When someone does not believe they are worthy, they may disregard their basic entitlements and rights. To place it another way, a person with low self-esteem isn’t always sure how they should be treated.
Perhaps you’ve been treated poorly since childhood and have no other options. The funny thing is, if you observe a friend being bullied or mistreated, you may feel compelled to intervene and defend them. When that person is you, things may be a little different. It’s now or never to become your own best advocate, and advocate for your rights. Self-assurance can assist you in achieving and obtaining your goals in life. You may have had life events that have lowered your self-esteem or made it difficult for you to grow a clear sense of who you are, such as childhood trauma, emotional neglect as a child, or being in a dominating relationship.
I stumbled upon Edmund Bourne, Ph. D. ““Personal Bill of Rights” many years ago and then lost track of it until I recently rediscovered it. It sends such a strong message about how we all have the right to be our true authentic selves: to listen to our needs and wishes, to set healthy boundaries, to express ourselves, to feel our emotions, no matter how painful they may be, to live by trial and error, and to be treated with respect and honesty.
BILL OF ASSERTIVE RIGHTS
You have the right to surrogate your own actions, ideas, and emotions and accept responsibility for their inception and consequences. You have the right to make no justifications or excuses for your efforts.
Here’s a list of what’s known as a ‘Personal Bill of Rights.’ These are things to which everyone has a right. Could you read them over and over again every day? Consider which ones you’ve taken action on during the day and which ones you’re having trouble with. Can you think of a reason why any of these make you uncomfortable?
Others may doubt your boldness and assertiveness if they are accustomed to dominating. People, on the whole, dislike change, but that is their problem, not yours. Is a friend worth having if they don’t like the more secure version? People will eventually admire and respect your boldness and the honesty that comes with it. Just keep in mind that assertiveness isn’t the same as being assertive. People who have healthy boundaries – and — a comfortable sense of self have an internal awareness of their rights. All human beings have basic rights, AND YOU DESERVE THEM SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU ARE HUMAN!
We all have inherent personal rights as human beings, which, when understood, contribute to well-being, self-esteem, and internal limits. These fundamental rights (mentioned below) are ones that many love addicts and codependents did not learn growing up in dysfunctional families.
They frequently heard or were told that individual rights were limited or unjustified, that it was somehow wrong to do, believe, feel, or say certain things, or that it was even unfit to be themselves – accurate and authentic.
I NOW DECLARE:
1. I have the right to feel all my emotions; they are a regular aspect of being human and do not make me weak.
2. I have the freedom to communicate and express my emotions with others whenever and wherever I want, without feeling obligated, guilty, or ashamed.
3. I have the right to believe in my instincts.
4. I have the right to refuse to accept blame for other people’s actions, feelings, or issues.
5. I am entitled to a loving, secure, and supportive relationship.
6. I have the right to expect others to treat me with respect and compassion– and nothing less.
7. I have the autonomy to make my own choices.
8. I have the right to look after my mental and physical health.
9. I have the right to devote time and energy to myself, accomplish activities that bring joy to my life, and treat myself as I would like and deserve to be treated by others.
10. I have the right to determine who I am.
11. I have the control to not be treated as a “doormat,” and if I am, I have the right to get up off the floor and defend myself personally.
12. I have the control to BE ME, without apology, defense, or explanation.
13. I have the authority to refuse.
14. It is legal for me to say YES/NO.
15. It’s okay for me to not always be kind, correct, or firm.
16. I have the right to be; attending to my own needs, and self-nurturing is healthy and good —as long as I don’t interfere with or insult others’ rights to self-care.
17. I have the freedom to laugh, grin, relax, be spontaneous, and play.
18. I have the right to believe in myself and others.
19. It’s okay for me to be vulnerable.
20. Without guilt or justification, I have the right to be clear, forceful, and set strong/healthy limits.
21. I have the right to develop and evolve at my speed and in the ways that I believe are most beneficial to me.
22. I have the right to see someone who is harsh or judgmental of me as reflecting their fear and shame and understand that “IT IS NOT ABOUT ME,” but rather “ABOUT HIM/HER.”
23. I have the right to refuse to please others at the price of my mental well-being, even if that involves saying “no” to those accustomed to hearing “yes.”
24. I have the right to prioritize my own needs over the needs of others.
25. I have the right to be IMPERFECT; I have the right to make mistakes and be wrong.
26. When I believe it is necessary, I have the right to speak precisely what I mean, feel, or believe reasonably.
27. I have the right to forgive myself completely and unconditionally for my previous mistakes.
28. I have the right to request what I desire or require.
29. I have the right to disengage/detach from anyone who puts me down, guilt trips me, or tries to control what I do, believe, or feel, whether intentionally or unwittingly.
30. I have the right to alter my mind and choose a different course of action.
31. I have the right to not identify with or ‘carry the torch’ for the dysfunction, shame, or poisonous rules/beliefs of my family of origin.
32. I have the right to freely and easily invite positive people, experiences, and situations into my life.
33. I have the right to speak out if I want to or to stay silent if I choose to, regarding any topic and in front of anyone, at any time.
Complete detail on how a Bill becomes a Law
34. I have the right to “put my feelings on my shoulders” (i.e., not smile if I feel sad or disappointed).
35. I have the right to develop and evolve as a whole person on all levels, including emotionally, spiritually, cognitively, physically, and psychologically.
36. I have the right to love, accept, embrace, and appreciate myself completely.
37. I have the right to be in partnerships without losing my identity or giving up my needs, or wants.
38. I have the right to accept a vital truth: I AM ME – and I AM OKAY JUST THE WAY I AM.
39. I have the right to meet my own needs and desires rather than rely on others. Also, my needs and desires must be honored at all times.
40. I have the right and responsibility to completely honor and practice ‘My Personal Bill of Rights’ in my life.