These days all of us have been wondering why we don’t do well on international forums? Why we don’t win matches on foreign soil or we don’t get more Olympic medals. Is it just the lack of opportunities? Just the politics of our system?
It is something more than that. It is our inability to value and respect our own self. Why is it that we recognise the win and not the effort? Why is it that we can appreciate the medal and not the attempt?
Forget anyone else. How often do we appreciate our own self? When we do something big or out of ordinary? I have often heard people say that I want to do “big” things in life. What are these big things? Winning an Olympic medal? A lot of people have done that. Bolt has done it thrice in one year! Saving someone’s life? A lot of people have done that too! Making millions of dollars? Someone has done that too. So how is it big?
Why do I want to do big things? Why does my self respect depend on doing big thing?
We go on about how no one appreciates us and no one values our work. First let me ask do you? When do you feel proud of yourself? When was the last time you praised yourself? When did you last appreciate the effort you put in something?
The last time I felt proud of myself was when someone else acknowledged my achievement. The last time I praised myself was when I got a star in my homework in kindergarten. The last time I appreciated my effort was when someone else appreciated my work.
Sounds familiar? All of us are guilty of this. And it doesn’t end there. I thanked my friend for all the help he gave for a work I did. His typical response was “I hardly did anything. It was a small thing”. Usme kya badi baat hai. Yeh to mera farz tha sounds good in movies. Why can’t we accept that even our small gestures may mean something to someone? That had I not done that small gesture the other person would have still been struggling. Because we do not respect ourselves.
How often do we appreciate ourselves for the small things we do. I asked a woman to write down ten good things she did in a day for a period of one week. She came back to me with a blank diary. “ I didn’t do anything”. Then we discussed what she did as a part of her routine. So she woke up at 5 a.m, cooked for the whole family, got everyone ready, went to work etc. etc. And all this is not good? No everyone does this so why should I list it as something good. So would you blame yourself if you did not do all this? Would you call yourself a bad wife/mother/employee if you did not manage all this? Yes all of us would. Because we don’t respect ourselves.
So why is that the absence of something is bad but the presence of the same thing not good?
I went to this friend’s place for lunch and she had this scrumptious meal waiting for me which would put five star restaurants to shame. And the first thing she said to me was “have not made much”. Why do we need to this? Why this constant need to put oneself down? Because we don’t respect ourselves.
It is just not our work. We don’t respect anything about us. How many of us look into the mirror and appreciate what we have? I would look good “if only” ………We abuse our body, our features, our complexion but we want others to appreciate it.
We don’t respect our belongings. You go to someone’s house and the first thing you hear is “please ignore the mess’. I have often wanted to say I am not from the garbage disposal company. I am here to meet you not take stock of your house. Someone compliments on our dress and the prompt reply is “It’s an old one”.
I am by far no management expert (see how in built putting myself down is). But if I keep criticizing my own product, if I keep going on and on about how below the mark it is, how will anyone believe it to be good.
Respecting yourself, appreciating the things you do is not blowing your own trumpet. It is not being egoist. It is about giving credit where it is due. I am not asking you to go tell everyone how good you are I am just asking you to stop telling yourself how insignificant you are.
When we put ourselves down constantly we in turn give others the right to put us down. We teach our children that self respect doesn’t matter.
According to me big things are made up of small things. Stopping at a red light, looking after my family, giving someone a home cooked meal, being someone’s friend. If you do that then you have my respect and you should have your own too.
Everybody can respect the big
It takes a special person to respect the small
Everybody can respect the winner
It takes a special person to respect the one who tried winning
Everybody can respect the other
It takes a special person to respect me
Be that special someone…..