“Make yourself a priority. At the end of the day, you’re your longest commitment.” ~ Unknown
When I was growing up, my father was a leader in our community. Talk about social anxiety! As expected, I was subject to public scrutiny just for being his daughter, and the expectations I had to live up to were unbearable!
Alas, the mindset to please others was carried into adulthood, but manifested in much more subtle ways. Many of my choices and decisions were all influenced by what other people thought I should be doing, or so I believed. This went on for many years!
However, this urge to give priority to other people’s wishes came to an abrupt halt when I became critically ill. As it turns out, having a chronic disease was exactly what I needed to turn my life around, affording me the freedom to say ‘no’ to everything that made me miserable, and ‘yes’ to making myself a priory.
The fallacy of pleasing others
Pleasing others is a good way to avoid ourselves. We erroneously believe that putting others before one’s self is a good and noble thing to do, that it makes us feel fulfilled and happy, and, if we try long and hard enough, others will appreciate us and respond in kind.
Indeed being kind and helpful is a good and noble thing, and something that can elicit feelings of satisfaction and joy, yet we can become overly dependent on satisfying other people’s needs, believing this will make us happy. Instead, what we really need is to be self-sufficient, satisfying own hopes and dreams rather than constantly depending on pleasing others.
This sounds pretty selfish, yet, when you make yourself a priority, you will find there is nothing more fulfilling than creating your own joy. Here are four life situations in which to always make yourself a priority:
Put yourself first by setting aside time every day to get in touch with yourself, taking time to consider what really makes you happy and rethink your priorities.
Schedule daily time alone, a space in which to breathe and really nurture yourself, a time you look forward to. Do things that feed your soul: read a book, go for a walk outdoors, cook a healthy meal, practice restorative yoga, write a journal, acquire a new hobby, or whatever it is that impacts your personal happiness!
Making this commitment to yourself can make a huge impact on your wellbeing and happiness, restoring your sense of life balance. Find what works for you, and make it a priority daily!
Put yourself first in your love relationship by keeping your individuality alive and thriving, even as you become entwined with your partner.
All the time and energy that goes into maintaining a relationship can cause friendships and interests to be pushed aside to make room for your new love. However, when we neglect our friends and interests, we are also neglecting a lot of who we are as individuals. When you take these things away, what remains of you?
Also, being consumed with pleasing your partner, while neglecting yourself, means that two people are working on sustaining one. You become lost, and suddenly, the relationship no longer works because you’ve lost part of the whole.
Make yourself a priority by knowing and nurturing yourself as an individual. Redirect some of your love for your partner back towards yourself, making yourself your main source of fulfillment, thus reducing pressure on your partner to be your everything!
Put yourself first by gravitating towards friendships that evolve naturally out of common values and interests. When doing so, you don’t need to sacrifice yourself to make the friendship work. If you find you’re doing all the conceding, it can cause conflict, you resent both yourself and the friend, for going along with their wishes and ignoring yours.
Making yourself a priority by seeking out and developing friendships with people who share your passions. As you grow, know when to let people go. Some friendships last for many years, while others are fleeting. The key is to have friends that let you be you!
By trying to please everyone, you’re actually setting yourself up for a backlash that can have repercussions beyond the office. Put yourself first at work by establishing reliable boundaries with both employers and colleagues, setting up expectations that can relieve the guilt of not being able to please everyone all the time.
When you consistently establish a firm ‘no,’ you implement a framework that other people can rely on, and know that your ‘no’ is not a personal rejection.
Make yourself a priority at work by deciding on your boundaries for your workplace and sticking to them! Your employers and colleagues can base their expectations of you on this, which in turn builds mutual respect, keeps workplace relationships intact, and ultimately maintains job satisfaction!
Remember to never skip out on yourself. When you make yourself a priority, your ability to bring happiness to others is dramatically increased! You can still be there for others, but know that you no longer need to please others to feel the same sense of contentment. You have the ability do that for yourself!
“It is not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your
happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” ~ Mandy Hale