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Build Self-Respect and Reduce Anxiety by Setting Limits

October 24, 2018 Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Build self-respect by setting limits and reduce your anxiety in the process. Learn how to build self-respect when you have anxiety at HealthyPlace.

It's important to build self-respect to help you reduce anxiety. One of anxiety's most damaging effects is that it makes it difficult for people to respect themselves. We question ourselves and worry about disapproval. Out of worry and fear of causing problems, we sometimes become people-pleasers. As such, we tend to avoid saying "no" and setting limits in general. This, in turn, increases anxiety and can further erode self-respect. You're not doomed to being a yes-person forever, though. Setting limits is a skill you can learn and you can build self-respect and reduce anxiety in the process.

Chronic anxiety keeps people constantly on edge, always analyzing their own and others' thoughts, emotions, and actions. The danger of this is losing yourself as you seek the approval of others. Instead of trying to reduce anxiety by pleasing others, what might happen if you set some limits in your interactions with others and stood up for yourself when necessary? 

Building Self-Respect Means You Reduce Anxiety: Why?

The idea of building self-respect can be a foreign concept when you live with any type of anxiety or anxiety disorder (and especially social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder [GAD]). Self-respect means

  • Understanding your inherent self-worth
  • Identifying your unique strengths and using them in your daily life
  • Embracing what you do well and who you are at your core
  • Accepting your imperfections humbly, without berating yourself for them
  • Giving yourself permission to treat yourself with the consideration you give others, living for yourself as much as for them
  • Allowing yourself to set boundaries and limits in your interactions with the world

When you believe in yourself and embrace your strengths and weaknesses (everyone has both, and you do, too), your thoughts about yourself begin to shift. They begin to go from negative to neutral to positive. When you have this unconditional positive regard for yourself--self-respect--you worry less about others' evaluations of you. This frees you to be comfortable with yourself. This liberating respect for yourself drastically reduces anxiety, fear, and worry. Without anxiety and without people-pleasing, you can discover and be your authentic self. 

It's Tough to Build Self-Respect and Reduce Anxiety but You Can Do It

If self-respect and all that it encompasses seems easier said than done, it's because it is easier said than done. However, while the process of building self-respect can be difficult at times, it is not impossible. Every human is born with self-respect, so when things like anxiety take it away, we can recover it. It starts with a mindset and turns into actions that you take. 

In the below video, I share three tips to build self-respect and reduce anxiety. I invite you to tune in and begin the process. 

APA Reference
NCC, T. (2018, October 24). Build Self-Respect and Reduce Anxiety by Setting Limits, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2018/10/build-self-respect-and-reduce-anxiety-by-setting-limits



Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps, and five critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges. She speaks nationally about mental health, and she has a curriculum for middle and high schools. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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