Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Self-confidence can help you achieve and obtain what you want in life. You may have encountered life events that have either diminished your self-confidence or made it difficult for you to build a clear sense of who you are as a person, such as childhood trauma, childhood emotional neglect or being in a controlling relationship.

This week I wanted to draw your attention to something very powerful and thought-provoking.

I came across this “Personal bill of rights” by Edmund Bourne, Ph.D. many years ago, and then lost it somehow until I rediscovered it recently. It has such a powerful message about how all of us as humans have the right to be our true authentic self: listen to our needs and wishes, set healthy boundaries, express ourselves, feel our emotions however painful they may be, live by trial and error, be treated with respect and honesty.

“You are allowed to be you”

Take a look at the list and spend some time thinking about which one feels easier to apply in your life and which ones are you struggling with the most

The Personal Bill of Rights

  1. I have the right to ask for what I want.
  2. I have the right to say no to requests or demands I can’t meet.
  3. I have the right to express all of my feelings, positive or negative.
  4. I have the right to change my mind.
  5. I have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
  6. I have the right to follow my own standards and standards.
  7. I have the right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe, or it violates my values.
  8. I have the right to determine my own priorities.
  9. I have the right not to be responsible for others’ behavior, actions, feelings, or problems.
  10. I have the right to expect honesty from others.
  11. I have the right to be angry at someone I love.
  12. I have the right to be uniquely myself.
  13. I have the right to feel scared and say “I’m scared.”
  14. I have the right to say “I don’t know.”
  15. I have the right not to give excuses or reasons for my behavior.
  16. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
  17. I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.
  18. I have the right to be playful and frivolous.
  19. I have the right to be healthier than those around me.
  20. I have the right to be in a non-abusive environment.
  21. I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.
  22. I have the right to change and grow.
  23. I have the right to have my needs and wants to be respected by others.
  24. I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  25. I have the right to be happy.

What kind of thoughts did the statements bring for you?

What would help you with being able to take better care of your rights?

Struggling with confidence?

Your confidence may have been knocked by many things: being hurt by people in the past or present relationships, living with a long-term condition or having recently had had major setbacks in your life. Life is so hard sometimes.

Another way of approaching our pain and suffering is from self-compassion point of view. It encourages you to treat yourself as you would treat your best friend, acknowledges that suffering is universal and you are not alone in your suffering – we all go through difficult times, and finally being mindful about our feelings.

Recently, I wrote another post about self-compassion, which you may be interested in, and you can read it here. Soon I will be launching a 30 Day Self-Compassion Challenge. So if you would like to be informed about that started, please sign up to my Newsletter here.


If you are struggling, don’t struggle alone. Reach out to people: family, friends or professional help.

If you would like to work on your rights, arrange your FREE phone consultation to discuss how therapy could help you with that. Contact now or schedule on-line!


Bourne, E. Ph.D.: The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook

©2017 Dr Mari Kovanen, CPsychol. All rights reserved.