Have you ever looked in the mirror and had no clue who was looking back at you? Here you are a strong, confident person, but somewhere along your latest journey you lost you. You knew it could happen so damn it you were watching for signs to make sure it didn’t. But here you are looking at a reflection of someone you don’t want to know. How the hell did that happen?
It happens daily. You give yourself a little away every time you forget that you are a priority. Every time you don’t make time for yourself but make time for everyone else in your life, you devalue yourself. It’s not intentional, it just happens. We compromise what we want to have relationships with friends and family, that’s normal, but sometimes you compromise too much and the message you send yourself is you aren’t as important as them. You lose respect for yourself.
How many times when you think about wanting to workout or do an activity you really want to do you say to yourself “I don’t have time for that right now”. The “right now” softens the blow to your ego because you just told yourself you didn’t have time for you. That what you want doesn’t matter. But you DO have time for you. Life is really just a matter of priorities.
No really, it is. All of us wake up in the morning with a to do list that will never get done. We always have more that we think we *should* be doing and carry a constant guilt around that we didn’t do more. That is why so many people respond “busy” to the question of “how are you.” Busy is the new cool. If you’re busy you must be doing something right. But what if your busy is in fact just busy and you have prioritized the wrong things? What if you looked at your list and got rid of the things society inserted and instead focused on what you truly wanted?
So we have a million things on our own to do lists. Then there are all these people in our lives that we care about. And we give to them over ourselves too. I’m not saying you shouldn’t! I’m a giver, it is who I fundamentally am as person. But you also need to give to yourself the same amount of love, time and kindness that you give to your kids, family and partner. If a kid needs to have a craft project done for school, you make sure it is done by the morning. But when it comes to you needing to go to the gym, that isn’t viewed as mission critical so it may or may not get done. What does that mean? You’ve once again devalued yourself just a little bit. You’ve told yourself that you aren’t as important as everyone else in your life.
But you know what? YOU ARE. You are an amazing person and the people in your life benefit from having you. And they want you to take care of yourself because they want you to be healthy and happy to be there for them. When you cease taking care of yourself your relationships suffer, your health suffers, your work suffers. It may be gradual and over a long period of time, but it will happen. Then one day you’ll look in the mirror and be confused by what you see. Hopefully at that moment you spur into action and make changes. But inevitably, the devaluing of ourselves creeps back in and we get lost at another point in time.
Fix this vicious cycle!!!! How? Decide that you are valuable. Decide that whatever your biggest priority for yourself is goes at the top of the to-do list. Is that getting in a workout? Is that eating a salad? Is that going for a walk? Is that reading a book? Whatever you value most right now has to be part of your day. Every day you don’t do this one thing you are feeding your own devalue. What your priority for you is may change, but you need to have a top slot on your to-do list daily. And it has to be one of the things that MUST get done.
Is it hard? Absolutely. Because we do have a million things going on and we want to take care of those around us. But you have to learn to take care of yourself. You have to decide that taking care of yourself is as important (*MORE important*) than any of the other things on your to do list. Have you ever notice that what seriously HAS to get done on your to-do list does in fact get done by the deadline? You find time. You make time. You make the “has to” happen? Put “you” in that category. Tell yourself that you are the most valuable thing. And learn to love yourself so when you look in the mirror, you smile back.