What would it take to put yourself first?
When I used to work with private clients, many of the women who came to me for coaching wanted to explore the distinction between selfish and self-care. It’s still a pretty hot topic for a lot of people. Can you relate? We would often spend a lot of time on this subject - and many clients said that our work around self-care was the turning point for the whole coaching process.
The struggle for these clients wasn’t so much about understanding the difference between selfish and self-care intellectually, but about putting their understanding of self-care into practice.
Just so that we’re all on the same page here -
Selfish: Acting in your own self-interest - without regard for others.
Self-Care: Acting in your own self-interest - so that you can be your best for yourself and for others.
My coaching clients were very clear on the difference between the two terms. They could ‘talk the talk’ with the best of them:
“I know, I know. If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of anyone else - because I’ll have nothing left to give anyone!”
“Something HAS to give. I’ve got to start saying NO to things. It’s not fair to anyone when I overextend myself”.
“I don’t want my kids to follow this example I’m setting - where I’m harried and exhausted all the time. I want to show them that I care about myself and respect myself”.
So they all GOT it.
The problem came when they tried to take action on their understanding. It was often really difficult to break out and put themselves first - no matter how well they understood the reasons why it was necessary.
Here are some examples of extreme self-care:
- Saying NO to things you don’t want to do.
- Making time for yourself to exercise.
- Making time to prepare healthy food.
- Not eating when you’re not hungry.
- Making sleep a priority.
- Keeping your home clean, neat, and organized.
- Going for doctor and dentist appointments regularly.
- Making time to have your hair and nails done.
Don’t those all seem like really great things to do for yourself? Are you doing them?
The question I would ask my coaching clients when they were struggling to take action on their self-care was this: What would it take to put yourself first?
What’s your response?