On April 19, 1775, the battles of Lexington and Concord occurred. Signifying the start of the American Revolutionary War.
By the time the war broke out in 1775, it was a long time coming between the American Colonists and Great Britain. Unfair taxation and trade legislation from the British disrupted the economy of the colonists. But Great Britain was desperate to repay its bills from another war. So passing the burden onto the American Colonies seemed to make financial sense to them.
These two were at odds and couldn’t come to a mutual agreement.
With tensions boiling and discontentment across the colonies, an all-out war broke out. And for eight long years, the American Colonists fought Great Britain. Both sides lost tens of thousands of lives in total. But in the end, the American Colonists won. And with the Treaty of Paris, Great Britain recognized American independence.
When it comes to being independent, there first has to be self-respect.
Because it only with respecting yourself can someone be independent, otherwise, being dependent on someone or something shows a lack of self-respect. And to be a confident well-rounded individual, self-respect is a prerequisite. In this article, we are going to explore a little deeper the relationship between self-respect and being independent.
But wait, what is Self-Respect first?
Based on the Merriam-Webster dictionary it is:
“A proper respect for oneself as a human being.”
Okay, that makes sense. Because when you think about it, there is a lot of things we can do that are not giving us our proper respect as human beings. Things such as:
Putting others on a pedestal (aka looking at them as better than yourself)
Not standing up for yourself
Not setting boundaries
You get the idea.
In this super-connected world, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture and not give ourselves the respect we deserve. We have toxic thoughts circling in our head saying “I’m not X, Y z thus I’m a piece of crap”. Thoughts like these don’t make us realize that it’s normal to be imperfect human beings.
And when we think of ourselves as less than regular human beings, it makes it very hard to develop self-respect. Making us prone to being needy for others or opportunities.
So with a better understanding of self-respect (and lack of self-respect), let’s see why self-respect is needed for being an independent individual.
Why Self-respect is needed for being independent?
With self-respect, you don’t see yourself as some holy individual. You just see yourself as another human being with flaws, doing your best to make something of yourself. So when you have self-respect, you will naturally not tolerate anyone or anything that will be degrading to you.
It doesn’t make sense to. Because when you see yourself and everyone else as human beings, you’re not going to think that anybody else is special. You understand that you and the other 7 billion people on earth take a crap, feel fear, happiness, sadness, etc. So again, why disrespect yourself for other people?
It’s kind of silly when you meditate on this idea. Because, with self-respect, you realize that if things don’t work out, you can always start over. Self-respect makes you realize when people or situations are not living up to your standard. Since your standard is all about giving yourself the proper respect as a human being. So when anyone or any situation tries to make you feel less human, that’s a sign that something needs to change.
That being said, let’s see some situations of self-respect showing independence
One area in that self-respect can show independence, is love life.
A lot of people put up with crap from potential lovers in the hopes of getting a date, relationship, or sex. Yet, this is the opposite of a self-respecting human being.
With self-respect, a person will engage with potential lovers and all. However, if the other person is being rude, entitled, etc. Then a self-respecting person will not hesitate to end things and move on. Because nothing is worth degrading yourself for. And for the young men reading this, not even getting laid is worth disrespecting yourself. Self-respect shows you have standards in life and that you are not afraid to walk away when those standards are not met.
Another area that self-respect can help you be independent is in your career.
Anyone who has spent one week at a job knows some people are difficult to work with. They could be the office bully or someone who is trying to get to the top in the company and will trample on anyone to get there. Yet, with a self-respecting individual, you are not independent of anyone or anything. So if people are disrespectful to you, you will take the necessary actions like standing up for yourself, getting your supervisor involved, or finding another job.
Honestly, any time you are interacting with people, your self-respect will help you to make the right choices in being an independent individual. However, let’s be a little more tangible and see what we can do to start developing self-respect.
What can you do to start building self-respect?
I made a video on this, so you can check it out here. But I’ll also give an updated cliff notes version here. To start building self-respect, get your basic affairs in order. And when I say basic affairs, I mean budgeting, fitness, passion project, social life, etc. build self-respect. Also, you want to practice courage and have values to live by.
All these will help in building self-respect. Because all of this gives you the proper respect as a human being. So don’t read this and nod. But read this and take one actionable step.
That being said, what if it’s difficult to develop self-respect?
I understand, I lived 10 years of my life with no self-respect, where I allowed bullies and a toxic parent to affect the way I viewed myself, I let fear hold me back, and not once did I challenge myself.
And whenever I was trying to build self-respect, it was hard and fruitless.
