One great truth in life which I try to adhere to is that you should never have to apologise for being yourself. Each person has personal rights which allows them to live their life as they see fit. You are entitled to expect others to respect your personal rights but you must also respect the personal rights of others. When two people respect each other’s personal rights, there are a multitude of benefits including increased confidence, more effective relationships, less stress and greater productivity for each person. When you increase your self-respect and the respect you give to others, there is no limit to the improvements you can make in your life.

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8 Essential personal rights

There are many personal rights which you are entitled to. The following list outlines 8 of the most common and beneficial rights. If you adhere to these personal rights, you will see great improvements in your life.

1. To say ‘No’

Anybody is entitled to make a request of you. That request may be a favour or it may even be a business opportunity. Just as they have the right to make a request, you have the right to decline. The ultimate responsibility for your life lies with you. Therefore it is up to you to decide what is appropriate for you and what is not. Learning to say ‘No’ is one of the quickest and most dramatic ways to improve your quality of life.

2. To say that you don’t know

In a recent conversation with my good friend Jamie, I raised this very issue. In a world with so much access to information, people have placed an incredible amount of pressure on themselves to know everything about their area of expertise. This is an unrealistic expectation and it can result in stress.

Just because somebody asks you a question, it does not mean that you have to know the answer off of the top of your head. It is perfectly acceptable to offer to look for the answer or, where answering the question is not really your responsibility, to redirect them to the appropriate person.

3. To have your own opinion

There are very few facts in the world. Everybody has their own subjective experience of the world, based upon their own interpretations. It is not necessary for everybody to agree on everything. You have the right to your own opinion. Even if nobody else agrees with you, that does not mean you are wrong. It just means that you view things differently and it is those differences which makes the world a more beautiful place.

 4. To express own opinion

Not only are you entitled to your own opinion but the right to express your own opinion is one of the most fundamental personal rights. As long as you express your opinion in a respectful manner, without any attempt to force your views down the throats of others; nobody has the right to silence you.

5. To make your own decisions

If you look back upon your life, it won’t take too long for you  to recall some very poor decisions that you will have made. You won’t be alone in that boat as we have all done it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing which allows us to see our own errors but as long as you are willing to accept the consequences of your decisions, you have the right to make any decision that you see fit.

6. To change your mind

Life would be fantastic if you could do everything which you would really like to do. Unfortunately, this is not really possible. There are only so many hours in the day so prioritisation is essential. Even the most effective and productive people have occasions where they have to renegotiate agreements which they have made.

At the time that you agreed to a request, you probably really wanted to help but life keeps moving and priorities change. You have the right to change your mind and renegotiate your agreements. If you have to do this, it is imperative that you do so at the earliest opportunity. It may not be pleasant for the other person but you have to do what is right for you.

 7. To choose how you spend your time

You have sole responsibility for your life. You want to make the most of your life. One of the most critical factors in making the most of your life is your decisions about how to spend your time. Your time should be treated like the precious resource that it is. Decisions about how to allocate your time must not be taken lightly. Others have the right to make requests and offer opinions but it is you who must choose how to spend your time.

To help you make more your time, check out Quick Fixes for Your Productivity.

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8. To make mistakes

You have the right to screw up. The only people who never made a bad decision, never made any decision. Mistakes are a critical aspect of learning. They are essential for personal growth. If you are afraid to make mistakes, you will never take the action necessary to achieve your goals and objectives. Rather than fear mistakes, try to enjoy them and learn from them. It is your right to do so.

You can set effective goal, learn from your mistakes and achieve your objectives with the Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting.

Personal rights are something which every individual is entitled to. Demanding your personal rights, and living by them, will result in you being more confident, assertive and effective. When you take this one step further and choose to respect the personal rights of others, you will experience happy, healthy relationships which will bring greater rewards for all concerned. Many people are afraid to assert themselves. If you are one of these people, you are going to struggle to fulfil your potential and achieve the quality of life that you desire and deserve. Familiarise yourself with your personal rights and determine to live by them. You will soon see the benefits.

Image credit: Chance Agrella


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