There are two types of respect:
1. 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.
2. 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. Being humble at the same time, you will be open to share your knowledge and learn at the same time. But to say that I know better than you, that is Ego. Ego will not let you share or learn. Ego is a hinderance.
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, every move is celebration.
In Self esteem you simply realise you have it.
~ Adapted from the talks by Sri Sri ~