We have heard it many times—that we need to take care of ourselves first (emotionally and physically). If we do not, it does catch up with us—from feeling overwhelmed, tired, stressed, less focused and distracted to name a few. In short, our overall well-being suffers. And even though we may think this only impacts us, it goes beyond us. It also impacts those in our lives.
I often hear people say that they will try to stop smoking, eat healthier, exercise, go back to school, get grounded or be more in-the-moment for others (be it their significant other, children, parent or dear friend). First, this is putting the responsibility on someone else, versus you taking responsibility and ownership of the change you want to make.
An unhealthy expectation can emerge by you onto those for whom you say you are making change. When you do this you are not really getting in-touch with yourself and why you want to make change. Also, when you start out the “taking care of yourself first” journey from this stance, it can be difficult to see it through. Why? Because you did not start from you—understanding yourself.
Yes, some people are looking for motivation or inspiration, and they look outside of themselves for this. But when you use others as the motivation or inspiration, it can be easy to find the excuse in those others when you hit a roadblock or a challenge. Taking care of yourself takes hard work, dedication and belief in yourself. Others cannot be responsible for that.
I came across a quote by Jim Rohn that says, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” I think we can extend this to the mind, body and soul as they are all connected. Achieving anything in life starts here.
To get closer to the person we can become, we do not need to do it for others. We start by doing it for ourselves. It is about listening to your collective mind, body and soul and giving it what it needs to feel its best. It is about taking responsibility for your own life—no matter where you are at, no matter your starting point and regardless of your past. Excuses limit and prevent us from growing. Own your life—no one else will.
If you don’t start a change process for you from you, you dim your light. If you play small or shrink so that others around you will not feel insecure or look to others for confirmation or accolades for your progress, you are not letting your light shine, and the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved.
If you feel that you want to make a change do it for you.