allows for us to praise ourselves where praise is due as well as acknowledge the shortcomings we need to work on.
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Know your weaknesses
By knowing your own weaknesses, it will be easier for you to accept constructive criticism from others and not take things personally. Often, our emotions cloud our mind and constructive criticism is seen in a negative and confrontational manner.
This may cause us to retract and instantly get defensive, resulting in unnecessary conflict, lack of communication as well as missing out on an opportunity to learn and better ourselves by listening to what others have to say.
The importance of giving yourself praise
Not giving yourself praise, where it’s due, may be hindering your path to success. By not giving yourself that ‘pat on the back’, you are lowering your self-esteem and down-playing your positive attributes and achievements. It is in our nature to want to be rewarded for an achievement, so why has it become the norm to be so hard on ourselves?
How often do you find that you cannot accept a compliment? Why is that? Do you feel unworthy? Do you feel guilty to accept it? If you do accept it, does it make you feel vain in some way?
How many times have you seen a woman get a compliment for looking beautiful in her dress and the most common reply is her getting shy and down-playing it by saying: “Oh this old thing? I bought it years ago at a cheap flea market I barely fit into it anymore.” Or you tell a friend that he is such an inspiration for climbing the corporate ladder so fast and he replies: “It was just luck. I was in the right place at the right time.”
Finding the balance
Your self-regard is more important than you may have thought, when it comes to your future success. It is important to find a healthy balance between self-praise and self-criticism. We need to be proud of positive qualities and achievements, accept a compliment; you worked hard for it and deserve it. There is nothing wrong with smiling and gracefully saying “Thank you”.
You will be a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to others, to also start owning their achievements. Similarly, accepting that you have weaknesses and owning up to them sets the stage for you to view them as developmental areas, which you can improve on.
If you humbly accept that you are not perfect, because none of us are, then you open up the door to accept positive criticism and benefit by learning from it; and can work on improving yourself.
In the corporate world, one of the most important emotional intelligence factors that employers look for is the ability to accept constructive criticism, and the willingness to keep on improving and growing. This is not possible without having a healthy self-regard.
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Top 6 tips to improve your self-regard:
- Look at the glass as half full, not half empty.
- Focus on your success. Do not dwell on past failures, rather look at them as an opportunity to learn from.
- Accept a compliment, there is a reason you are getting it.
- Emphasise your strengths, not your weaknesses.
- Acknowledge your weaknesses and accept constructive criticism; if you don’t, you will never know what you are doing wrong or how to fix it.
- Look at your weaknesses as areas of development. We all have them, it’s not the end of the world but don’t pretend they are not there, work on them.