What Happens When You Put Yourself First

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What Happens When You Put Yourself First

“If you want to have enough to give to others, you will need to take care of yourself first. A tree that refuses water and sunlight for itself can’t bear fruit for others.

– Emily Maroutian

Christmas is almost upon us and after almost two years of lockdowns and let downs, we are all finally emerging from our homes and getting back out into the world. But for most of us, our newfound freedoms are bringing devastating side effects: overwhelm, impaired performance, low self esteem and motivation, exhaustion and increasing anxiety. 

After a mass disruption to our normal routines in the global lockdowns, the world has now kicked back into gear. With this has come a rapid increase in activity levels for everyone. We have gone from a standstill to a full sprint, with no warm up. 

Whether it’s a return to the office, kids back to school, or businesses reopening, life has suddenly become hectic. With Christmas looming, this year brings an even greater pressure than usual with many feeling the need to catch up on the last two years with no certainty for the future. 

Signs & Consequences of Putting Yourself Last

Women in particular have an inbuilt bias for putting themselves at the back of the pack. As we get busier, we tend to drop our self care putting work, family, and the needs of others before our own. We stop exercising, meal prepping, taking time out to relax or do something fun, showering as often, even washing our hair. We deny ourselves our basic needs and busy ourselves doing everything for everyone else. This is like driving a car with the gas pedal to the floor and the handbrake on. It will only ever lead to burnout!  

Here are the key devastating effects of putting yourself last:

  • prioritising other peoples projects instead of your own
  • staying in a job that you hate
  • never realising your own dreams
  • not fulfilling your life purpose
  • physical, mental, emotional exhaustion
  • impaired focus and efficiency
  • being busy rather than productive 
  • diminished social circles 
  • lack of support from partners, family, friends
  • emotional eating/weight gain
  • inability to sleep
  • skin breakouts
  • increased stress and anxiety
  • brain fog
  • lack of motivation
  • increased negative self talk
  • moodiness, irritability, frustration
  • inability to wind down

A shift in perceptions and attitudes is needed to avoid these pitfalls and enjoy a happy healthy meaningful life and work. 

Selfish to Self-ing

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”

– M. Scott Peck

The concept of self-ing is one that encourages a shift in perspective. Consider this, if your partner or friend or colleague thinks you are selfish for putting your needs before theirs, which one of you is really being selfish? Think about it. They are saying to you that you must put their needs before your own. 

When we understand that caring for our own needs first is not selfishness, but an intelligent way to achieve the best version of ourselves and our life, then we can start practising self-ing. We give with much greater capacity from a full cup. 

What Happens When You Put Yourself First

When we practice self-ing we naturally:

    • create better boundaries around our time 
    • achieve more, doing way less
    • adopt a healthier daily routine
    • find more peace
    • achieve our life purpose 
    • ask for and receive help and support from those around us
    • speak kinder to ourselves and others 
    • feel more trusting of and connected to others
    • feel healthier, inspired, motivated and fulfilled
    • sleep more soundly

My top 5 tips for putting yourself first:- 

    • Stop apologising for putting yourself first: it’s not selfish, its self-ing
    • Practice saying NO: to anything and anyone that drains your energy
    • Practice saying YES: to doing things that bring you relief, energy, and joy
    • Express your needs to others: so that they can better support you
    • Time it out: to meditate, walk in nature or simply do nothing. Our batteries have a limited daily charge before we switch to adrenaline
    • Ask for help: when we are practiced in putting others first we don’t think of this
    • Check in: ask yourself how does this make me feel? If the answer is good, do it. If not, revert to saying NO!

Ready to start self-ing today? 

Click here to download my bestselling power packed Meditations For Your Invincible Day to start putting yourself first and getting your life on track.

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