Are you ready to say Yes to you?
And you ready to make yourself a priority?
If you’re in a habit of putting other people’s needs before your own, saying Yes to you, can feel, well… a little foreign.
Perhaps even selfish.
But here’s the thing…
We need to be full – our love tank needs to be overflowing – otherwise we have less to give those around us.
And we’re more at risk of breaking down, emotionally and physically.
So if saying Yes to yourself, even if it means saying No to someone else, kinda feels scary, then this blog is for you.
Today we’ll be exploring why it’s absolutely essential that YOU, are at the top of your priority list.
OK, let’s dive in….
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that for me, self-love is way of being with oneself.
It’s a way of doing life, based on some core beliefs about how worthy and deserving we are of love.
And one of the ways we demonstrate this love for ourself, is by making ourself a priority.
By saying Yes to ourself, first.
Of course, if you’re not used to doing this, to say Yes to yourself, can feel really quite difficult.
Self-fish even, if you’ve been brought up in a family that’s taught you that to give to others at the expense of yourself, is how you be a ‘good’ person.
But here’s the hard truth…
If you’re not full – in other words, if you’re depleted, because you’re always giving to other people first – then you’ll have less energy, less time, and less capacity to fully give to someone else.
You see, if you’re running on empty – if your self-love tank is nearing the bottom of its supply – then think about it…
How much do you really have to offer another person?
Imagine you’re driving down the road, and you run out of fuel.
You’re stopped, stranded on the side of the road.
Who can you help now?
No-one, cause you’re kinda stuck where you are.
You didn’t stop to fuel-up your love-supplies back at the last self-care service station.
If you really want to be of service, if you truely want to give and be a ‘good’ person, then you need to give to YOU first!
You need to say Yes to YOU!
Now, when we have a newborn, this is waaaay more difficult.
For a certain amount of time, while that baby relies fully on us, we do need to give a LOT!
But… we also need to have resources we can rely on, to give to us…
Maybe you get cleaner…
Maybe you have a family member or nanny, just to take bubba for 30minutes, maybe an hour a day so you can have a dedicated time to nurture you…
Maybe to do some restorative yoga, meditate, go for a gentle walk, have a bath or catch up on some much needed sleep…
Something that fills you up, so you can continue to be fully present and fully available for your little one.
Because let’s be honest…
If you’re cranky, if you’re lacking sleep, if your body aches because you’re not caring for it properly, then this will hinder your ability to give.
To be present.
To love unconditionally.
We need to love ourself unconditionally.
We need to honour ourself and know that we are so very worthy of large doses of love each day, just because we are.
And in doing so, in giving ourself the time and space we need, we can be of greater service to those around us.
Let’s take the person who is always doing everything for everyone else, while at the same time running on empty.
You say Yes to everyone else without ever considering your own needs.
It may feel like you’re being a good person, but two things are happening here:
The person you’re dropping everything for to help, you may actually be disempowering them.
You see, when we give give give to another person – except in the case of a baby or a very ill or elderly person, who literally needs our help for their survival, except in those cases…
It is very easy for someone to rely heavily on a person, so much so that they never learn how to look after themselves.
Or lose their ability to look after themselves.
I think of my parents…
And my dad, while I love him to bits, for many years he never learnt how to cook.
Like, anything, except toast.
So he was completely reliant on my mum.
And mum catered to this, thinking she was being a good wife.
But in not expecting my dad to cook, ever, she was disabling his basic ability to be able to cook for himself.
Which one could say is an important survival skill.
Take a small child who is learning to dress themselves.
We can keep dressing them, as they grow older – and I have certainly done this, because my son is so cute, and I want to help him…
But, in doing so, it’s very easy for a child to become so reliant on their parents to do things for them, that they get to school and don’t know how to rely on themselves.
In this way, we want to give people the space and love to become self-reliant.
That doesn’t mean we never help out.
But we empower them, by allowing them the space to learn how to help themselves.
To develop new skills, where necessary.
And in doing so, we take the pressure off ourself.
We give ourselves more time to make sure our self-love tank is not only full, but overflowing.
And then when it’s overflowing we suddenly have so much more to give to those around us, without running into empty zone.
Where we become at risk of burnout.
Of breaking down, physically or emotionally, or both.
And this is what happened with my mum.
She was always cranky, always taking out her emotions on me, because she wasn’t taking time for herself.
And I know sometimes it feels like there just isn’t enough time to fill up our own love tank.
Especially if you’re a mum of five!
But this is where you need to call in help where possible.
This is how you say yes to you.
Become really good at time-management.
And in all honesty, if you give to yourself, you’ll find you have MORE time, because you can be far more productive and present when you’re running on a full love tank.
But let me get to the second danger of neglecting yourself and thus, letting your love tank run dry…
When you say Yes to others at the expense of saying Yes to yourself, it’s very easy to become more judgmental or critical of others.
Maybe even jealous.
You’ll see other people doing the things you want to be doing, and you’ll become cynical and go into comparison mode.
You’ll feel like you’re in competition with the world.
