How to prioritise yourself more
You don’t have to hang out with me for long to hear me talk about ‘me time’ or ‘date night’. My sacred non-negotiables in my diary that I’m not ashamed to tell anyone about. And certainly not ashamed to say, “no thank you that’s my ‘me time’”. It hasn’t always been that way. In fact it was far from it. I used to spend a lot of my time worrying about fitting everything into my diary, worried about giving to everyone else, worried about whether I’d spent enough quality time with my family or partner and each and every single one of my friends. I’d then throw in the guilt around work, doing my best, striving for impressing and little was left for even considering what a yes for me would look like.
There were elements that I was really, really, good at. I could always say ‘yes’ to travel. Because that was (and still is) a huge part of who I am. It lit me up. It felt indulgent. And it also just felt right. Anything that could somehow fit into the travel box, got under the radar easily. What I had trouble with was more of the smaller ‘yeses’ for me. Like, “should I go have that drink with that friend because she’s really lonely right now?”, or “should I go straight home and sit on the couch because I’m emotionally and physically exhausted from my week?”.
My best friend introduced me to the term FOMO years ago. Fear of Missing Out. For me it was actually less about missing out and more about being thought less of. I considered myself kind, compassionate and incredibly intuitive. The last thing I would want would be for anyone to think I was SELFISH. So why then nowadays do I relish the word selfish and in fact thrive on being more of it?
For me there’s a distinction between doing things to be needed – i.e. to expect some sort of outcome or result from it. And doing something ‘just because’. My mother used to tell me to not give anything unless I was willing to give it wholly and fully, with no expectation in return. That is what true giving is. The confusion with selfishness kicks in here, because I believe many of us get stuck into giving with expectations. Or doing with expectations. We become needy not selfish.
‘Healthy’ selfishness is what I like to think of as recognising that putting our own needs first is essential for our wellbeing. It’s the fuel that we need to give to others without expectation. To give wholly and fully. We need to have first met our own needs. And that is 100% our responsibility, nobody else’s. How much of the results you’re getting in your life right now are attributed to how much you put yourself first? If you’re looking to create more balance in your life, reconnect with yourself or even feel a little more energised, as yourself these questions:
What would you need to put your needs above your tribe’s?
What have you been putting off doing for fear of being thought of as selfish?
What is something you could say YES to right now that would make you happy?
You see, people who know what they want and have invested in pursuing this have more to give others. Taking full responsibility for what we want to create in our lives that brings us joy and fulfilment, takes courage, compassion and commitment to ourselves. Selfishness is daring to pursue what really matters to you, and sometimes that means doing something for you before you do something for someone else.
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