Putting myself first! I can feel you squirm at the very idea. Women especially find it extremely difficult to put themselves first, believing it is selfish or egotistical. For many women, we are at the bottom of the pile of children, partner, work, family and every other commitment or responsibility. When you fly and the air hostess is doing the safety briefing they are very clear that in the event of loss of cabin pressure and the deployment of oxygen masks, to ALWAYS PUT YOUR MASK ON FIRST before helping anyone else. This is because if you help someone else first, you are unlikely to have the strength to help yourself and then you are no good to anyone.
The same should be true in the rest of your life. If you fill yourself up first you have the strength, energy and will power to do what ever you want in your life, including helping and supporting others. If helping others comes from a want that comes from your heart, rather than a should, or a must do from your mind, its helping fill you up as long as you also get a balance of pure receiving. Make sure you have plenty of ‘me time’ everyday to stay fit and healthy and able to help others and don’t be afraid of receiving help in return, or saying NO if it’s not right, or convenient to do.
Believing that it is egotistical to put yourself first, or that you don’t deserve to put yourself first, or that you are not good enough are limiting beliefs formed in early childhood. Unfortunately these limiting beliefs are still ruling your life today! All they are doing is keeping you playing small and not caring about your own needs. Recognizing your limiting beliefs can be quite a challenge as they are so entrenched. Looking down at yourself as if from a helicopter flying above you head, or thinking about how you would respond to a friend who was having a similar issue is a great way of overcoming the belief and recognizing your own value. Ask yourself questions such as “is this true for me and my life right now?”
Everything starts with yourself. You are an energetic being and it is the vibration that you put out into the world that determines how others feel about you, how you feel about them and what you attract into your life. In order to put love out into the world you first need to love from within yourself. By loving yourself first, you shine more brightly and are able to give so much more to others. By not loving yourself, you are diminishing and preventing what you are trying to do by putting others first. So in fact they are getting much less of you. In turn what you are receiving is less love and more negativity. By not loving yourself you are at the center of a vicious cycle. We have the freedom to choose our thoughts and actions, so choose ones that are beneficial to you!
In everyday life it is about finding a balance of giving and receiving, taking that vital ‘me time’. Small things like coming in from work or the school run and sitting down with a cup of tea before starting the supper, chores, homework. It’s not only giving yourself a break, but other family members as well.
Working in an evening or after your official work day should be the exception, not the rule. In the days before mobile phones and computers once you left work that was it until the next day. The world did not fall apart – in fact it could be argued it was more successful. Likewise emails rarely needed to be answered immediately. Checking your emails every couple of hours should be more than enough.
The one good thing about smokers having to go outside to smoke is that they get vital me time and time in the fresh air (well if you discount the smokey fog around them). Getting away from your desk and giving yourself a break even just for a few minutes actually increases productivity and creativity. So every hour take a few minutes to pause and tune in with what it is you want right now. I wouldn’t suggest taking up smoking though! Maybe go for a short walk.
Start adding moments of pause throughout your day, just stop what you are doing, especially if you are feeling stuck or frustrated and take a few moments to tune in with yourself and see what a difference it makes to your life. If you are out in nature pause and soak up your surroundings and feel replenished by the elements.
As you give yourself time in this space it gives your intuition an opportunity to give you a nudge that can be heard, felt or seen, that gives you answers you have been searching for, or guidance on your next step on what you are working on, or even the next step in life.
By Pam Lob