‘Givers’ are people whose joy and fulfillment comes from supporting those around them, and I am definitely one of these folks. As a ‘giver’ I often put my wants on the back burner and prioritize the needs others.
Recently I’ve come to realize that, as important as it is for me to be supportive of the people in my life, it’s equally important for me to make sure I put myself into the mix. When looking at what others want, it may not always be the best decision for me to subjugate my needs to theirs. There are times when my needs are as important, or even more important, than those of others.
I used to think that putting my needs first was a form of selfishness, which has a negative connotation that implies a disregard for other people. However, taking care of myself has nothing to do with others. The reality is that when I take care of something that’s important to me I’m being self-nurturing, using self-respect and valuing myself. It’s not saying I’m “better than”, it’s saying I’m “equal to”, and therefore deserve the same consideration.
When I choose to take care of myself, I’m replenished and have more to give to others. Once my needs have been addressed, I’m energized and ready to focus on giving even more to my family, friends and clients.
As they always tell you on an airplane, put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before you help others. If you don’t, you won’t be in any condition to help anyone.
So, this month I’m reflecting on ways to be aware of my needs, give them the respect they deserve, and find ways to balance them with the wants and needs of the people in my life.
Please share with us how you take care of yourself. Your thoughts could be just the inspiration someone else needs.
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