Self-Esteem Course: Part 3: You come first

The Third Principle is: “You come first”.  Put yourself, your happiness, and your needs first. Remember that the only way you can help other people, including your children if you have any, is by making sure that you first are safe, joyful, and healthy. And there is nobody else more qualified to this for you than yourself.

Our culture has a serious problem embedded in it. And the worst part of this issue is that it’s passed off as a virtue. The problem I’m speaking of is: we are not supposed to like ourselves. If we like ourselves, we are called “selfish”, and this is a dirty word. But this leads to the horrible problem of Low Self Esteem. You see, it’s not “selfish” which is wrong. It’s self-centered, thinking the whole universe revolves around you. It certainly doesn’t. But you should still like yourself. Otherwise, all you’re doing is wrecking your self-esteem.

Now, to improve your self-esteem, you must learn to put yourself first without the feelings of guilt.Guilt is an evil emotion. When you feel guilt, it’s not your “sins” that you hate; it’s yourself.

Denying your needs and personal desires seems admirable, as I mentioned above. But this is superficial. You might think that if you put yourself first, you are selfish and don’t care about others. But this is, once again, a terrible lie that our culture tell us.

Putting yourself first is not “selfish” (or, more precisely, being “selfish is not a bad thing) because to give the most and the best that you can to other people, you first must become your best. Think about it like this: who gives the most to charity? The poor?. The middle class?. No; the rich. You see, you cannot give what you don’t first possess. And the more you have, the more you have to give.

When you start putting your needs and desires first, you can grow and develop as a healthy and joyful human being. This is the only way you will be able to help other people to do the same in their lives. If you learn to put yourself first, you will also feel less stressed-out, and your self-esteem and confidence will improve naturally.

You know your needs and desires and dreams better than those of anyone else. So, really when I say learn to put yourself first, ean is learn to ACCEPT this truth.

HOW TO PUT YOURSELF FIRST

  • Learn to say “no” to the demands of other people if they thwart your own demands or needs. Learn how to be more assertive and improve your confidence.
  • Find a balance between work and family. Take the time you need for yourself and respect your own needs. Hopefully, you love your work, and assuredly you love your family; but nothing comes first in your life except your life.
  • Avoid demanding and abusive people. They are self-centered, not putting their self first. Recognize this important distinction.
  • Listen to your body and don’t allow others to assert pressure on you to eat differently or exercise differently without your consent. Let’s say you are out for dinner and you don’t feel like eating chicken; well, just because somebody tries to convince you to eat it because it’s the house specialty doesn’t mean you give in and order the chicken. You eat what you truly feel like eating (but that doesn’t mean eat by rote habit, either).

Putting yourself first means that you give priority to your own personal needs to rest, relax, have fun, and so on. You will become a better person’; you’ll be healthier and have more energy,a nd be able to give more to others than ever before as a result.

Remember that your needs are just as important as anyone else’s.
Practice this principle by focusing yourself in the following affirmation:

My needs are just as important as anyone else. I am important.

I used to sacrifice myself to give more. I kept thinking: “They are more important than me”. The truth behind this behavior was I feared to lose their love. So I became pleasing to everybody in order to feel loved and accepted. In fact , I focused too much on pleasing them, for I believed that needs were more important than my own needs. You can read more about at Put Yourself First

Do the following Exercises:

 

Make the commitment to change your behavior by staying focused on your needs. For example, let’s say that you live with someone else and you have a dog (owned by both of you) and you are the one who, every day, has to take him for a walk. Tell your spouse, roommate, sibling, or whomever you live with that you intend to limit the number of times you take the dog for a walk (unless you really love walking the dog every single day!). Ask them to come up with a new arrangement so that you are not feeling “forced” to walk the dog.

You’ll discover that you feel less stress, anger, and guilt after you assert yourself. As you begin to focus on your needs, you’ll see it can make a world of difference. Freedom and joy come from simple acts of healthy selfishness–and suddenly you’ll discover that you are living with more honesty.

Put Yourself First

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