Reasons to Put Yourself First
The idea of putting myself first was about as appealing as getting a root canal.
My internal mind chatter told me it was selfish. I was worried about how other people would react if I changed my ways and started saying no or enforced some personal boundaries. I wondered if people wouldn’t like me anymore. Or if they’d get angry (and of course, I avoided conflict at all costs!).
So with all of this fear, worry, and negative self-talk going on, it took me quite a while to even take that first step to value myself enough to make some needed changes and think about my needs for a change.
The road to rediscovering myself has actually been an amazing journey of exploration, innovation, and imagination with some frustration and setbacks thrown in for good measure. It has been an awakening and life-changing adventure, which is why I am passionate about helping people crush their excuses so they can design an authentic and meaningful life and amplify their impact, boost their self-confidence, and connect with their calling. In other words, rediscover who they truly are.
Enough about me. What about you?
How often have you been expected to drop everything for someone else, let someone else go first, or have the bigger cookie? Do you feel entitled to say no or to quarantine your ‘me-time,’ whether it’s going to the gym, or having a massage, or an early night, or just vegging out? You might be feeling overwhelmed by the demands of others, or even resentful that people expect you to drop everything for them. And when you consistently take a back seat to others, your self-esteem suffers....big time.
You are precious, brilliant, and amazing. You deserve consideration, compassion, and caring. And to be even more specific – you deserve self-consideration, self-compassion, and self-caring.
If you feel depleted, overwhelmed, overworked, frustrated, disillusioned, unappreciated, or just-plain-tired you’re not doing yourself – or anyone else – much good.
You are not the Energizer Bunny
Putting your needs first and taking care of yourself is good for a lot of reasons. Here are my top four.
Your physical health
Weak boundaries and prioritizing others ahead of yourself increases your stress levels, which keep the stress hormone cortisol high. This leaves you feeling exhausted. And as if that’s not enough, this can result in high blood pressure, increased bodily inflammation, and a less resilient immune system. Yuck. That’s not a pretty picture.
Rest allows your body to heal and restore so you’ll have much more energy! And when you feel better, you’re better at helping, serving, and caring for others.
Your mental health
All this stress and resentment you might feel by being at everyone else’s beck and call increases your anxiety levels. Anxiety and stress have been shown to deplete the levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) in your brain which can increase your risk of depression. And then you are less able to keep those negative mind gremlins safely tucked away.
Putting yourself first will mean a happier, more positive you.
You’ll be a better you
In fact, you’ll be your best you! And there’s no way you can be your best you if you’re running on empty all the time. Putting yourself first and giving yourself some self-care is crucial for refilling your tank.
You’ll have more energy, be more present in your relationships, and be more fun to be around.
It’s not an either/or game
Putting yourself first doesn’t mean you’ll be disregarding other people’s needs. It isn’t about ‘me…me…me’ behavior. It’s about putting everything into balance and acknowledging that you’re a loved one too! (Imagine that!) Your needs are as valid as those of your family, friends, and colleagues. How would it feel to treat yourself like a loved one?
And by putting yourself first, you’ll be in a better place for having improved relationships with other people based on honesty and mutual respect for each other’s needs.
Taking care of yourself and your own needs is actually a win-win-win-win. This may seem counter-intuitive but it’s true, nonetheless. Isn’t it time to see the possibilities of a life where you say YES to yourself? So…..
Say YES to yourself by considering your own needs
Janet is a transformational coach who helps women move beyond the negative voices in their head so they can unleash their purpose, unmask their self-confidence, and uncover possibilities that they have been blind to. Bottom line: she helps them to stop settling, start soaring, and experience the magic of their dreams again.
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