“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” ~Mandy Hale

This quote sums up everything that has been brought to my attention as of late.  I have had a lot going on in my life and this reminder has just kept reoccurring in different forms.  This may be posts I see on Social Media, the news, articles I read, or just people sharing their experiences as of late.  There is a large common theme of “Focus on yourself, what makes you happy, figure it out and it will all work out how it is supposed to.”

I have spent a lot of time pondering:

What do I want to do?
What makes me happy?
What people do I want in my life?

The largest part though, trying to focus on choosing and putting myself first because ultimately my well-being, whether it is emotional, mental, or physical, is the most important thing.  It can be difficult to put yourself first as others may see it as you being selfish.  No offense to men, but as women we are expected to be able to balance every one and every thing.  Whether this is said verbally or not, it is implied in different conversations or actions.  With this in mind it becomes very hard to put ourselves first. To be quite honest, I think both men and women have varying degrees of this roll built into our brains.  I think women hold the roll in their head much more often and that’s where the stereotype lies.

I admit I myself fall into this mindset and put myself into that stereotype.  It’s frustrating because despite knowing that we are putting ourselves there we still do it.

I have a difficult time stating my needs or wants in a relationship or even admitting to myself what I need.  Most recently I had a realization that I need to be okay with independence.  I need to not be afraid of wanting to do things on my own or be afraid of upsetting someone by stating “I’d rather do this solo”.  This is hard for me as I am an individual who likes doing things with others as I like to share in the memories.  I also like to find common ground with others and have something that we enjoy doing together.  I am also a HUGE people pleaser.

Now as an individual you may struggle with saying “No” to work, family, friends, significant others, anyone and anything.  You may be known as the person people rely on for things such as help, shoulder to lean on, trading schedules, picking up the slack on a project, etc.  While this is all well and good there comes a time when you can say “No” and if they get mad at you after you do then can ask yourself “Are they really someone healthy to keep in my life?”

I have had to ask myself this question when I have had friends, colleagues, and family act in this way.  I also then look at myself, metaphorically but yes in the actual mirror sometimes, and ask myself what am I doing?  I ask this because they are only coming to me because I have allowed it to happen.  I have said yes every time without putting myself first.  Doing so, thinking that if I did otherwise I would be disappointing someone.

At the end of the day you hurt and disappoint yourself when not doing what is best for you.  Now, I do understand there are times when the right answer may be what is best for the other individual, these situations DO happen.  However, at the end of the day if you are not satisfied with yourself and your choices isn’t it worth it to look at them?

It’s tough sometimes to recognize when we stop choosing ourselves or putting our-self first.  It most often is recognized when we are deadbeat tired, we get angry quickly, we start feeling bad for ourselves, or we start resenting some one or some thing.  When we start wondering why our life sucks?  Why do other people seem so happy?

(I know you know what I’m talking about)

When this begins happening it’s my reality check.  I start asking myself those three questions I started with:

What makes me happy?
What do I want to do?

What people do I want in my life?

Then I start doing things for myself again, even if it just means I sit with myself, a cup of coffee, on my porch in the morning to start my day.  By that simple act I’ve taken time for myself to be with my own thoughts and begin thinking happy thoughts.  By that small act I choose myself, by that simple act I can begin working to choose myself more often.  I am not saying I’m perfect at it, clearly I’ve needed the reminder lately.  However, the more I practice that the more I can improve on choosing myself and putting myself first.

Instagram: @beyoufindyou
#beyoufindyou
Email: beyoufindyou@gmail.com

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