13 Reasons to Put Yourself First: The Unselfish Edition

Over spicy guac, sulfite-free wine [obviously] and dog-eared copies of our latest read, the amazing women of my Blissed-out Book Club [some of which even Skype in from out of state!] get into some pretty emotionally-charged conversations.

Case and point:

Some of the gals voiced concern that prioritizing personal development often felt a little, shall we saaaay, selfish.

Gasp! Shudder! Twerk!

I know, I felt the same way.

And we all feel like that sometimes, don’t we? That prioritizing our needs, feelings, development, self, feels a little ego-maniacish? I mean, how many yoga classes and therapists do we really need?

Answer: [as long as you’re growing in a positive direction, see big beautiful changes happening and are able to pay your electric bill], as many as feels good + 1 really f*@king great one.

Because here’s the thing — putting yourself first isn’t about being selfish, it’s about filling yourself up emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically, so you can give, love and live from a place of wholeness.

And wholeness is GOOOOOOD. It means that…

relationships are complimentary, not supplementary.
love is abundant, not rationed.
self-worth is your right, not a privilege.

But the KEY [capitalized, so you know it’s important] to unselfishly making yourself a priority is to not do it at someone else’s expense.

Because why would you need to sacrifice someone else to love-up and nurture yourself?

You most certainly don’t.  Hmmmh.

And suuuure, when you’re comfy being the supah-star in your own life, haters gon’ hate and folks might get uneasy, but their feelings are a reflection of their own, pardon my French, shit and you need relationships where it’s A-OK to be exactly who you are [especially if that ‘you’ is making feeling great, so that you can ultimately treat other people great, a priority].

So in order to limelight the priority that YOU are [and because I woke up today feeling extra listy], I’ve put together, in no particular order, 13 Reasons to Put Yourself First, Unselfishly.

 

1. Your bod will thank you.
Guess what happens when you’re over-stressed, under-sleeped? [under-sleeped almost sounds like a real word]. You end up totally sick and glued to your mattress, as your body screams at you to TAKE CARE OF IT, because its immune system is down and it’s forced to wear those ridiculously hideous pink fleece pajamas, AGAIN.

2. Your heart will explode.
And contrary to popular belief, heart-exploding is a good thing. It means you’re taking care of yourself in such a top-notch and heart-centered way that love is starting to expand and generously overflow inside youand all that overflow lovingly reaches and benefits the friends, fam + super special randoms hangin’ around in your life.

3. Your mirror will reflect beauty.
When you’re in a clear-headed, positive and loving space, your lens shifts dramatically and you start to see the good, beautiful and daaaaaaaaamn you fine in everything, including your reflection.

And since, as far as I’m aware, this is the only body we’ll get in this lifetime, we should, at a minimum, be head over heels for it.

4. You get to naked dance.
I mean, do I even NEED to sell that one?!

But when you start to actually take care of you emotionally, physically and mentally, you begin to feel fantastic and secure in the skin you’re in, regardless of shape, size and weight. And feeling that fantastic can result in an absurd about of naked dancing.

5. Your compassion meter will be OFF THE CHARTS.
Compassion is your sensitivity to self-suffering and the suffering of others, with a commitment do actually doing something about it. And as you physically and mentally clear space, time and energy in your life for self-compassion, you’ll direct a deeper sense of mindfulness and kindness to your own challenges and side-steps.

Translation: You’ll be WAY nicer to yourself.

6. You’ll become a love monster.
Which is pretty much the only monster that won’t cause you to shat your pants.

When you’re committed to loving you better, that love becomes the catalyst for action. You’ll plan more dates, gatherings, adventures, spontaneous hugs [notice the oxymoron?] and allow you to create more love-driven experiences every day.

7. You get to be YOU in a relationship.
Putting yourself first means keeping your individuality alive and thriving, even as you become interlaced with a partner. When we get consumed in our relationships by focusing on pleasing the other person and neglecting ourself, it means that two people are sustaining one. And that second person [usually us ladies], becomes lost along the way, which means we’ve lost half of the whole. Make sense?

So put yourself first by knowing, nurturing and cultivating the amazing gal you are beyond your relationship.

8. You stop needing to fit in.
The balance beam between being yourself and being included can be a tight line to walk, but when you forgo what you want and who you are in order to feel included, you’ll end up uncomfortable, inauthentic and all sorts of WHACK. So prioritize you by focusing on friendships that stem naturally from your lifestyle and surround yourself with folks similar to you or the ‘you’ you’re working toward.

9. You’ll be less agreeable, but more authentic.
Conceding or agreeing too often can cause some real conflict, especially when you’re losing YOU at the expense of other people’s wants and opinions. And ultimately, you’ll end up resenting yourself or the folks in your life for “putting you” in situations that you despise.

