When I first started my career I was briefly an assistant to a guy who was absolutely brilliant but could never pass a certain point due to his personality. We’ll call him S. I remember one of his clients who was the CEO of a company and wanted S to come to their corporate event and give him feedback. S told him he’d give him the feedback but that the main feedback he could give already before the event. And here it was:

“They may tell you they trust you and respect you, but deep down they don’t. And they’re right not to.” 

I remember the client was about to boil over but kept quiet for a minute. After this minute he simply asked “Why?” (sidenote: I have the utmost respect for this guy’s ability to put his desire to learn and improve above his desire to keep his ego intact”)

S explained his reasoning in the following way.

“Every year, your whole team works on their goals for that year. Every year, you encourage your team to share their personal goals too. Every year since I’ve known you there are two goals which you consistently miss for the one reason that you did not put in the work. Why should they trust you when you can’t trust yourself. They see you every year not keep your promises to yourself. So why should they trust you? Additionally, year after year they’ve seen you be less and less healthy, therefore not respecting yourself. If you can’t respect yourself minimally, why would they respect you?”

 

This stayed with me. Almost 20 years later and whenever I wonder if someone _____ (fill in the blank with whatever is relevant to you) me, I ask myself if I am setting the example for it myself.

 

This is why I believe in keeping promises to myself first. This is why I believe in respecting myself first. This is why I believe in myself first.

 

If I do not do these things for myself first, how can I expect anyone else to treat me this way? 

 

Ask yourself, are you respecting yourself? Are you keeping promises to yourself? Do you believe in yourself?

 

Until the answer to these is yes, don’t expect others to treat you that way.