Remember the instructions on a plane? If you are travelling with a baby in case of an emergency you should take care of yourself first. If you don’t put on a mask first, you won’t be able to help your child or anybody else.
The same principle can be applied to life. You can make nobody happy until you make yourself happy first.
We often underestimate ourselves and our own powers thus we are relying on other people or circumstances to make us happy. As a result, by prioritising other people’s opinions and decisions we end up not being fulfilled since deep inside we do have our own way.
Why is it hard to put yourself first?
A lot of people hold the belief that putting yourself first is selfish. Rarely do they mention the downside they have to deal with. Putting others first leads one to people-pleasing and diminishing oneself in favor of others. Doesn’t it look like others are being selfish in such a situation?
Or some people understand it as some kind of extreme leading to harming others or not taking responsibility for what you do.
You may be wondering whether it has to always be an either-or situation. You might be questioning how not to feel bad about putting yourself first and not to suffer because you decided to ignore your own interests.
What does putting yourself first mean?
In the first place, it means being able to balance your needs with the needs of others.
You don’t have to feel guilty or afraid because your needs don't coincide with those of others.
This shouldn’t put you in protective mode either.
What works best is replacing aggression or guilt with firm reasoning of your decision. Showing others that you understand their point is important as well.
It doesn’t always have to be a choice of one need over the other, you can come to some kind of mutual agreement with others.
The key here is to be honest about your needs and feelings.
This is what happens when you put yourself first:
1) the more you listen to and trust yourself, the more clarity you gain about what it is that you want and like in life.
2) you will be more productive since you will not exhaust yourself doing what you don’t want to.
3) you will be more open, understanding and kind to others because you will be honest with yourself and others
4) you will have your "cup full" ☕, which means you will have something to give to others without sacrificing or experiencing burnouts
5) Your self-confidence will grow as you will learn to rely on yourself.
What to start with?
Here are 3 simple steps that will launch your transformation:
1) Have some of yourself time every day (5-10 minutes). You can spend it reflecting or defining your wishes and goals. Take some time out of the noise of modern life to listen to yourself.
2) Plan some pleasant activities that will make you feel good weekly/daily
3) Learn to say “No” in situations when you feel resistant to something but would normally decide to do it because you feel uncomfortable telling the truth