When it comes to putting yourself first chances are, you don’t. Sadly it is all too common that other peoples’ priorities, thoughts and feelings often take precedence over your own. If it is not the wellbeing of others it is work commitments, family commitments, personal commitments. It is easy to find an excuse to put your well-being and happiness behind all the other things that dictate your day to day life. While such acts of selflessness seem commendable they can be damaging and debilitating, not to mention it is not a sustainable way to live. That is why there is a real importance of putting yourself first and working to achieve personal happiness and contentment. Of course, that is easier said than done and actually it can be surprisingly hard to make that concerted effort to make yourself a priority. So if you are struggling to do so read on and take some inspiration from this guide to put yourself first.
Try something new
Hobby; You may well have a hobby or have enjoyed hobbies in the past but if you find these hobbies no longer fit into your schedule or compliment your current lifestyle then try something new. Consider a new hobby that you think you might enjoy, it could be a sport or social event like a weekly bookly club.
Skill; You could learn a new skill that could even take you places. Something out of your ordinary that could spark an interest and passion that you didn’t know you had. This could be online gaming, cryptocurrency training or AXS buying. Not only are you throwing yourself into a new skillset you might even be able to profit from it too. The key is to find something that will give you some needed downtime, personal space, a sense of fulfilment and enjoyment.
Course; An alternative option to trying something new could be to go on a professional or academic course. Perhaps you have the scope or a desire for improvement within your working life or you want to undertake a course for personal endeavors, biting the bullet and signing up for a course can provide you with a great sense of worth. You are doing something for yourself, to better yourself and on completion, the sense of achievement and pride will do wonders for your self-esteem and in turn your happiness. So go ahead and sign yourself up for that flower arranging course you have always fancied. Who knows where it might take you.
Change your career
It is a big step but one that could be wholly transformative on your life and wellbeing. Do you hate your day job? Have you dreamed of doing something else, something more fulfilling, or more flexible? Perhaps you are seeking a better work-life balance or just a labor of love. Sometimes throwing caution to the wind and taking the plunge into the unknown, however scary and unpredictable it may be can be the most liberating and self-fulfilling thing you do. Of course, this may not be immediately achievable for everyone but if you harbor those feeling of professional discontent then start taking steps and putting things into place to enable a change, be it in two years, five or ten. Give yourself a goal to work toward and to motivate you.
Learn to say ‘no’
Whether you are a people pleaser or not being able to say no to someone can be painfully difficult. People do not like to let others down or disappoint them and this is what saying no can sometimes do, or at least that is how it feels. More often than not people find themselves agreeing to things they may not want to out of obligation or for fear of disappointing another. Such sensitivity can be a great asset but so can the ability to say ‘no’ when you need to. If you don’t want to do something then have the confidence to say it or work on getting that confidence. If you think a particular undertaking will cause you discomfort, stress or upset then learn to put yourself and your needs above others and politely refuse to do it.
Make a list of priorities
When it comes to putting yourself first it doesn’t always mean putting yourself and your needs in front of the needs of others. Sometimes it can simply be a way to guide your decision-making process and the way in which you live your life.
So for example those priorities may be, health, family, financial security, independence, work, community and so on. It could be any of these but the key is to keep the list short. You will find some of your priorities overlap, for example, if you do not look after your physical and mental health you may not be best placed to give your all to your family. Another example is, although they seem opposites family life and work-life can intertwine. It may be that having a professional outlet and independent space to be yourself in the workplace allows you to come home to your family and be a better parent or a more present spouse.
By finding no more than four priorities or values that are important to you and your happiness you can make more informed decisions that better promote your wellbeing on a day to day basis.
Don’t stop yourself
When it comes to happiness one of the biggest hurdles can be the self-limiting beliefs harbored by so many. If you take a look around you and talk to those closest to you, chances are you will find love and support. You will find encouragement to take on new adventures or pursue new career paths. You have the exterior support and backup when you need it most yet there is still a barrier getting in your way and that barrier is you. Whether it is because of a lack of self-belief or because you are making yourself do something you may not initially want to do or feel uncomfortable doing. If the end result is putting yourself first and improving your quality of life and wellbeing then stop standing in your way. You are the only person you do not need to learn to say ‘no’ to.