SELF-REGARD noun regard or consideration for oneself; self-respect
I heard a story recently of a friend who had failed the ‘entertainer’ Brownie badge in her youth. “How could I have possibly failed that badge?” was the question she asked herself. Her sister suggested that she try and do it again and this time do impressions and, without a second though, my friend’s answer was “how can I impress anyone?” missing the point I think her sister was trying to make, and only picking up on more things she could not do! I do admit that I chuckled when I heard this but even as a youngster, she was caught in the cycle of feeling down on herself and her complete lack of faith in achieving the approval of a total stranger.
She had a point though. How much time do we actually spend trying to impress people, deliberately or not? We get the old Insanity DVD out but who are we doing it for? We buy a BMW, but do we actually even like it or do we just want people to think we have a bit wealth? We post photos of ourselves on social media with our many friends on a glamorous night out, but do we like them? Do they like us? Is any of it real?
What truly makes us happy in life and can we achieve it? Are we living a social media life for other people?
I do wonder to myself whether I’d have the same anxieties about my image, life, experience, life choices and so forth if social media didn’t exist and truthfully, I don’t think I would. I received an email from Girl Guiding UK a while ago. Their survey of young girls suggests that 40% feel anxious around comparing themselves to others online. That’s so sad and, as a mother, quite worrying. I’m glad that the internet as we know it now, didn’t exist when I was growing up because I’m not sure I’d have made it, emotionally.
As a society, we’re obsessed with what other people are doing, where they are going (literally and metaphorically), what they have and what they look like. Whether we’re aware of it or not, it’s voyeuristically shoved in our faces, often unsolicited and it leads us to compare and belittle ourselves.
If you cannot relate to any of the above pressures, you’ve probably mastered the art of self-regard and thus, self-respect. If you can relate to one or more of these things, you’re probably just like me and many others; a self-obsessed, worry-about-everything, anxiety monster!
There are thousands of books and articles on self-regard and how to make yourself happier, so I decided to ask Kirsty, our director and our emotional intelligence expert, what her thoughts are. She has summed it up with her top 10 tips, and action point if you fancy a challenge?