Last year, I woke up to the realization that I had been not been living my best life for reasons I couldn’t understand. I did a lot for people I cared about but surprisingly, these people never even went out for me when I needed them the most.
I realized later after thinking about it for a while that they had gotten used to me being all accommodating, not really asking for anything from them and giving more of myself. And then, when it came to time to be of help to me, they backed out.
I was sad, bitter and filled with regrets towards the end of last year. But, along the way, I gave myself a pep talk, channeled my inner strength and moved on.
But never again. Never again would I put anymore ahead of myself or at the expense of my happiness.
Listen, taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you don’t care about others. It also doesn’t mean you need to ignore and isolate everybody in your life.
It means that you start listening to what your body needs; what your mind needs. What your heart needs and what you are feeling. And be willing to attend to your needs first because you are the caretaker of your body and life. No one can do this for you.
The Benefits of Putting Yourself First
When I started putting myself first, I felt weird saying no to things I would have said yes to before because I was afraid of the consequences that might ensue.
But nothing happened that I couldn’t mentally and emotionally have dealt with.
All I knew was that it felt good to start saying yes to myself and setting up boundaries. As I’ve kept up the practice of saying no to others and things I don’t enjoy or didn’t feel like doing, I noticed a multitude of benefits and changes in my life including:
- More productive
- More happiness
- More energy
- More respect from others
- Better relationships
- Less fear
- Less stress
- Less resentment
- Less depressed
And the list goes on and on. But not everyone will choose to put the love back into themselves first. Why? Because they can’t wrap their head around people thinking they are being selfish.
The fact you have reservations about being selfish indicates you are not. Selfish people will not even take the time to question whether or not they are selfish.
Your job is to be you; honoring your needs that support your core values. It doesn’t mean you don’t respect and consider others but you are instead deciding to make a deliberate choice to take care of your self first.