Written by Amy Ballantyne
Do you ever put yourself last because you feel that every one else’s needs are more important?
Work/business comes first.
Kids come first.
Partner comes first.
Pets come first.
House work comes first.
Sometimes these things must be prioritized ahead of everything, there is no doubt. But the key is noticing the story behind the prioritization. When we are prioritizing things over our eating, our movement, our goals, our time to breathe because ‘our own needs can wait’ or because they are ‘just not important enough’, this is the concern.
Any time the word ‘enough’ even enters the thought or conversation this is a warning signal.
I have been in your shoes. I was the mother and wife who put everything else in my own world last. I have been in the place of feeling exhausted, drained mentally, physically and emotionally and feeling as though my needs were not as important. And then something shifted. I had two big realizations.
- Firstly, I was not living in alignment with who I once knew myself to be – an empowered woman, leading myself first.
- Secondly, I was not being the role model I wanted to be. I did not want to carry forward this legacy that the mom is last on the list, whose needs and goals are secondary to everything.
I wanted to be more, to do more and to have more in my life. But I needed the energy, the mindset and the tools to go after these dreams. I was giving away all of my life force without refuelling, and I finally noticed the toll it was taking on me.
I realized that for things to change I must make new choices, think new thoughts and take new actions.
This is what led me to having more confidence to raise the priority level on my own needs. It also worked in reverse; as I raised the priority level on my own needs, I was also growing in my personal confidence. My awareness of my worthiness increased, and this has made all the difference.
Here are the three steps you can take in order to raise the value on your own needs:
Step #1: New Choices
Our day is filled with thousands of choices. When I started making choices in alignment with the intention I wanted to experience in my day and the things that I value most in life, my confidence grew. My internal knowing that I was following the right path for me became clear.
Step #2: New Thoughts
The story we tell ourselves all day long is key, and we can choose to strengthen the voice within. The current story we are telling ourself is one perspective. Becoming more aware of the thoughts we are having and the truth behind them is one place to start.
Step #3: New Actions
When I place value on my own needs, goals and desires and take action on these areas it actually serves to refuel and rejuvenate me in all areas of my life. Here is a specific example to help visualize:
A busy working mother is exhausted and has a to-do list one mile long. What she craves in this moment is her favourite tea, quiet time on her own and to think about nothing on the to-do list. In the past she would push through her desire to rest, telling herself the story that it doesn’t matter, she has to get everything done ‘right now’, panic mode/rush mode is turned on full scale and she just continues to go ‘super human mode’, with no end in sight, draining a near empty battery.
Based on the learning above, she has an aha moment that something must change.
Her new action in this moment will be to evaluate what is critically urgent as she wants to honor herself and her feeling and desire to rest and refuel.
- She decides, based on the current moment, to make the choice to put her needs first by taking 30 minutes for a tea, to sit and put her feet up.
- She takes the action and thinks the new thought; celebrating herself for listening to what her body needs, pausing the chaos for a moment and refocusing herself.
- She feels better, more energized, happier, and calmer. This moment gives her confidence to repeat this again.
I invite you to change your perspective on your own needs.
I invite you to raise the value you place on them.
If you don’t, no one else will.
You get to lead yourself first. You get to take care of your mental, physical and emotional selves. The choice is yours.
Accredited Wellness & Life Coach Amy Ballantyne provides high level coaching to clients who want to shift limiting beliefs, patterns and stories, improve wellness habits, reduce stress and create the life they truly desire. Her process is focused on accountability, empathy and support. Amy provides 1:1 coaching as well as group coaching through her membership program focused on helping women raise their confidence and wellbeing; going from a ‘someday’ attitude to today! There are a variety of specific health related areas which Amy supports. These include: eating, exercise, sleep, water intake, supplementation, digestive health, pregnancy, peri/menopause and energy improvement.