It takes time to overcome an unwanted reputation.
As much as we would love for people to give us their trust and adoration based on our own sense of self-esteem, the reality of life is that respect is earned over time.
In the same way that a good reputation is undermined through patterns of bad behavior, a bad reputation is only counteracted by putting in the work necessary to establish new patterns of good behavior.
If you’ve always been the person who’s five minutes late for meetings, people probably aren’t going to notice your changes on the very first day that you decide to be on time. You may have firmly resolved to be a different kind of person, but you’ll still need to gradually build credibility in the eyes of others.
Many people get discouraged when they embark on a path of personal development because they want the world to start treating them differently based on the newfound inspiration they feel. When others don’t take their promises to turn over a new leaf seriously, they give up.
If that’s happening to you, hang in there and keep at it. The world can’t see your epiphanies, but they will see the evidence of change soon enough if you stay the course. When the world gives you its respect, you’ll know you earned it. And that will mean far more to you than the flattery of those who sing your praises out of charity.
In the meantime, enjoy the greatest kind of respect there is: self-respect. And don’t be too hard on yourself if that turns out to be difficult. That also takes a little time.