I worked out, read books, tried to be more social, etc. Yet, none of it worked. So what I should have done a lot sooner was to go see a therapist. Sometimes we bury our trauma so much, we don’t know what’s holding us back. And with a therapist, they will help you discover the holdback and help unleash you.
Now some will think therapy is expensive. Yes, it is. But if you had cancer, there is a good chance you will do whatever it takes to get treatment. So when it comes to our mental health, we don’t treat it the same. Listen, you only have one chance at life, and you need to do whatever it takes to become your best self. And to be your best self, you need self-respect. So if therapy can help you, do it. You have to do whatever it takes to become your best self.
Because life will pass you by.
I lost 10 years of my life and there is always going to be a part of me that grieves about it. And I consider myself lucky, so don’t make the same mistake as me. Do your part for yourself. And to exemplify my experience, let me tell how acted with no self-respect and with self-respect.
With no self-respect - Dependent
When I was 22, I worked in a botany lab for the summer. It was a fun job where I did experiments and collected data for the Post-Doctoral students. My coworkers were other students my age and Ph.D. students.
One of the student workers, named Will, started to pick on me. He didn’t do this to the other student workers, but me. He would make fun of me, interrupt me, and just overall not treat me with any respect. One of my friends who worked with me saw all this and didn’t defend me once. I hoped he would defend me, but to no avail.
Because of my lack of self-respect, I let this coworker treat me like this for four months. I didn’t do anything to tell him to stop. I was wishing in my head he would stop, but nothing changed. I wished that my friend would come to my aid eventually, but again, nothing. I had every right to stand up for myself and tell Will I did not appreciate his behavior, but I chose to be powerless. I chose to be dependent on Will stopping or my friend helping me. When this whole time, I had the power to do something, but since I didn’t respect myself, I gave up that power.
With self-respect - Independent
When I was 28, I was working for free at this small consulting firm. The Partner of the firm wanted to offer me employment starting in a couple of months. But for whatever reason, he didn’t immediately offer me a contract. So I asked him to sign a contract and he indicated that he would present the offer on X date.
When the date was about to occur, he told me he would get the contract a week later due to some delays on his end. Again, I was patient. Yet when the new date came and the contract was not presented, I resigned immediately. Although I was leaving this job with no job prospects I had the self-respect to know that I deserve basic professional etiquette. And since I couldn’t get it at this consulting firm, I knew I would find it elsewhere. And I eventually did.
Self-respect will make you realize that you don’t deserve to be treated poorly and that you can do something about it. That’s why self-respect is so crucial for being an independent person. Only an independent person can realize their power and the abundance of opportunities in the world.
That being said, it can be easy to get carried away with too much self-respect.
Now, one of the mistakes people make with self-respect is thinking they don’t have anybody in life (aka being too independent). This is a wrong approach and I’ll tell you why.
You have to understand this, we are social beings (as Aristotle said). So to achieve success in love, career, passion projects, etc. We need to work with other people. Even a king needs his nation to rule and prosper.
Now, with self-respect, it’s all about not being too dependent on others when there is a whole world around you. People who lack self-respect latch onto people or opportunities, thinking that there isn’t anymore in the world. Whereas people with self-respect know that the world is filled with countless people and opportunities, and they can find ones that fit their standard.
So as you build your self-respect, just remember that you won’t tolerate others who don’t meet your standards. But will welcome with open arms those that do.
Self-respect is all about giving ourselves the proper respect as human beings.
Self-respect is needed to be independent since it helps you see yourself and others as human beings. When people or situations don’t meet this standard (dehumanizing), then it’s a sign to walk away.
Self-respect can make you independent in your love life, career, and anything that involves other people.
To start building self-respect, get your basic affairs in order, build courage, and have values.
If building self-respect is difficult, then go see a therapist.
A simple mistake wot make with self-respect is thinking you don’t need anybody. This is a wrong approach. Self-respect makes you independent but you do need to work with others to achieve your goals.
I hope this article clarifies self-respect and being independent.
It seems people talk about being the alpha dude or top dawg, but don’t understand the basics of what creates independent and well-rounded individuals. And self-respect is a part of the basics.
So make it a goal this year to build your self-respect, it’s that important. Important enough for the American Colonists to take on the empire of Great Britain.
Tentative Dates for Releases
Foundation of Personal Development eBook - March 31, 2022, Tentative Price: $9.99 (USD)
The Secret Lair Membership Site - June 2022, Tentative Price: $250 (USD) per year
Keep in mind, these dates can change depending on the circumstances. As we get closer to the release dates, there will be goodies to be given away.