5 Steps to Putting Yourself First

Putting yourself first is not an optional extra! It’s essential to avoid burnout and keep yourself happy and healthy. And putting yourself first doesn't mean you disregard the people you care about in your life. On the contrary, putting yourself first gets you in much better shape for having positive, mutually-supportive relationships with your partner, family, friends, and colleagues.  Creating this new behavior teaches the people in your life how to treat you.

 

Getting into the habit of prioritizing yourself takes a bit of practice. Here are some things to keep in mind while building the healthy habit of putting yourself first.

 

  1. Be true to yourself

Remember what Shakespeare said: “To thine own self be true.” That’s the key to self-care. Listen to your heart, to your intuition, and do what feels right for you. Learning to listen to our intuition is a skill and will take practice. A good place to start is if it feels wrong to you, then it is wrong for you.  Start there and see what trusting yourself that way creates in your life.

 

  1. Commit to yourself

Committing to yourself means you’re no longer on the bottom of your priority list. It means acknowledging that you deserve some time out and nurturing too. And it’s not a zero-sum game. Prioritizing your needs doesn’t mean doing it at the expense of others. It does mean having a more balanced approach to life and treating your needs and desires as equally valid. Some people schedule times for themselves on their calendar.  I use my disconnected days and block off for my husband and family.  Darren Hardy in his course Insane Productivity asks you to take it one step further and make a list of what you will do with the time that you set aside just for yourself.  Whatever system you choose, do something.  Begin the process and start working on the habit today.

 

  1. Say no

Learn to say no to things that are not important to you, are not in your best interest, or for which you don’t have the energy. Be clear in your mind about what you are prepared to do for other people and where that boundary is. Practice saying no to low stakes requests like ‘can I have another cookie,’ and you’ll be better prepared to refuse bigger requests like hosting the family Christmas. Being clear on who you want to be as a professional, a wife, a mother, a friend, and as a person will help you more easily identify what is important.  If you are not sure, try this method-Write your own obituary. Sounds morbid I know, but what do you want people to remember about you when you are no longer here?  How do you want people to feel? What impact do you want to leave?  You can build that life if you know what it is.

 

  1. Delete guilt

Life is simply too short to feel guilty for not being able to make everyone happy. Don’t prevaricate or send mixed messages. Feeling guilty hands your power over to the other person and gives them leverage to get what they want. Be kind but clear about the boundaries you have set and leave it at that. If you feel guilt, ask yourself why? Is it because of your expectations or someone else’s expectations of you?  If it is you not meeting the expectations you set for yourself, then you need to make a change.  If it is someone else’s expectations, focus on your goals and outcomes and strengthen those boundaries.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you’re the go-to person for everyone else, you may find it hard to ask for help yourself. That goes doubly so for perfectionists! Learn to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, ask for help where you need it, and practice receiving it with gratitude. Don’t forget how good you can make someone else feel by asking for their help.

I had found myself structuring my life and business with the limitations of everything that I could do myself because I have been let down by people in the past and would get stuck doing it anyway. I was always exhausted and found that I could not spend time on the things that I needed to do to grow my business because of it.  I knew that I had to shift my attitude about asking for help and I have been attracting the right people to me that have been helping my business grow. Do things go wrong? Yes.  Does your help do things differently than you would? Yes.  Does the mission get accomplished? Yes.  Are you helping people feel a part of something bigger? Yes.  Are you helping people feel good about having skills that you need? Yes.

There are so many more wins when you have help.  Make a list of the tasks that need to get done to complete the project and then see what you can delegate, what you can train someone to do, and what you absolutely have to do.   It is just like anything else, it takes practice and it will feel hard. You have to begin it and allow other people the opportunity to grow too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developing the habit of putting yourself first will stand you in good stead. You will have more time to do the things you want to do, and you won’t feel resentful at being overburdened. As a result, you will see improved relationships built on honesty and clear boundaries. You will have more energy and be less stressed. Self-care is an investment in your health and happiness, and it’s worth starting that investment today! My friend Will Potter gave a speech that has stuck with me for a while now and it was regarding time and what you do with it.  He said you can invest it, spend it, or waste it.  Invest the time in yourself-you are worth it.

 

Need help?  Register for our Free Course "How To Choose You (without guilt or pressure)" here:  http://bit.ly/NoGuiltorPressure 

 




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