Sometimes, life can be confusing. We want to put ourselves first, but we’re afraid of coming off as selfish or self absorbed. On the other hand, we want to give everything we have to others—but that can be tiring and hard to maintain. How do you find a balance between caring for everyone else, but also making sure your in the right headspace?
The work-life balance debate has people on both sides, some who believe you can achieve it while some who say it’s a myth. This post isn’t going to focus on balance. But, I do believe the only way we can fulfill our lives; is by putting ourselves first.
I have noticed many people pushing the self love message in their blog posts, speeches, books, and even TV shows. I think this is wonderful and much needed, as we do live in a world that can be cruel, judgmental, and dismissive from time to time (especially on the internet!).
Despite this, most of us (especially women) don’t make ourselves a priority, let alone take a moment to love ourselves or even figure out what that means. THAT is a shame! I am a firm believer that every woman should be the leading lady of her own life.
I was not always this ‘self aware’. I had to learn this the hard way and honestly, I’m still figuring it all out. While there weren’t any children or a husband to look after, I still did not make myself a priority in my life for a really long time. I was raised on ideals and principals that told me my education and career were the most important things. Because of this, I became a workaholic by the age of 20 (seriously). Back then, I thought I was doing all the right things. I busted my behind in primary school, but when college came around it was a whole new ball game.
You know how most people have fun in college? Yeah, not me. I was too busy making sure all of my grades were in order (nothing less then a B). I was applying for internships, mentorships, apprenticeships (so many ships my head is swimming) and got accepted to a lot of them. Did I mention I also had a part time job? Never once did I stop to think how how I felt during all of this. Not once did I put socializing, fun, or even my happiness to the forefront. I would think, “I’ll have fun when I’m rich” or “Fun is something you do after you get your career together”. So for many years, I neglected my personal development.
I realize now, that is what self love really is—personal development. Our state of mind and our opinions of ourselves are major keys to achieving a successful life. If you feel terrible about yourself, it’s going to be hard to maintain strong relationships and/or grow your business/career. In all honesty, your opinion of yourself is all that matters, and it can make or break how your life ultimately turns out. I know this now, but sometimes I think, why didn’t I get this before? I digress.
Why You Need To Put Yourself First
1) You don’t know how to fully love others until you love yourself
We have heard it before but it is absolutely true. We learn how to love others by loving ourselves. Being able to show compassion, empathy, and respect to others starts with you. How you love yourself will bleed through into your relationships. Not only that, it will also teach others how to treat you. It is a beautiful cycle that you control, don’t let the naysayers shouting selfishness stop you.
2) Loving yourself leads to confidence, confidence leads to success
If you are optimistic, happy, and feel good about yourself—don’t you think you’d be pretty confident? Confidence is very important to the success of your life. Ever heard the phrase “fake it until you make it?” that’s because confidence goes a long way on your journey to a fulfilling life!
3) Loving yourself is contagious
Happy people attract happy people. Even further, happy people can make another person feel better about themselves! Have you ever been down in the dumps but then found yourself standing next to someone who had great energy and all of a sudden you felt better? That is because happiness and loving yourself is contagious. People will gravitate towards you if you are putting out a great energy and that can only be good news for your business and life!
4) It leads to fulfillment
In our extremely materialistic society, we can sometimes forget that we need more than money in the bank, luxury cars in the driveway and a big beautiful house. All of those things are wonderful, but they will not fulfill you. Those that are truly successful, have experiences, not things. And there are plenty of people that have amassed a bunch of material things that everyone says you should have, and they are still unhappy.
5) It will lead you to your purpose
When you are clear about who you are, it allows you to look at the world around you in a different light. And eventually, you will be able to see how you fit in it more clearly. This is KEY to establishing success and fulfillment in your life. I can write a whole article on purpose alone (and I probably will) because knowing what that is and aligning yourself with it is crucial. However, I do believe in order to have the awareness to seek out your purpose you must know who you are and love who that person is. You can not share your gift to the world from a place of negativity. Personal work has to be done to get you in the mindset to accept all that may come your way, good or bad. And personal work requires that you put yourself first.
It takes courage and work to put yourself first. But you will be a better person for it.
Do you think loving yourself first is important? Let me know what you think in the comments below!