Not Selfish, But Necessary – The Importance Of Putting Yourself First
(And How To Do It)
“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” – Shannon Adler.
‘Putting yourself first’ and the art of being able to live out your purpose were notions that took me quite a while to really understand beyond the words themselves. You see, it wasn’t long ago when I was the go-to, selfless/thankless woman who spent every second of every day putting others’ needs before my own. In short, I was that woman who devotedly helped everyone else around me live out their purpose at the expense of discovering my own.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved helping others excel, regardless of whether I was wearing my housewife, teacher, nurse, or coaching hat. In fact, one of my greatest joys in life right now is being able to see my children excelling in life and continuing their education to earn their university degrees. But after realizing my own gifted purpose was on hold because of my focus on pushing my family forward, it ultimately inspired me to finally step into my own spotlight for the first time. And if you wish to do the same, then there is no better time that right now.
How To Start Putting Yourself First
Open Your Heart To Receive Your Purpose
One of the biggest things to truly accentuate putting yourself first is to open your heart to receive your purpose along the way. Overall, the whole goal of living life authentically and filled with happiness is being able to follow the path that was designed for you in the first place. The trick here is that God doesn’t always give us clear signs on what the purpose may be, but that is where the beauty of discovering it yourself comes in.
That said, don’t allow yourself to live life without experiencing that amazingly personalized journey towards innate meaning. Put yourself first, say no to situations and things that do not serve you, and explore your passions that fed your soul. Doing so is what will align you down the right route towards self-care, self – gratitude, and ultimately your purpose. Trust me, when your divine purpose eventually arises, you will know it, and it will be the most euphoric moment you will ever experience.
Incorporate Mindfulness Practices
A large part of putting yourself first stems from being mindful of who you are, your thoughts, and the world around you. It is tapping into your mind, soul, and dreams and shedding light on each to gain internal clarity. Some of the best practices involve mindful breathing through meditation, mindful observation to deeply connect with environment, mindful awareness to optimize reflection and presence, and mindful appreciation to remind you that life is truly a gift that should be cherished for all that it is. By incorporating these concepts into your life, it can significantly help you improve life quality, remove stress, and declutter your mind so you can see the larger picture – and the larger picture is essentially your map that enables you to live your life exactly how you desire to.
Establish Your Priorities
To live out your purpose and put yourself first, consider addressing your day to day priorities. Take some time to really dive deep and think about where your life stands right now, where you want it to go, and use that as rails to weed out certain checklist items that are not supporting that goal. This is not to say you should stop helping others entirely, but be sure that you prioritize things in your life so that you are not trying to support others on an empty glass.
In summary, restructure your to-do list to allow you to feel more peaceful and content. In addition, never forget that priorities often intertwine and rely on the success of one another. If imbalanced or you are running on empty by not listing yourself first, it could very well be the root cause of any stress you may have.
Don’t Let Old Habits Get In The Way
Do you know the old saying that ‘old habits die hard’? Well, there is a lot of truth to that. During my own mission of putting myself first, I cannot count how many times I was eager to trade my happiness, time, and energy to help family and friends excel. But with a bit of consistency and perseverance, I recognized over time that I can still give back to others without setting my own purpose on the wayside. Yes, it took some time to reprogram that “me or them” mindset, but the reality is that you can do both, and it all begins with fueling yourself first to make those win-win scenarios happen.
Never Forget Your ‘Why’
Lastly, never forget why you are putting yourself first to begin with. If you are anything like me, it is to finally live out your purpose, feel fulfilled across every sector of your life, and fully embrace this perplexing gift of life for all that is. Even more, it is feeling the intense happiness of seeing my children thrive, being a role model for them to put their own selves first and using that thankless life I came from as steeping stones to become the best version of myself – a version that both I and everyone around me can gain from.
That is my ‘why.’ The best part is that yours does not have to be the same at all. Regardless of your agenda, just be sure to hang onto your reasons (even if it is no reason at all other than to live unapologetically) because that is what will keep you pushing to build the life you were always destined to have.
Write Your Own Story
If there is one final piece of advice that I can share with you, it is to never take your life for granted, and you have so much gifted potential than you realize. You are unique, you are a direct reflection of the divine, and it would be such a devastating tragedy to go through this amazing, God-given life without fulfilling your purpose. That is the way I see it and the very reason why I decided to venture down my self-actuating path – the one that was always paved for me, patiently waiting for me to take that first step.
In the end, God may have given you incredible opportunity to enjoy this thing called life, but never forget that you are still the author of your own story. YOU have the power to discover your path just as I did mine, YOU have the potential to put yourself first, and YOU have a special gift that can leave empowering marks in the world. It may not always be easy or comfortable, but unlocking the ability to live out your purpose starts with making the conscious effort to put yourself first and following your heart. And above all else, remembering that life is an incredible fleeting experience, so there is genuinely no room to live it any other way than happy.