Unlike Self-esteem, Self-respect is an inside job. It comes from a deep level of self-acceptance. Self-respect is how you view yourself, whereas self-esteem comes from how others view you.
Very few people get past their 20’s without some level of regret. If that regret is allowed to grow it will erode our self-respect. And for many it does.
Self-acceptance that leads to healthy self-respect will fully acknowledge faults, fears and weaknesses. And, Instead of self-rejection and loathing come to a place of self-respect and even self-love.
My observation is that few find a deep level of self-acceptance purely from within; drawing on their own resources. Guilt and shame, hurt and rejection usually go too deep. There often needs to be an infusion of love and grace from an external source that enables us to forgive and make peace with ourselves. Certainly this has been my experience.
Self-acceptance that leads to the renewal of self-respect is not a one-time experience. It needs to be a regular, almost daily renewal.
It seems to happen best in the quiet place of meditation and reflection. It requires vulnerability with self, before God, and with friends or a trusted mentor. Self-respect requires the courage to fight for a positive view of yourself despite what you may feel.
Brene Brown speaks of vulnerability and openness being the way to deal with shame. [http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en] Vulnerability is the doorway through the thick walls of guilt and shame that seek to imprison each of us. Self-respect withers and dies inside those walls. Yet on the other side of that courageous vulnerable journey is renewed and healthy self-respect.
Healthy self-respect enables you to learn to like yourself and to look after yourself well.