Have you ever wanted to do something for yourself, but avoided it because you thought it might inconvenience, upset or offend someone else? Or worse, you’d be called ‘selfish’.
Even in this age, when the concepts of ‘self-care’ and ‘self-love’ are promoted as virtuous pursuits, many people still worry that taking time for themselves will be seen as being ‘selfish’.
But what if we told you that there is a difference between putting yourself first and being selfish?
Would that change the way you look at it?
Fit your own mask first
You’ll know that when you travel on an airplane, the flight attendants give you a safety demonstration. Part of that demonstration involves what to do if oxygen masks drop during the flight. Their explicit instruction is to fit your oxygen mask before you fit your child’s.
Why is that?
It’s because if you’ve passed out from lack of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else.
Life is also like that.
If you continue to give until you drop, you’re no longer any good to those you want to give to. In short, you need to put yourself first.
In order to give your best self to those around you — your partner, family and kids — you need to take care of yourself first.
Invest in yourself
One of the key reasons that people avoid putting themselves first is because they feel guilty. They feel that it’s better to put other people before themselves. This is particularly the case for parents who put their kids’ needs before their own because they want the best for them.
But sooner or later, you’ll end up with nothing left to give.
Think of yourself as a bank, and what you give is the money in the bank. If you continually make withdrawals, without making any deposits what’s going to happen? You’ll end up with no money left and nothing left to give.
To avoid this, you need to make regular deposits. You need to invest in yourself, or put yourself first, so you can give to others.
But how do you let go of the guilt?
When you’re at your best, you can give your best
It’s easy to stop feeling guilty when you understand the benefits of prioritising yourself.
When you put yourself first, you’ll be at your best. This means that you’ll have more of yourself to give to others, and what you’re giving will be ‘better quality’. For example:
- When you put yourself first, you’ll stop engaging in toxic relationships.
- When you take care of your own needs, you’re less likely to outbursts of anger and frustration.
- When you’re less stressed, you’re more relaxed and fun to be with.
- When you’re happy you’ll be more eager to take care of the needs of those around you, instead of feeling resentful.
- When you’re healthy, you reduce the burden on your family to take care of you.
- When you’re getting enough sleep, you’re more productive at work.
- When you’re performing better at work, you increase your chances of earning more money for your family, through a promotion or a better job.
- When you love yourself, you’ll love others more fully.
- When you can empower yourself, you can teach other people, particularly your kids, how to empower themselves.
- When you give yourself permission to take care of yourself, you give those around you permission to do the same — especially your kids.
It’s you AND them
Putting yourself first doesn’t mean that you’re choosing between you and those you love. It’s you AND them, together. This means that you can care for them with love and compassion, instead of guilt.
Because let’s be honest, when you’ve got nothing left in your tank, you continue to take care of those around you out of a sense of obligation — because you ‘have to’, or you ‘should’.
When you’re truly taking care of your physical, emotional and spiritual needs, you’ll be the best role model you can be, for the people you love the most and you’ll want to give your time and energy to them.
And when you’re at your best, you bring positive energy, happiness and peace to those around you, instead of giving the scrappy seconds associated with an exhausted, resentful burned out version of yourself.
What would you rather give to your family and friends?
Empowering people to be their best
At Imani Tribe, we help people become the best versions of themselves, so they can continue to keep giving to those around them.
We do this through our Diet Antidote Transformation System (DATSTM Program) The Not-Diet-diet for people who are sick of diets and want more than a good body. Our program can help you to:
- Eat for nutrition and energy, so you have the stamina to do things for the people you love
- Exercise for health, vitality and fat loss (in only a handful of hours each week)
- Stop people-pleasing and putting yourself last
- Change your habits, so you only choose the best for yourself and your loved ones
- Empower you, so you can empower others
- Perform better at work, so you can increase your earning power
- Be a better role model for your family and your friends
- Say ‘no’ to all those people who take from you, without giving back
- Put yourself first without feeling guilty.
If you’re ready to trade in the burned out, frustrated and resentful version of yourself, for a happy, invigorated, energetic and inspiring version, we can help you. All you have to do is take the first step.