Putting yourself first is NOT selfish

When you don’t know your own value, or you value others more, it’s really easy to put everyone else first. To prioritise their needs above yours, to say yes endlessly, to give everything you’ve got.

Until there’s nothing left in the tank.

Apparently, boundaries and self care are something a lot of people struggle with. For some reason we (change-makers), as a breed of professionals, have it made up that saying no is selfish. That putting yourself first is selfish. That having boundaries is selfish.

So here we are. A whole bunch of people who care enormously about everyone else, and not at all about ourselves, to the extent that we’ve pretty well burnt ourselves out.

I don’t know how to emphasise this point enough in writing. If I was stood in front of you I’d be shaking my hands and my head and generally being indescribably frustrated at this, with you!

Doesn’t it seem a little ironic (not to mention totally bonkers) that we worry so much about being genuine, caring, kind and considerate, being that wonderful friend or supportive colleague, that in the process we seem to forget completely and utterly about ourselves?

I’ve got two HUGE problems with this.

  1. I know when I’m tired, I’m pretty useless. It’s not a case of pushing on through or having an early night. I need some genuinely decent time out. Emotional, intellectual and physical recuperation. I only get to this point because I also fail to put myself first as much as I should. And only, ONLY, when I’ve had that break and put myself first can I get back in the game. The point here is putting yourself first isn’t selfish it’s essential. And it’s the only way to guarantee you’ll have enough to give someone else.
  2. If you can’t be kind to yourself, how on earth can you be genuinely and authentically kind to others. Really! That seems as mad as wearing only one shoe.

So, I’m writing this blog because I’d like to start a revolution. I’d like us all to live in a world where we all feel like it’s okay to say “I’m so sorry, I’d love to help you but I’m pretty overloaded. Any chance you could ask Bob?” Basically where we feel it’s okay to have boundaries, say no, and listen to our own physical and emotional needs.

I’m writing this blog because I’d love you to go away feeling inspired and empowered to put in place the boundaries that you need in order to thrive.

Putting yourself first is better for everyone

Ultimately, I’m writing this blog because I want you to know you matter. And that putting yourself first is the kindest, most wonderful thing you could do for everyone. Because putting in place the boundaries and routines you need in your life in order to be well, healthy, happy and to thrive is the biggest service you can do for the other people in your life. It’s the only way to be sure you’re going to have enough to give when they need it. To engage and listen when they ask for your help or attention. And to make the difference in this world that only you can make.

Over to you:

Got other fabulous reframes or ways of thinking about boundaries? Please share them in the comments below.


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    Copyright ©Joey Clifton 2014 | Website Design by Lisa McLoughlin Art

    © Joey Clifton 2014-15 | Website Design by Lisa McLoughlin Art