And this, is the complete opposite of self-love.
In fact, when we start to feel this way, we become less inspired, less compassionate, and more negative towards ourselves and others.
To break this negative pattern – so you can say yes to you – there are two things we need to do…
Firstly, look at your daily to-do list or how you plan your day.
Once upon a time I’d get up and answer all my emails, and then give to me.
Problem was, sometimes I’d end up spending way too long answering emails – essentially giving to others – and then run out of time to give to me.
This wasn’t sustainable.
The way I rectified this, was that I got up, had a glass of water, and then spent 20-30 minutes tuning in.
A practise I do to help centre myself, and clear the limiting beliefs that could bring my day unstuck.
Then I would answer emails.
This new way of starting my day – giving to myself first – meant I could answer emails from a clearer, more present space.
If you can give to you first thing in the morning, not only does it fill up your love tank for the day, but it also helps you be more productive, more centred, more calm and clear…
AND it means you won’t run out of time to take that time for you.
So whether it’s a meditation or yoga practice or journalling or walking or whatever it is that tops you up, see if you can place that activity early in your day.
Sometimes first thing in the day doesn’t work, but how early can you take some time for you.
Then make that a priority.
Schedule it into your day planner or dairy.
And let it be something that deserves a place in your life.
Right now in my work life, my writing is my priority.
So as soon as I sit down at my computer, I write, sometimes for a couple of hours.
Because that is what feels nourishing for me right now.
And then I answer emails, have sessions with my clients and do the washing and whatever other work and house chores I need to get done in the day.
I say yes to me.
This way, I feel FULL.
I’m not resentful of cleaning the house.
I don’t get distracted by an endless to-do list and put my writing last.
I prioritise what I feel I need.
So if there’s something you’re working on outside of your day job, can you prioritise it in some way.
Can you schedule it in?
Make it a priority?
If you want to get fit, where can you carve out some time to move your body in a way that feels good for you?
I like to sleep in, but I’ve now learnt that going to bed earlier so I can get up earlier, helps me prioritise me.
So sometimes we need to be willing to make these kinds of changes to how we live our life, so we can commit to those practices that will fill up our love tank.
But I will say this…
The earlier we schedule in our self-love activity or practice, the easier it will be to commit to it.
Your mind will be fresher.
You’ll be more productive and more centred, than if you try to cram something in before bed.
And whatever you do, give up the guilt if you don’t get through the other stuff you would usually get through in a day.
You don’t need to feel guilty for giving to your first.
Because when you give to you, everyone benefits!
Secondly, when you get asked to do something, to support someone, check in with yourself before you say Yes.
Am I full?
Or do I need a self-love top-up, BEFORE I give to this person?
If you’re feeling run down, or stretched, then let the other person know that you’re full-up right now.
But you’d love to help out another day when you have more space.
Then go give to you.
If you’re not sure in the moment if you can commit to what the other person is asking, it’s ok to answer: ‘I’ll get back to you, I just need to check my schedule.’
Practise saying Yes to yourself, over saying Yes to others, and watch how your relationship with yourself grows stronger.
Obviously this isn’t about abandoning a person in true need.
If there’s a baby crying in the other room, then you need to attend to that, or line up someone else to care for your child during that time.
This is about really evaluating, whether that thing or person can wait.
How urgent is this, really?
And just because your boss or friend says it’s urgent, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s urgent.
So if this happens with a boss for example, maybe ask the question:
When exactly do you need this by?
People will just expect everything to be done now, without taking a moment to consider what the true timelines are.
There are many times when my house has become a mess, and I do like a clean house.
But sometimes I just gotta let it go, and go have a sleep or lie down instead.
They’re the sorts of decisions we start to make, when we realise that our mental and physical health, our relationships, all rely on how full of love we are.
If family come over to a messy house, but you are so present and loving with them, they’re not going to care about the house.
And if they do, that’s their issue!
Tell them they can clean it if it’s really upsetting them.
But if you take the time to clean the house at your expense and they arrive to an exhausted you, then chances are you’ll snap at them, be emotional, and create disharmony in your relationships.
YOU come first.
But you can only allow this to happen, if you’re willing to make YOU a priority.
So take time this week to reflect on what it means to make you a priority.
How you would feel about saying Yes to you, even if that meant saying No to someone else?
Because a lot of time when we say Yes to someone else, we’re actually saying No to ourself.
And that is not self-loving.
So say Yes to you first.
Practise doing it, and that Saying-Yes-To-Yourself Muscle, will grow.
It’ll become easier.
Your self-love tank will start to overflow.
And then you’ll find yourself with more time, more energy, more ability to say Yes to others!
Only then, can we be of true service.
Thank you for saying Yes to yourself today, and reading this blog.
I’m saying Yes to myself and my family, and taking a little break, to hang with my son during his school holidays.
But make sure you’re on the mailing list to be the first to know when my brand new podcast I Love Me with Tamra Mercieca comes out on Feb 7!
Can’t wait to share that with you.
But for know, enjoy saying yes to you, and just notice how your 2024 flourishes!