One common theme I see from my clients, especially my female clients, is that they come in last. They prioritize family, career, home, and friendships over themselves. They think that they are being selfish if they focus on themselves. They think I’ll work on myself in the future. This or that needs taking care of right now. I can wait. I’m not important.
Their thinking is flawed. The present is the best time to begin to working on oneself. However, working on oneself is not easy. First you have to admit that there is work that needs to be done.
My personal belief, is that life is a never-ending process of self-improvement. By my logic, you stop working on yourself the moment you take your last breath.
There is no such thing as perfection. My evidence for this is every time I ask a client to paint me a picture of what perfection looks like to them, they can’t. Then they admit to me that their thinking is flawed and we paint a different picture. A picture that has goals which are attainable.
One of my friends used to say to me, “Come on Meredith, you have just as many hours in the day as Beyoncé, you can get more done.” While, I think this was meant to be motivating, I always hated hearing it. Not because I didn’t want to get things done. Not because I’m not motivated. I hated hearing it because I don’t have the same resources as Beyoncé, and I can only get done in a day what I can get done. I don’t compare myself to others. I’m not in competition with anyone other than my past self. That competition is motivation for my continued self-improvement.
Don’t compare yourself to others!
One of the best ways that you can take care of yourself is by being you. Drop the competition and comparisons to others. Admit that you aren’t perfect. Take part in self-care. You aren’t being selfish by doing this. You are being you.
I like to say that during my decision-making process, I evaluate all of the factors through a “Meredith-focused” filter. If it doesn’t work for me, or if it doesn’t align with my principles, I don’t do it. Unless it is a true emergency, I no longer “drop everything” because someone asks me to do something right then. I get to it when I can.
I do what is best for me (and I don’t feel guilty about it).
When you are able to totally focus on what is best for you, everything around you will flourish. You will give your family more love and attention. Your career will thrive. Your home will be beautiful. Your friendships will be stronger.
Put yourself first. Admit that you have self-improvement to do. Work on yourself. Banish that thought of perfection.
Remember, the best self-care is to be exactly who you are.