Choose You First
The importance of making yourself a priority in a world that discourages self-care.
If you have followed my work, then I am sure you have heard me talk a lot about the importance of establishing a healthy relationship with yourself. It took me many years to truly understand this message. It was only after I was burnt out with nothing left to give that I really started to grasp the importance of self-care. Unfortunately, I fell off the wagon in 2016 after many years of getting consistently better at it. At the end of 2016 I had a major health scare that shook me to my core. It forced me to look at my life and examine my priorities once again. Often times what we stress and obsess about is nothing more than a time stealer and energy drainer. If you want to have longevity and live your greatest life then you have to make a decision to make yourself a priority. Here are a few insights I learned on my personal journey.
- You have to create a self-care plan. It is not enough to say that you are going to do better. Honestly, we are creatures of habit. One of the things that I tell my clients all the time is that without a reset your life will be lived in repeat. In other words, you have to stop saying you are going to do better and start making a blueprint for a better life. You need to think about what daily habits you can incorporate to ensure that you live long and strong. Sadly, what I learned is that if you do not make a plan you will never make yourself a priority. You will always having competing priorities that will attempt to rob you of your personal power and peace. Right now I challenge you to write down two to three things you can do everyday to make sure that you are not neglected from your daily agenda.
- You have to lose the super-person trap. This was one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life. Essentially, I am a person that is always trying to serve and help others. While this is a noble quality, sometimes our desire to serve and help becomes extreme. The reality is that you cannot be all things to all people. More importantly, you are of no use to the world unless you remain committed to being your best self. You cannot bring your best self to everyday without making yourself a priority. In essence, I had to realize that saving the world and losing myself is complete failure. It does not matter how many people you help if you are not healthy and whole. Ultimately, we try to be all things to all people because we have great trepidation about simply being. What am I trying to say? Having the courage to simply be who you are will benefit more people than you ever imagined. Liberate yourself from the super-person trap or you will lose yourself. You cannot be all things to all people. However, you can be your best self.
- You must make space for self-care and self-awareness in everyday. One of the most important decisions I ever made was to put myself first every single day. In fact, I was just speaking with a friend of mine about this the other day. Every morning I carve out the first hour of my day for myself. During this time, I spend time praying, meditating, reflecting, reading, writing and doing all the things that nourish my spirit and feed my soul. I do not allow any forms of technology during this time. This time is carved out for self-care and self-awareness. I started this practice many years ago and it revolutionized my life. It brought greater calm and clarity to my world. Most of all, this daily practice helped me find my center again. Instead of living in frustration, anxiety and fear you can live in the flow of life. It is during this time that I get so many answers to life’s questions and I discover so much about myself. It is a practice that has now been part of my life for over 20 years. What I want you to understand is that how you start your day will set the course for your day. Transform your life by taking some time for you at the start of each day.
- Develop a circle of trust. As I stated earlier, I fell off the wagon for a short time in 2016. I was stressed and anxious and I stopped living in the flow. I found myself stressed out the max and I had a major health scare. Immediately I reached out to my circle of trust. These are individuals that I consider close friends. In fact, I consider these individuals accountability partners. I told them about the incident that had happened and I gave them clear directives. I wanted them to check in with me at certain periods every week to ensure that I was staying the course and not reverting back to old habits. Accountability is essential to breaking cycles in your life. These accountability partners hold me accountable and assess whether I am staying committed to choosing myself first. Honestly, I do not trust myself to do it alone. You need people around you that care about your wellbeing and challenge you to pursue wholeness in your life. Today I want you to establish a similar circle in your life. You will be so glad that you did. More importantly, you will be surrounded by people that love you and are willing to protect your liberty.