Eating cheeseburgers when you’d prefer a salad? Lounging on the couch when you’d rather hike? Stop playing chameleon to appease others — instead, light up and show yourself exactly as you are.

10. You’ll commit to what you care about [resentment free].
Your weekly French class, 6AM yoga [kudos to you, early bird], abstract painting — hobbies and activities aren’t just something you ‘like to do’, they become an expression of who you are. And when you prioritize what energizes you, you give yourself permission to be feel joy, develop your gifts, and unapologetically put a little more love and a little more you out into the world.

11. You won’t spew pea soup. um…ewww…
When you’re a stressed-out mess, your head might rotate like an exorcism if anyone within a 50-yard radius crosses your path.

If you haven’t moved your bod, ate a decent meal or spent an ounce of ‘you-time’ unashamedly reading that new young adult dystopian novel that just hit the book shelves [errr…you guys read those too, right?], the pea soup will fly. So make time to nourish, relax and unleash the stress in a non-frightening way.

12. Your loved ones will like you more.
You think your fam and friends can’t tell when they’re talking to you and you’re a mental space cadet?

Folks who know and love you best, want to see a you that’s happy, healthy and clear-headed. By taking some you-time, you’ll be more engaged, fully present and a total likable-force-to-be-reckoned-with for the folks the matter most.

13. You’ll be a generosity-MACHINE.
When you do the things that make you happy every day, you can show up as a more loving, kind and radiant version of you — and that version of you is the one that is most helpful to the world. Because if you start showing up for yourself, you are more able to show up for others.

So don’t be afraid to LOVE YOURSELF — encouraging words, a morning jaunt through the park or even a damn good massage — are pretty spectacular places to start and you’re a pretty spectacular person to start with.

But what prioritizing yourself is really about?  Saying, ‘I’m worth it — worth the time, energy, work and love — and I’m going to treat myself like exactly that’, so you can love yourself fully, radiate confidence and live life on your terms and in a way that every day feels like a total expression of YOU.

And that’s exactly what we’re doing over at Beauty Experiment, prioritizing YOU for a change.

Half the women have been selected, so apply here before all the spots are accounted for [we had more applicants than availability + filled up last time!]

 

Does prioritizing yourself make you uncomfy? Does it feel selfish? Indulgent? Like the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself?

I would love to hear from you below.

  • I sometimes feel totally guilty for going to yoga a few times a week, or when I go out with friends more than once a week. I should be spending that time with my kids and hubby RIGHT?

    When I’ve had a particularly busy week I can sometimes sense their annoyance or maybe that’s just my perception?

    I tell myself that me doing me will make me happier. If I’m happy, I’m a better mom/wife/friend/human. And I also want to teach my kids to look after themselves. I want to show them it’s totally cool to go out and relax, go exercise.

    PS – I totally want to be a LOVE MONSTER!

    • And YOU ARE a happier healthier ALL OF THE ABOVE for having friend and downward dog time. You’re also eliminating, what I like to refer to as, ‘Mom martyrdom guilt’ for giving up your entire life/self/hobbies/friends/insert-fulfilling-descriptive for your kids, so you can parent from a whole place. High 5 JF!

      And I totally picture a Love Monster to be hot pink and hairy with purple horns, don’t you?

      • Yes! F mom martydom! It’s not easy, and I easily fall into the martyr trap sometimes.

        I’ll picture a hot pink purply monster next time martyr Jacq pops up! X

        • with GIGANTIC PAWS and maybe a light up heart belly like a Care Bear.

  • Annmarie Campus

    Now that my kids are older and I put them first for so many years, it is time for some me time. It IS a struggle everyday to remember that is not only good for me but it IS good for them. They will be okay without me for an hour or two a couple times a week.

    I told my son the other day if he wanted more time with me, he could join me in he kitchen to help prep a meal or two. Now he calls on my way home to see if he could do anything to help with dinner, he gets it. Hope it lasts!

    • Yes yes yes — reprioritizing you goes at the top of the to do list! [obviously, because you’re so worth it], but doesn’t have to mean isolating the kids in the process.
      Inviting them to help in activities that Mom likes or wants to do, like cooking, is a FANTASTIC idea. You’re about to have a little chef on your hands Annmarie…

  • Monica Campbell

    I LOVE this post Allie! As a single lady…I generally put myself first however this list (love lists!) definitely highlights a lot of areas where I need to grow and love myself more to experience the great stuff this list implies!!

    • The question is, WHO DOESNT LOVE LISTS?!

      I’m happy you’re inspired to grow your current LOVELY self to an extra LOVELY future self. xoxo

Allie LeFevere | Founder of Obedient