10 Questions to Test Your Self-Awareness & Self-Respect

Self-respect is about having strong, appropriate boundaries because we have standards for how others should treat us.
— J A Santosa

There's no prerequisite for worthiness... or self-hugs.

There's no prerequisite for worthiness... or self-hugs.


Do you believe you are worthy of the best?

This will sound arrogant - but I fall more in love with who God has made me to be, the older I become. I'm 28 next year, and while I'm seeing first "laughter lines" on my forehead, I much prefer 'me' now to 'me' 10 years ago, all tight youth and smooth skin considered.

It took me years to learn what self-respect looked like. I'd say yes to everything; feared standing up to unbelievably rude customers or co-workers. I used to chase boys, alter my personality to suit their needs. I would even put up with their friends treating me horribly. I thought I wasn't trying hard enough with them. I believed I needed to change. Do more favours, be more agreeable. 

It tires me to even think about it. 

                                                                                     Photo credit: James Cresswell (cresswellphotography.com.au)                                                                                       I'll defend you, friend.

Today, I have countless people approaching me when things turn sour for them, because I'm not afraid to bust some balls (excuse my language). I am passionate about people being treated correctly, and if I am dishing out unjustifiable rudeness you are free to pull me up. Honestly.


So this is what I'm getting at: Self Respect is complicated. Largely, it has to do with our understanding of how we should be treated, and what we have the right to say yes or no to. We won't know the answers to these questions unless we reflect.


And self-stocktake is taxing.


Once we do this, our level of self-understanding will grow. Are we allowing ourselves to be treated justly? 

Is my Manager at work condescending me? 

Is she allowed to do this because she's my superior? 

Am I trying too hard to impress this girl? 

Self-respect is about having strong, appropriate boundaries because we have standards for how others should treat us.


Once we harness the power to say "No, I'm sorry Mr Tse, I have other plans with my friends in about an hour and so I'm not able to drive you home today," and accept that the person we are saying NO to might not be happy with that, because their emotions are NOT our responsibility, anvils unclasp themselves off our ankles, freeing us of weight that is not ours to carry. 


This will not be the last post I write on self-respect and boundaries. I absolutely LOVE writing about this issue and seeing people freed of unnecessary stress that comes from over-responsibility.



So here they are:

10 Questions to Test Your Self-Awareness & Self-Respect


1. If my friend were being treated like this by his/her partner, would I see this as acceptable behaviour?

 Ask yourself this when:

  • You are wondering whether you have a right to be angry at your significant other. Sometimes, spinning it around so that it's about your best friend and not you will give you the exact perspective you need for any situation.
  • You are wondering whether you should stay and work it out, or leave the relationship for good. The latter is a bitter pill to swallow, but maturity is making decisions that will benefit all parties, most crucially ourselves.


2. If I were my significant other/potential significant other, would I date me?

 Ask yourself this when:

  • You wonder if you are being too clingy or needy, or too invested in a potential relationship.
  • You wonder how you are coming across to a potential date/suitor.
  • Would you find you annoying? Or if you can make a case for yourself, is this a level of understanding your potential person is not capable of yet?


3. If I were watching me in a TV Show, would I least respect me as a character?

 Ask yourself this when:

  • You are wondering how much the consequences of your actions will affect others. 
  • You are wondering if you're more like Donna or Scotty from Suits when it comes to love.
  • If you're more of a Friends fan, do you feel you're being uptight about a situation like Monica, or carefree and asinine like Joey?


4. Would I want my son/daughter to copy what I’m doing right now? Would I be worried about them if they had my habits?

Ask yourself this when:

  • You are wondering if your actions will have long term consequences.
  • You are testing how proud or ashamed you will feel if you continue in stated habits.
  • One day about 79% of us will bring tiny bubs into the world, and those tots will emulate our behaviours. Scary thing to think about, but true.
                                                                                         Is this your little boy?

                                                                                         Is this your little boy?


5. Is this a story I'd be proud to tell my grandchildren?

Ask yourself this when:

  • You're about to do something stupid or reckless and thrill is your primary motivation.
  • You anticipate that what you're about to do is not going to end beautifully.
  • I often ask myself this question when people ask me to download the Tinder app. Nothing against Tinder users - but I'm a hopeless romantic and would prefer to tell my kids I met their Dad in the cheese aisle at the supermarket than over a SmartPhone app. [Insert please-forgive-me smile emoticon here].


6. If a camera were following me, would I let them record this moment?

Ask yourself this when:

  • You're about to fly off the handle and react out of anger.
  • You are wondering if you can justify something on a Talk Show. (Yes, pretend you're about to be interviewed by Oprah or Rove & Sam).
  • This one is about personal and outside accountability. We think no one is watching, or that our lives are no one's business, but I don't think that's true. The person who truly loves and values themselves lives to contribute to others, and part of this is leadership by example. (More on this later.)
The crew that'll film your life story.

The crew that'll film your life story.


7. If Steven Spielberg knocked on my door and asked to make a movie about my life, would I say "Of course you could!”?

Ask yourself this when:

  • You're wondering what the next step is.
  • You're taking stock of what you've accomplished this year, and in your life so far.
  • Donald Miller of storylineblog.com asked me to ask myself this. It was really confronting, and then comforting. It's really asking: Are you proud of your life? Are you proud of talking about your life to other people?


8. Is this a decision that will add or subtract from my peace?

Ask yourself this when:

  • You are asked to take on more responsibility and think it's a good idea, but are still not sure.
  • You are wondering how to make a wise decision in the midst of 2 great opportunities. Peace is a pretty great star to follow as a guide, methinks.


9. Is being a scared chicken still ok with me?

Ask yourself this when:

  • You want to say no out of fear, feelings of inadequacy or self doubt. This is NEVER a good reason to do or NOT do something!
What legacy will you leave, baby?!

What legacy will you leave, baby?!


10. If this were the last day of my life, would I be proud of the legacy that I left? 

Ask yourself this when:

  • You're wondering which career path to take.
  • You're wondering if you've contributed enough to your world.
  • We asked this question when we interviewed 8 men and women for an Identity series, and it evoked many eulogy-inspo pieces. I'm sort of joking, but you catch my drift. Seriously now - you are here to leave a legacy, whether to your offspring, your students or the next generation of web designers! So don't waste your life! Ask me about this if you have more questions :) 

Now 10 questions in, I encourage you to jot down new take aways. It's amazing what can be excavated from the well that's already inside us. What would you change? What do you already love about yourself?

Stay tuned for the next blog: The 1 NYE Resolution That Will Actually Work.

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