Lesson 8 – It’s Time to Put YOU First
It is your responsibility to look after yourself first as your priority and it is selfless not selfish. This is commonly misunderstood, especially by women and mothers – traditionally women were raised to look after other people, it is their natural nurturing role whereas the man’s role is as hunter and provider.
Of course in modern times life has changed and roles have become blurred and I’m not about to get into a debate about equality, but at the same time, it needs to be recognised that there is still an expectation and a natural instinct for women to put others first. The male and female roles are part of the primitive human blueprint that is still within us, even though modern society and modern expectations have changed. It just as difficult for many women to not feel selfish when they put themselves first as it does for man’s ego not to be bruised when they find they’re unable to provide for their family adequately.
I’m not saying it’s right or that everyone feels these pressures, but to a greater or lesser extent they are still there and we need to find a way of finding a balance with it within our own mental and emotional comfort levels.
Understanding it is beneficial for all involved when you are happy, calm and fulfilled is the first step in accepting that it is OK to put your own needs first before seeing to the needs of others. When you are happy, calm and relaxed and looking after yourself as a priority, then it is easy to give to others because you have all the internal resources you need to give selflessly. Giving becomes selfish when you do it with resentment.
There is a lovely analogy that one of my colleagues uses to explain this concept – if you have ever flown on an aeroplane and listen to the safety brief at the beginning, you will have heard the flight attendants instructing you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others if the case should arise.
Do you think the person you’re giving to would be happy themselves if they knew their needs were causing your stress, anxiety or even illness. What do you think Mary’s children would have said if they have known how she really felt about it – do you think they would have rather had the opportunity to make alternative arrangements? Other people are actually OK with you saying ‘no’. It is much easier to hear ‘no’ than it is to say ‘no’
So how do you look after yourself as a priority and put yourself in the right frame of mind to give to other people selflessly on your terms when you want to.
Doing things you enjoy, being with people you enjoy being with and thinking in a positive way.
These three things create the beneficial neurotransmitters we need as humans to cope with anything life throws at us, including being confident around other people and knowing when to say ‘no’.
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter we talk about most, simply because it’s the most important. Serotonin helps us cope and motivates us, it makes us braver, gives us confidence, it helps us cope with physical fear, boosts our immune system and puts us in the intellectual part of our brain which is rational and solution focused.
Your job is to do the things that create serotonin and then you will increase your confidence and courage enough find a way to say ‘no’ that you’re OK with.
Tomorrow you will receive ten easy ways to deliver a guilt free ‘no’.