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Updated: Jul 29, 2022

…To Begin with Self?

From a very young age you were probably taught to be extremely mindful of others, and though the intent was undeniably honorable, the overall results may have been slightly south of what was intended. I fear that the need for mindfulness of others may have been overemphasized, at the expense of awareness of self. What I mean is, you might be doing an excellent job caring for Others but not so good caring for Self. Now please don’t misunderstand what I’m suggesting. You were not created to live a selfish life, and selfishness is quite unacceptable and uncelebrated. On the other hand, you were also not created to live a life of self-neglect, because self-neglect is also unacceptable and not the goal. Responsibilities towards others begin with responsibilities for Self. So, is it possible to be keenly aware of the needs around you and grossly unaware of the needs within you? I think so.

Here is a sample list of our Others-Focused training.

  • Respect Others

  • Be Kind to Others

  • Forgive Others

  • Be Honest with Others

  • Love Others

  • Be Truthful to Others

  • Trust Others… (Minus Strangers) 😃

  • Get to Know Others

  • Be Patient with Others

As a parent, I boldly confess that we unapologetically kept these principles in front of our children, and for good reason. Every single one of these qualities are excellent and profitable, but here’s the question I’m asking you to consider. Was EQUAL TIME and EFFORT extended to help them understand the importance of:

  1. Respecting Yourself

  2. Being Kind to Yourself

  3. Forgiving Yourself

  4. Being Honest with Yourself

  5. Loving Yourself

  6. Being Truthful with Yourself

  7. Trusting Yourself

  8. Getting to Know Yourself

  9. Being Patient with Yourself

Now before you read another word, I beg you to pause for a moment and answer the question. Was there EQUAL TIME and EFFORT extended to help you understand the importance of:

  • Respect for Self

  • Kindness to Self

  • Forgiving Self

  • Honesty with Self

  • Loving Self

  • Trusting Self

  • Knowing Self

  • Being Patient with Self

If your answer is yes, hats off to you! You were positioned for balanced and effective living, along with good success and flourishing relationships. However, if your answer is no, welcome to the club. You, like many others have had to make some big adjustments or perhaps you still need to make some big adjustments to get closer to balanced and effective living, and to enjoy good success with meaningful relationships.

It may not be as wise as you think to consistently push yourself to do for others what you neglect to do for yourself. It is also unwise to expect others to do for you what you neglect to do for yourself. Most of what we expect in life and want out of life begins with SELF. How you care for yourself serves as the foundation from which you care for those around you.

Consider looking at this from the perspective of budgeting money. Developing a disciplined habit of taking a percentage of your income off the top for savings and giving, then living off what remains, is a great long-term strategy for building financial success. On the reverse side, developing a habit of spending whatever you want, then saving and giving what’s left, is a poor long-term strategy that often ends badly.

If you will just make time, a small percentage of time off the top, to care for self, be aware of self, align values for self, be honest with self, respect self, be truthful to self… you get the point, then you can spend the rest of you however you choose. And in the long-haul, you remain internally complete and aligned, which allows you to be an influence, a beacon and a source of constant inspiration...because you started where it matters most...with YOU!

There is a huge difference between Self-care and being Selfish. Self-first approach to healthy living is the opposite of the Selfish approach, which is focused on pleasing Others ultimately to please Self. It's easy to get it twisted.

Here are 3 quick things to consider

1. How have you been trained, how have you trained yourself.

2. If necessary, invite someone to help you process this and develop a plan

3. Make the necessary adjustments, mean it, and stick to the plan.

"When you say 'Yes' to others,

make sure you are not saying 'No' to yourself."

Paulo Coelho

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