There are two types of respect.
- Respect that comes to you because of your position, fame or wealth. This type of respect is impermanent. It can be lost once you lose your wealth or status.
- Respect that comes because of your virtues like honesty, kindness, commitment, patience and your smile. This respect, no one can take away.
The less you are attached to your virtues, the more self respect you have. If you get attached to your virtues, you look down upon everybody else, and the virtues start diminishing. Non- attachment to virtues brings the highest self respect.
Often one confuses ego with self esteem. Ego needs the other for comparison; self esteem is just confidence in oneself. For example, a gentleman claims that he is thorough in Mathematics or Geography, this is self esteem. But to say that I know better than you, that is Ego.
Ego simply means lack of respect to the Self.
Ego upsets you very often. Self esteem is immune to getting upset by external factors. In self respect, everything is a game, winning or losing has no meaning, every step is joy, and every move is celebration.