THE BLOG
12/15/2014 09:13 pm ET Updated Feb 14, 2015

Trading in Selfish for Self Worth

Have you ever felt so exhausted you just wanted to throw in the towel, crawl back into bed and not face the day?

Have you felt that if one more person asks you to do something that you might just implode, but in the end know you'll do it anyway?

Then this message is for you.

When we give and give and we put our needs last, our wells dry up.

I see this frequently with my clients -- especially those who are also parents. We've been conditioned to feel the need to give to others -- our family, our work, our community -- and then we get to keep anything that may be left over. We choose to be selfless because we don't want to be selfish. But we have another option.

There is a fine line that lies in between selfish and selfless. It's that place where we tend to our needs and ourselves in a healthy way, which adequately fuels us to take care of others without resentment, bitterness and exhaustion.

This place is called self worth.

When we place value on our needs, we are first responsible for ourselves, and then others.

Just as we are advised during the safety briefing on an airplane to place our oxygen masks on ourselves before helping others, this is true in life.

We can attain self worth through self-care, which is a critical component to our happiness.

The self-care I'm referring to goes beyond personal hygiene. It's making things that keep you happy a priority. For example, I enjoy practicing yoga, walking outside, a good night's sleep, a warm bath, a bike ride, listening to music, and dancing.

What may seem non-crucial is actually very critical to my happiness. When I take care of myself, I know that I'm the best version of myself, and that spills over into everything that I do. Dismissing these things as frivolous or "bonus" robs us of our joy.

"Taking care of yourself is the most powerful way to begin to take care of others." -- Bryant McGill

So, let's check in. Are you taking care of you? Are you saying no to things that interfere with your self-care? If you're stuck in the trap of helping others before yourself, consider this your permission slip to make yourself your number one priority. Then watch your world become an easier and more joyful place to live in.