Growing up we were often taught that being selfless is valued greater than being selfish. We’re supposed to give back to others, put others before ourselves, and make sacrifices for the good of other people. As important as it is to practice selflessness, however, putting the happiness and well being of others before our own wants and needs is not always as justifiable as it seems. We cannot be our best selves living our best lives if we consistently put others before us on a regular basis.

If you’re guilty of paying more attention to the wants and needs of others, listen up. It’s great that you’re a selfless human being. Honestly, we don’t have enough people like you! But, if you’re falling short of your own goals, sacrificing your own happiness, and living a lesser life as a result of lifting others up, then you’re not treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated.

Here are five reasons why you need to prioritize yourself for a change:

1. You have your own goals to reach.

 It’s one thing if you’re retired with loads of time, money, and resources to give to others in need. But, chances are that while you’re journeying through your twenties, you haven’t reached (or even scratched the surface) of the goals you’ve set your heart on achieving.

You have a career ahead of you. Maybe a marriage and children too. You have traveling to do, knowledge to gain, and experience to get under your belt. Sure, it’s great to volunteer your time in your community to feel a sense of giving back, but don’t completely lose sight of your goals and happiness to help others achieve theirs. You deserve to live the life you envision for yourself. Prioritize yourself!

2. You cannot give if you’re running on empty.

If you’re not sleeping well, getting exercise, eating well, and feeling fulfilled with your own life, how the heck do you expect to give to others? You need to get plenty of sleep, a hearty does of veggies, tons of water, and exercise to fuel your body, clear your mind, and perform your best.

If your health is not in check, you can’t very well be at your best. If you’re running on empty, you don’t have anything to give to others and even less to give to yourself. Take care of your mind, body, and soul to make sure you’re properly fueled.

3. You need to love yourself first.

When you consider what you need in life to feel good about yourself–whether that be having a hobby, joining a team, assessing your values, etc.–you will love yourself first. It is so important to love yourself. When you love yourself you chase the things you deserve and let go of what doesn’t bring you joy.

Loving yourself means having the self-respect to say goodbye to people bringing you down. It involves forcing yourself to go after the things you want most in life. It means ignoring the critics because haters gonna hate but they won’t bring you down. When you love yourself you exude confidence and only then can you really be selfless.

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4. Your twenty-something years are all about you.

This is the time to pack your bags and travel. These are the years you can job hop to find your ideal career. Now is the time to date around, change your hair, explore your feelings, and discover what life is all about. Prioritize yourself always, but especially during your twenties. There is no better time than now to be a tad selfish and put yourself first.

5. No one else is going to prioritize you.

Unless you find the most perfect and wonderful partner in the world, the only person who is going to prioritize you is yourself. You need to be your own best advocate. Stand up for yourself. Chase your dreams. Spend your time doing things that stimulate you, bring you joy, and fulfill you. If you prioritize your happiness and dreams then you’re bound to live a more fulfilling life.


Ways to prioritize yourself:

  • Limit your time on social media (comparison is not your friend)
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat your greens, drink water, and get plenty of sleep
  • Journal your stress away
  • Say no when things do not bring you joy
  • Spend more time doing what you love and less doing what you don’t
  • Get outside to soak up that Vitamin D and breathe that fresh air
  • Laugh–it’s good for the mind, body, and soul
  • Ignore the critics
  • Trust yourself more than you trust others
  • Make choices based on your own confidence
  • Compliment yourself
  • Live it up–now is the time

How do you prioritize yourself on a regular basis?