How to Put Yourself First Without Feeling Guilty

We often hear about the importance of putting others first, and being selfless. But what if you want to put yourself first? Doesn’t that make you selfish? Actually, it doesn’t – you CAN put yourself first without feeling guilty.

Put Yourself First Without Feeling Guilty

How to Put Yourself First Without Feeling Guilty

The best way to take care of others is to FIRST take care of yourself. In an increasingly busy world, I hear women all the time talk about how this is more and more difficult to do. We’re constantly told that we should be putting others first, and that being selfish is a bad thing.

Many of us, however, feel guilty when we put ourselves first. After all, isn’t that being selfish? The truth is that it’s actually impossible to be truly happy if we don’t care for ourselves first.

In this blog post, I’ll explain why it’s okay to put yourself first without feeling guilty, and I’ll address the fear I know you have, which is not wanting to become a person who only cares about themselves (I assure you that’s not what we’re doing here).

1. Putting yourself first without feeling guilty will not make you egoistical

Many of the women I work with feel guilty for doing things like shutting their office door and getting their work done for the day while their husband is with their kids. They feel guilty for things like their spouse asking them to spend time with them right as they have just sat down with their tea to plan their next day.

These are not things that you need to feel guilty about. It is OK that these things are important to you. It is absolutely possible for you to think about the things that you genuinely care about, and the people who you want to genuinely care for and be there for, and still take care of yourself.

When you’re stuck in the depths of feeling guilty for not being able to be everything for everyone, you will miss opportunities to be truly present and notice what a different those moments make.

2. Stop feeling guilty for putting yourself first and spending time on you

It’s important to remember that there is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself. In fact, it’s essential if you want to be your best self. When you take care of everyone else before you, you become exhausted, depleted, and resentful, and this is how others begin to view you. I know that’s not what you want.

3. Practice self-compassion and self-care

Self-care is vitally important. When we take care of ourselves, we send the message that we matter. We are telling ourselves that we are worth it. And that is a message we all need to hear. You also send this message to others that you value yourself, and this is important because YOU set the expectations of what others can expect of you.

Self-compassion is also VITAL. Self compassion is the proven power of being KIND to yourself. It’s vital that we learn self compassion as we grow, I have a whole lesson dedicated to this in Aligned Coaching–or you can grab Self-Compassion the book by Dr. Kristin Neff.

4. Get rid of guilt by letting go of the idea that you should be perfect and instead try your best every day

It can be tough being a woman in today’s society. We are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us we need to be thin, beautiful, and perfect. That we need to be the perfect mom, and that if we’re focused on work we’re neglecting our kids. And if we don’t live up to these standards, we feel guilty and ashamed.

This is why it’s so important for us to be compassionate with ourselves. We are doing the best we can, and that’s good enough. YOU are enough. It’s okay to love both your job, and your kids; to love being with your kids, and love alone time; to need and WANT time for just you; and to NOT want to tend to others 24/7.

5. Change your perspective about how much time is enough

Instead of focusing on the lack of time that you feel you have, focus on what you CAN do. For example, imagine spending 15 dedicated minutes per evening with your kiddo giving them your absolute full attention. Laptop and phones are away, you’re dancing, singing, playing, etc.

Imagine the small moments in your life that you can make intentional and how much more present you would feel if you didn’t feel guilty for taking time to pursue your own dreams and care for you. What if you were proud of yourself for being an example instead?

6. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do

Imagine if you lived from a place of focusing not on lack, but on what you DID want your attention to go to. Imagine you made a list and on it, it said: my family–husband, kids, dog–work, and my own self-care. This was your list today, this is what you knew was most important.

Notice all of the things NOT on this list: cleaning up your house 20x a day, checking social media every time you get a break, answering that call from a family member that you know you don’t have time for today, feeling guilty about working even though it’s important to you.

Imagine being fully present to each area for a chunk of time today. How would that feel? What if you had more days like this?

THIS is the way you start living as the YOU you want to be. The YOU you know you are. The YOU you want to show to the world, because you know the YOU that is tired, exhausted, worried about what other people think, lacking boundaries… is not who you are. And you’re tired of other people experiencing this version of you.

The best way to care for others is to first care for yourself.

Love this post? Get more from the podcast episode where I give examples and stories of how to put yourself first without feeling guilty.

Listen to the Podcast

Put Yourself First Without Feeling Guilty

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why it’s okay to put yourself first without feeling guilty
  • The most important change my clients make to see success in becoming the woman they want to be
  • A change I made this week in my person life that had me show up as my future self (before I was ready)
  • 6 ideas for how to put yourself first without feeling guilty

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Love, Paige
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