Putting yourself first can be really difficult to do. It can feel selfish, self-indulgent and a luxury only afforded to those who have time, money and limited responsibilities.
There can be many pressures to conform to expectations. Either at work or at home and whilst that is not a bad thing in itself, it can stifle the real authentic you. What is authenticity? Of undisputed origin and not a copy.
You can only be authentic if you are living free of expectation and embrace the art of what is possible. Day to day life can get in the way, but all is not lost. With a bit of refocus you can easily get back on track with living your life on our own terms.
1) Busyness. Are you really busy? And if so, doing what?
How many times have we procrastinated in making time for ourselves? Whether it’s joining the gym (I’ll start on Monday), cleaning up our eating (once I’ve emptied my cupboards then I’ll start. No point wasting food), to focusing on our career (I’m not really happy with my job but it will do for now), qualifications etc. We come up with every reason under the sun to justify this procrastination; I’m too busy, my job is all consuming, I have responsibilities at home; there are just not enough hours in the day, I just need to wait until things are more settled.
Let’s call a spade a spade. Are these reasons or excuses?
2) Focus on what you really want and make it happen
Sometimes we don’t get what we want because we haven’t yet decided on what that is.
Have you ever tried a vision board? I’ve had one for the past 3 years and I swear by them. A vision board is just a pictorial representation of what you trying to achieve in the year ahead.
It’s great for:
- Having visuals to focus the mind
- People who find lists a bit boring
- Getting the whole family involved
Christine Kane has a really simple guide on how to create your own vision board – http://christinekane.com/how-to-make-a-vision-board/
A common misconception is that they have to be done on the 1st January. A vision board can be done at any point in the year so don’t feel like you to have to wait to get started.
3) Seek validation from yourself not from others
We can ask for our friends, family and colleagues for their opinions. Of course we can as they can be trusted to give us good advice. But often people will comment based on their own point of reference and what’s important to them. You can take their views into account but the primary person you should listen to is you.
Value yourself and your judgement. Nobody walks in your shoes but you.
4) Be clear on your purpose
If you know who you are, what you stand for and what you what out of your life, it will be very difficult to sway you from that path no matter what happens on the way.
Persevere and tune out the voice of doubt. You can achieve what you want and if you experience any setbacks, that’s life. The trick is to keep on going and just enjoy the ride.
As Beyonce belts out in her song Freedom “Ima’ keep on running cause a winner don’t quit on themselves”.
Be bold and take chances. Never apologise for living life on your own terms!