Updated: Feb 10, 2020
Have you ever chosen someone else's needs before your own? Yeah, ME TOO. In fact, most of my young life has been me making decisions that benefit others, because I would rather experience the discomfort & pain of not getting what I wanted than seeing someone else upset. I've noticed a pattern in my life when it comes to this topic, that I always allow others to choose BEFORE I get the chance, or even when I have the chance, I turn it over in someone else's power. Now, some people may call this considerate or laid back. And I do in fact, tend to think of myself as laid back, easy-going and especially non-competitive (except for that one time I played field hockey in high school). However, as I reflect back on my life and see it through *more mature* eyes, I realize that what I've actually been doing is saying no to myself and yes to everyone else.
You might think all of this is harmless, BUT what happens when we stop making decisions for ourselves is that our needs, our wants and our desires become stifled and often, we can develop an inner resentment that gets built up against ourselves over time. This has been an extremely profound lesson from the Universe and here's why.
I'm willing to bet that anyone who reads this has had an experience similarly to mine where you've chosen someone else's needs over yours. And I'm here to say that if you keep going down that path, then your subconscious mind is always going to believe that you're not good enough or worthy of the things that you truly want.
For me, over the last few years, I've learned that the only solution is to choose what I want and need even if it makes others uncomfortable around me. Because at the end of the day, the only person that has to live with my discomfort is me. And in all honesty, I know that I (just like everyone reading this) is deserving of the dreams I have and the things I want. Life is not meant to be experienced taking a back seat to your desires. Life is meant to be lived. And that means sticking up for yourself, knowing your worth and choosing to STOP spending your time doing the things that you know you strongly dislike.
Here are some of the side effects that I've noticed can occur from saying no to your own needs too often...
1.) Your subconscious mind actually starts to take this on as a habit and automatically puts other people's needs before your own. You see, your subconscious mind is like a tape recorder. It listens and hears EVERYTHING you say about others and yourself and it takes it all in as absolute truth. So, if you're constantly saying things like, "no, you first" or "no, that's okay, I just want the other person to be happy," or "it doesn't really matter to me what we do," (when it actually does matter), then what you're programming into your subconscious mind is the belief system that says, "I'm not important enough" and that someone else will always be MORE important.
2.) Your self-worth feels less than ok. Think about it for a minute. What does it feel like to put your life on the back burner while everyone else around you gets exactly what they want? Yup... usually pretty shitty. When you never do the things that you know you need or want to, you start to wonder where your purpose is. Why attend that business meeting with that person you don't want to work with? Why continue out a friendship if it feels less than supportive? Why change around your whole schedule to accommodate someone else's, when you know that will only add more stress to your life? Letting yourself choose YOU over whatever else is in front of you, is a practice in self-love and it will only repair your self-worth and self-esteem as time goes on.
3.) You might not go after your dreams because you're too worried to offend or upset someone else in your path. I have to be blunt here, WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS? In my opinion, life is all about taking risks, being authentic and truthfully doing things that make you fulfilled. If you're constantly putting everyone else's needs before your own, then being happy will be a challenge, because after so many years of ignoring your needs, you will likely feel burnt out, unfulfilled and overlooked.
4.) By trying to accommodate others needs more than your own, you're taking away the other persons ability to deal with challenge and struggle. A big part of life is being faced with contrast and in those moments, we are really being asked to grow, evolve and shift. If we are always trying to fix other peoples lives by putting their needs first, then we actually deprive THEM of experiencing struggle, which will ultimately help them grow into higher versions of themselves. That person likely needs to experience some type of challenge in order to evolve at that moment and to take that away from them is to take away their chance to grow. Stop worrying about how others will feel the moment you say no to them. That's not your job to figure out, it's theirs.
Here's the thing, it's 2019 and it's time to get real with yourself. It's okay to be a little bit selfish. In an incredibly busy and chaotic world, if you do not put your own needs first, likely no-one will do that for you.
*** Take the time to REALLY do the things that light you up, that inspire you and that you WANT to do at least once per day!
Simple, right? You see, I'm not asking you to never consider someone else's feelings ever again. BUT, I am asking you to choose things that feel good for YOU at least once per day. And the reason I want this to be a daily practice for you is because re-training your subconscious mind to believe that you're worth it takes constant reaffirming and action. It will not necessarily be easy at first and your brain will start to play tricks on you and it will test you in ways that you might not recognize. When your co-worker asks you to pick up that extra shift but you know you can't add one more thing to your schedule, you'll be tested. When you're invited to coffee on a day where you really need to get work done instead, you'll be tested. When other people don't understand why you're putting yourself first or are ridiculing or questioning you for it, you'll be tested. But ultimately, IT WILL BE WORTH IT.
Choosing you is the modern version of self-care. It's the new age way of declaring, "I'm worth it," and "I am worthy of the things I want." And as women, this is even more important, because we've been bred since birth to take care of everyone else's needs except our own.
So today, I challenge you to choose your own needs first, even if it's one seemingly insignificant thing. Because I'm here to reassure you, that you're worth it and YOU DESERVE IT.
As always, thank you for reading and being here with me in this moment.