Priority to your well-being: acceptable or selfish?

In a world of kindness and humor, there is also a world of pain and sadness. These emotions come and go like waves, and it can be exhausting having to go between the two extremes all the time. Especially if your intention is purely for the purpose of other people’s needs and emotions.

Having to hide every drop of negativity from the world as a facade is an exhausting endless cycle that can slowly erode true positive emotions. Eventually, you lose the importance of taking care of yourself and you begin to doubt aspects of your life that you never questioned before.

That’s why it’s always good to put yourself and your needs first.

you are not selfish

The stigma of putting yourself and your needs before someone else is labeled selfish is a complete hoax. You are never selfish in making sure you are doing well and that your needs, goals, and standards come first. The only person who can defeat these things is you, no one else can control your emotions and thoughts. While many may say this answer is wrong, the most important person in your life is and always will be you.

Nobody else lives your life and nobody but you will know what you need. Selfishness is defined as the lack of consideration for others. I also believe that this definition includes lack of self-esteem. Constantly showing consideration for others while neglecting oneself and one’s well-being.

The tedious cycle

Day in and day out, you may be a person who always puts something before your own needs. For some people this may be work, school, relationships or friendships, and while all of these aspects of life are important; so are you.

Putting in hours and hours of work that strains your well-being, or forcing yourself to smile and meet the needs of others before your own puts you in this constant cycle. A cycle that can be difficult to break, especially if you feel that if you end up breaking this cycle, you fear the consequences and the judgment of others.

Being part of this ongoing loop will only set you up for self-destruction. Over time, you can reach a certain breaking point which can lead to serious mental health damage.

How to get out?

Realizing that you don’t need the approval of others and that your well-being always comes first is the first step to breaking the cycle. Ultimately, you are your own worst critic, so moving away from any toxicity and bad habits that make you feel less worthy is a step in the right direction. You are in complete control of your life and if you feel like you’ve been in the back, it’s time to get back to the driver’s side. Take a moment to figure out why you went to the backseat and how you’re going to get back and step on the gas.

Evaluate where you are and why you feel you need to put yourself forward again. Once you have identified exactly the basic “why” and “how”, you can start making changes.

block it

Stop looking for approval on social media and counting the number of likes you get. Stop comparing yourself to photoshopped influencers and feeling the guilt rising in your stomach when you realize you didn’t exercise today.

When will loving each other be enough? Having all those insecurities at your fingertips every day can be unhealthy. It goes without saying that you need to feed your brain positive and healthy affirmations, and with our generation completely infatuated with social media, it makes sense to clean up our feeds.

Also, don’t be afraid to cut off all communication with negative people for a while. It can be refreshing to not constantly stoke other people’s drama and stoke their fire. Allowing yourself to break free and cut off any toxic and/or exhausting relationship is completely acceptable. No matter what someone says to you if it puts a strain on your well-being, you have the right to have a say in who you choose to spend your time with.

Change and focus on you

You’ve identified how and why you feel this way, and you’ve blocked out all accessible negativity, now what? It’s time to form new habits and do things for yourself, not for someone else.

Do something you’ve always wanted to do, color your hair a completely different color, or go to a concert you’ve been meaning to attend. Go out to lunch or go for a run, do things that make you feel good and happy. Indulge in self-care and spend a little extra on a new face mask or makeup product. Take care of yourself mentally, start a journal or start making daily gratitude lists. Energize with yoga or watch the sunrise at your local beach. Doing these little things more often than you usually would to make you a happier, more fulfilled version of you.

Taking care of your well-being has never been more important, especially in times like today where the world is in a whirlwind and every day new challenges come our way. Life is too short to accept anything but the best for yourself. Learning to take charge, to love yourself, and to love the life you wake up to every day is something every person needs to do.

You are and always will be in control of the choices and emotions you project. Giving yourself time to put yourself forward so you can attract more positive emotions and experiences is a small sacrifice you have to make for yourself.