We are a culmination of the information we consume, the words we speak, and the actions we take. As such, it is imperative that we make the best possible choices for ourselves each and every day. With so many options and so much going on in our lives, it’s more convenient to choose the quickest and most obvious decision. Each time we neglect properly analysing our decisions in favour of work or someone else’s needs, we betray ourselves. Why is it that we tend to forsake our long-term plans and mental health in favor of “efficiency”?
Keeping the peace
We are so used to putting other people first, as well as being expected to do so. Being so capable and practiced in multitasking, it’s almost always easier to say ‘yes’ than to really consider whether this fits into your schedule. It makes sense! Making sure that you’re in a conflict-free environment is a completely valid goal. The caveat lies, however, in whether or not maintaining this harmony is conducive towards you achieving your long term goals.
Creatures of habit
As women, we’ve been taught to put other people first your whole life. While it’s kind to take other people’s needs into consideration, it’s also important that we show ourselves the same compassion. Putting yourself first does not have to be a selfish act. However, making a decision that serves you and your happiness can be perceived as egocentric by others. This is when we have to consider whether their praise, or our long-term mental health is more important. In short, put ourselves first.
Paying it forward
There are few feelings comparable with sharing our joy with others. Whether it’s using your privilege to help someone with less, employing your free time to help a colleague, or allocating your emotional energy to balance someone else’s, we like seeing other people happy. This can exhaust us, though. When we’re so focused on lifting others’ spirits, we neglect our own. Moreover, consistently prioritising the emotional wellbeing of others over ours indicates we are evading our own feelings.
Why should I put myself first?
As if the many unique qualities that make you such an admirable individual aren’t enough to convince you to put yourself first, here is one reason: your wellbeing. Your mental and physical health are two things that are extremely important in life. Everytime you put someone else’s needs above yours, you risk deterring yourself from important goals as well as exertion. As results driven career-women, it’s quite discouraging and stressful when we cannot reach targets we have set for ourselves. Stress leads to mental health problems and is heavily correlated with physical ailments.