The secret to a happy heart....prioritise yourself.
One of my favourite putting yourself first quotes is...Sometimes you don't even know that you're drowning when you're trying to be everyone's anchor.
Think about it, does it feel like you're drowning? Some people think that if you put yourself first it's selfish, much as I hate to disagree...I'm afraid that just isn't true. Why?
As a people pleaser, I wanted everyone (and I mean everyone, even people I didn't know) to be happy. Whilst that's a lovely trait, it's exhausting. It's also doomed for failure. You can't please all of the people all of the time. The more you try, the more you fail, and the more you fail the more you feel a failure. Do you recognise that feeling...not being able to get anything right? Do you have that drowning feeling?
Debunking the Selfishness Myth
There's a common misconception that if you put yourself first, you're selfish. You can't take a holiday; your business and family will never survive. The world will end if you're not around, how could you possibly let people down. I going to be blunt... if people think like that, it's an opportunity to consider what kind of people you surround yourself with. Do you really want people in your life who have no regard for you? Yes, even people you love dearly.
How many times have I been away from home this year already?.... Hmmmm, I've lost count. Most of the time nobody has even noticed, or if they did, they were glad I'd taken time for myself away from business and home life...and if they didn't, well, my forward planning worked a treat.
You are not selfish for wanting more; you deserve to be happy.
The Benefits of Prioritising Yourself
When you make yourself a priority, put yourself first, you have more energy, and you're much more positive. Along with more energy and positivity comes increased self-confidence, improved relationships, reduced stress, and lots of overall happiness. Who doesn't want more of that? Everyone benefits if you're happy.
It doesn't have to be big stuff. My way of prioritising myself is travel, but yours could be taking the afternoon off to sketch or paint, it might be listening to your favourite podcast, or even cooking a favourite dish. It's a way to show yourself some love....and that's another thing, don't rely on love from others. Prioritising yourself means giving yourself everything you need to be happy...I can hear you thinking......it's ok, I understand, but you can do it. It really does make a difference. Promise.
Practical Tips and Strategies for Putting Yourself First
So, what's your dream?
That's always a good place to start, working towards something you really want or love. Make it big. You don't have to believe you can get there (yet) but give yourself the luxury of doing what you want.
Take my dream, to travel. There are a couple of huge obstacles there; time and money. But there's more than one way to get the experience of travel without even going anywhere! Plan holidays for a few years in advance and start saving. Whilst you save, read about your destination, absorb information about the culture, food, sights...It took me ten years to save for my trip to Antarctica; none of that time was wasted. It was my priority, and the planning was (almost) as amazing as the trip itself. You can do it with any priority; to change your job, or to move to a different country.
Overcoming Guilt and Setting Boundaries
There's one HUGE thing that you will encounter - Guilt. Guilt for wanting something for yourself, the guilt of spending money, guilt of being lazy, guilt for leaving the family and business behind for something which seems frivolous.
Yes, you will, and that doesn't go away.
That's why you need confidence and some healthy boundaries.
I'm sure if you said, "I'm off to Antarctica for a month, there's food in the freezer, and I've automated all the bills and emails so you'll be fine", you'd be seen as selfish. Yes, you would, it would be quite a surprise; but that's why communication and boundary-setting are essential. Start by creating small boundaries of what's important to you and take it slowly.
I had no boundaries. People could take what they wanted, and I still felt guilty for not doing enough. Lack of self-esteem is crippling. Please don't let it take your life and dreams away. Prioritise yourself; your needs are important too.
So, prioritising yourself is the key to healthy self-esteem, healthy boundaries and a happy and rich life. If you've been a people pleaser, it won't be a walk in the park to change your behaviour and create boundaries, but the better you get, the more confident you will become and the better you will feel.
Make yourself a priority put yourself first.
And if you have trouble doing that why not contact me and we can work on it together.