When you think to put yourself first, do you think it’s selfish? Do you think it’s related to self-obsession?
Is it vain to put yourself first? And, is it even necessary in the first place?
The idea of putting yourself first does have its negative interpretations and adaptations.
People who have encountered people who largely believed in not helping others would deduce that putting themselves first involves being rude and unhelpful.
And, people who have only superficially understood this topic would indeed embrace it in a way that reduces their responsibility to their friends, family, and community.
But, that’s not what putting yourself first is about.
I’ve noticed that anything that comes to self very easily translates to being selfish, take self-love for example.
One can have similar ideas about self-love too, but it’s something so deep and more powerful than what we think.
It’s about building a healthy relationship with ourselves so that we can not only live a happy and peaceful life but also support the lives of others to the best of our abilities.
So, with that, let’s now understand what it truly means to put yourself first, why it’s important, and how to do it in a realistic and supportive way.
Putting yourself first - Meaning & Importance
To understand the true meaning of putting yourself first, let’s first chalk out what it’s not.
Putting yourself first is NOT,
- Exploiting others for your benefit
- Fending for yourself and not helping those in need
- Being unattentive and unsupportive in relationships
- Shedding responsibility that we have to our community and earth
Putting yourself first is about putting your true needs, self-respect, and integrity first.
It is about doing what’s best for your health in the long run. It’s about not letting others walk over you.
It’s about crafting a life that makes you feel fulfilled and not one that fulfills someone else’s dreams or societal standards.
Putting yourself first is about caring for the people you love because they are a part of your life.
It’s about taking care of the environment and taking steps to help it because it is your home.
In essence, the ‘yourself’ in put yourself first does not contain selfish motives, inconsideration, and scheming.
It involves health, relationships, mental peace, respect, love, moral values, and responsibility.
In this sense, I think it’s important to put myself first so that I can live the life I envision, build the relationships I love, and work for the causes I deeply care about.
My true motivation for writing on this blog is not only to help people have good mental health but also to empower them so that they can help other people, animals, and the environment.
Alright then, let’s now learn how we can put ourselves first so that we can empower ourselves to do what is important and live peacefully.
How to put yourself first
- Listen to your body
- Voice your opinion
- Live in integrity
- Simplify your life
- Accept yourself
1. Listen to your body
I think there is a lot of scope in how human beings can become better connected to our bodies.
In the midst of optimizing productivity, we've ruined our relationship with rest and taking breaks, there's now guilt attached to it for many of us.
When we feel that we need to step away, give our brain some time without stress, it feels that we're running away.
But, maybe it's a sign from our body encouraging us to live in balance.
Life is not about productivity. It's about living.
And, while work fulfills and supports us, it should not overpower us.
Also, we definitely need to become kinder to our bodies. We cannot rush healing so giving it all it needs to get better, be it rest or time, is necessary.
And, let's stop comparing our bodies to others. We can work towards our fitness goals without disrespecting the body that is the source of life for us.
This also includes eating food that will nourish our body, while making conscious food choices.
Let's be aware of the true cost of our food to other people, animals, and the environment and reduce suffering.
2. Voice your opinion
Don't hold back your words when you feel it is important to say them.
Voicing our opinions is not about appearing clever or unnecessary noise but about standing up to our values, supporting others, and contributing to what is worthy.
We often regret saying the words we should have so let's put ourselves first and let our voice carry the message of our emotions and truth.
3. Live in integrity
Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values.
When we live honest, conscious, compassionate, and responsible lives, we not only become an example to others but also to ourselves.
Someone who is solid on the values they build their life upon don't sway very often.
They don't let attractive things and pursuits steer them away from a life that they'll be proud of.
When we don't live in integrity, we become distant to ourselves, true happiness, peace, healthy relationships, and the amazing feeling of knowing you're doing your best to be a good person.
4. Simplify your life
In my opinion, living a simple life means living a life most fulfilling to you because you are investing your time and energy into things that matter the most.
In a simple life, you’re mindful about how much you can give and where.
When you know the areas of life that truly matter, your efforts will be directed towards them, and not wasted on mindless, space-filling activities.
A fundamental aspect of simple living is clearing clutter.
This clutter may be of bad habits, draining relationships, self-loathing, unfair expectations, and more.
Clearing these things out creates space for breathing, for relaxation, and meaning.
5. Accept yourself
Self-acceptance is embracing yourself just as you are. There are no conditions attached. You accept yourself fully.
When we're looking forward, we can lose sight of where we are right now.
Acceptance should not be postponed to the point when we feel that we are as perfect as it's possible for us to be.
This doesn't mean that we're looking at our flaws as good things, we're just accepting that they are in us and choosing to improve them.
Self-acceptance works to remove self-loathing. Despising ourselves into a version that we'll hopefully admire doesn't sound like a good idea.
We are who we are right now. And, we can become better only when we know what we have to build upon.
And, that's it! These were my 5 broad tips on how you can put yourself first. I hope this helped you.
Putting yourself first is a step towards an authentic, compassionate, generous, and responsible life, and I wish you the very best for it.
Share this post wth the people you care about. Take care!
👉 Continue reading: 14 Real Ways to Show Compassion to Others and Yourself