Lesson Learned: Putting Myself First

Hi there! Before I begin this post, I wanted to get your guys’ opinion on something. When I was titling this, the phrase “lesson learned” just popped into my head. That got me thinking. As someone who is in her twenties, there is so much I have learned both about myself and about life and there are so many things I could write about. So, I was thinking of making Lesson Learned a blog series! Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in reading in the comment section below. Ok, now onto the post.

To be completely honest, it kind of makes me sad to think that it’s taken me until my late twenties to respect myself enough to put myself first. A lot of this is due to my anxiety. For the longest time, I believed that it was a selfish thing to put myself first and, if I did, then everyone would see me as entitled or self-centered. Part of me even believed that I didn’t deserve the luxury of self love. Consequently, I almost always put the needs of others before my own. I am also a people pleaser by nature so confrontation is just not something I’m comfortable with (though my family would beg to differ).

Growing up, I was much more of a follower and hardly, if ever, showed any leadership qualities. I didn’t have many friends and I didn’t want to stir the pot and risk putting those relationships in danger by being anything other than accommodating. Looking back now, it seemed that I cared more about being liked than I did about being happy.

As I reached adulthood, the fear of not being liked stayed with me. I started working regularly when I was 19 and I strived to be the perfect employee. I always did what I was asked and I went above and beyond for the places I worked; I rarely called out and I was always super flexible with my schedule. I guess you can say I was the ultimate brown-nose worker. I continued to do this even after I became a manager. I would work long days, or long stretches of days, so that I didn’t come off as lazy or unmotivated. I would let people walk all over me because I had little respect for myself and my health. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I gave more of myself than I had.

The fears, anxieties and lack of self love contributed to a slew of mental health issues I had in my early twenties. You would think that would have been when my attitude towards self-respect changed, right? Not necessarily. For me, it seems that I have to learn things the hard way more than once for me to reach a turning point (I can’t help it if I’m stubborn). It wasn’t until recently that I had had enough of coming in last. Part of it is due to therapy and part is because I’ve gotten more mature and, frankly, I was sick of being like this. I realized that no one has my best interests at heart like I do and that no one’s going to fight for them with the amount of ferocity like I will. It was time for me to take control of my life without the guiltiness or fear of loving myself. It’s something that I can’t ever lose sight of…my well-being depends on it.

Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to let me know your thoughts on making Lesson Learned a blog series and don’t forget to subscribe. Have an awesome day!!

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