Me, Myself, and I: Putting Yourself First

When I thought of the phrase “put yourself first,” for a while I honestly didn’t know how to describe it. I was always the person who would do anything and everything for someone even if I was in the middle of doing something for myself. I know there are a bunch of you lovely people that do the same thing, so I know how challenging it can be to stop. Even till this day I sometimes put others way before myself. It’s one of those things where I want everyone to be happy because that usually makes me happy! So where’s the harm in that?


It honestly took me awhile to realize that the feeling of ALWAYS wanting to make someone happy, or put their needs first, doesn’t last long. Then I get this weird feeling, “Did I do something wrong?” “Why do I still feel unhappy?” or ignore the fact that I have my own feelings that I need to take care of.


Others don’t realize that this is pretty common, and in turn we don’t realize we have turned it into a habit.


Yes, it is great knowing we can make someone’s day and show that we will always be there for them. But remember, at the end of the day, we need to put ourselves first.


And is it possible to do that? Of course, with a few practices here and there, we can all manage to have the mindset that it is okay to put yourself first without having a guilty conscious.


Here are ways that helped me realized what “putting yourself first” means:


  1. Do what is right for YOU. I know sometimes it’s hard to go against what most of your friends do and what their idea of “right” is, but just remember you’re living YOUR life the way YOU want to live it. No one else. Just trust your gut if you want to stay in instead of going out with your friends.  

  2. It is okay to say “No”. No one is going to hate you if you don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. If you don’t want to, then you just don’t want to.

  3. Compromise. You can compromise with yourself as well with your friends/family/SO/ etc. For example, you can come up with different alternatives if you’re not in the mood for certain activities with your friends. You can also compromise with yourself on what you want to do, for example, you can do activities with your friends one day then you can have a “me day” the next. Compromise! There is no other way to do it.

  4. Realize that YOU matter. In other words, don’t forget about self-care. You need to take care of yourself, mentally and physically. As much as you may want to help others in need, help yourself first.


“Putting yourself first doesn’t mean you don’t care about others. It means you’re smart enough to know you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.” - Unknown Author


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