4 Behaviors That Keep You From Putting Yourself First

America prides itself on freedom and liberty, yet so many of us are missing out on those benefits because we’re holding ourselves back. We are surrounded by opportunity, but unable to grab it. We allow our preconceptions, misconceptions, and thoughts to prevent us from embracing certain ideas. We miss out on a lot because we stop hearing our inner-voice.

It’s difficult to ignore the messages that society sends us about putting this, that, and the next thing first. It’s easy to understand why so many of us tend to fade into the background when it comes to putting ourselves first. How can you possibly determine your needs when you’ve lost the ability to connect with yourself? Unfortunately, there are behaviors that prevent us from putting ourselves first.

  1. Procrastination
    Sadly, it’s something that we use a defense mechanism. We put things off because there’s nothing appealing about doing them. How can this possibly prevent you from putting yourself first? Well, eventually you do have to have to do that work (or whatever it is you’ve been putting off) and with all that time being eaten up by avoiding it and then finally doing it… you have lost out on time you could have dedicated to yourself. There’s also the small issue of leaving things to the last minute and not performing at your best. Procrastination is actively harming you.
  2. Glorifying Your Busyness
    Do you always say yes when you’re asking to do something, no matter what it is? It’s hard to put yourself first when you’re giving all your spare time away to being everything to everyone else. Successful people know how to say no and they know how to put themselves first. Staying busy does not make you a success, it means you’re a pushover who is pushing too hard, and eventually, you will break.

Saying no is hard, but don’t just think of it as putting yourself first (even though it is), the entire purpose of putting yourself first is that it improves your performance in every aspect of your life. You’re doing yourself endless favors by putting your foot down.

  1. Stress
    Self-care isn’t always a massage at the spa or a bubble bath with a glass of wine. Sometimes it’s resting when your body is telling you that you’re tired. You can put yourself first by following a healthy sleep schedule, which will also help mitigate your stress levels. Stress has a major impact on your life and it’s important that you learn how to manage it. Often, being chronically stressed will lead you to make the wrong decisions and you and your health and happiness get shoved to the backburner.
  2. Not Setting Goals
    Everyone needs priorities and part of that is setting goals for yourself. There’s no point setting all of your goals in the future, though, you need short-term goals for balance. Where do you want to be in 10 years? It’s great that you know, but you need to know how you’re going to get there and the steps you will take to reach it. Wandering aimlessly through life is no way to look after yourself.

Putting yourself first doesn’t need to be glamorous; sometimes it’s just exercising common sense that will help guide you through life. People are naturally happier when they feel financially secure and know where life is headed. It’s okay to pump the breaks and reassess the direction you’re headed if you realize that you’ve lost sight of yourself in the process of chasing success. There’s no shame in putting yourself first, in fact, it’s imperative.

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