How to Choose You in 2019 - Guest Post by Cheryl Lacey Donovan
Love your neighbor as “YOURSELF” Matthew 22:39
Imagine sitting at you desk at the age of 35. All of a sudden you have difficulty breathing, your chest is racing, your arm is hurting, and you begin to sweat. Every thought imaginable crosses your mind.
Eventually you find the strength to summon someone into your office and they tell you that you don’t look so good. A call to 911 and a subsequent hospital say let you that it could’ve been worse. This time it was only anxiety. Next time you might not be so blessed.
That was me several years ago. It was in that moment that I realized the importance of taking care of me.
Choosing yourself is a crucial part of your success and happiness in life. While some may see this as selfish the truth is selfish people always choose themselves, but those who choose themselves aren’t always being selfish.
Choosing you simply means that you put yourself first when it’s necessary; you take your own health and feelings into consideration and, when necessary, you put those feelings and needs over the wants of others. People who are merely selfish always put their needs and wants over the needs of others.
So how can you start to choose yourself?
1) Stop and Think Before You Just Say Yes Out of Politeness
This was probably one of the biggest lessons I learned. While it’s good to be open to new things, taking on too much work or too many obligations can overwhelm you and harm your overall mental health.
Instead of immediately saying yes, why not pause and reflect on your own needs. Then get back to the person later with your answer.
Can you take on more work or another event?
Can you handle a party, or do you need to go home and recharge your batteries?
It’s okay to politely decline an invitation or to help someone when it’s necessary.
2) Treat Yourself with Kindness
Part of choosing yourself is treating yourself well. If you don’t treat yourself kindly and with respect, how can you expect others to do it? Stop being so hard on yourself; we all make mistakes, choose poorly, and miss the mark sometimes.
Give yourself a break and forgive yourself for your errors; as long as you learn from them, it’s all a part of life. A good way to practice this is by giving yourself pep talks throughout your day.
You don’t have to do this out loud, but the act of deliberately thinking positive and inspiring thoughts about yourself will help you to overcome this obstacle and improve your self-esteem and confidence.
3) Speak Up for Yourself
Another big part of choosing yourself is standing up for yourself and your beliefs. You matter just as much as anyone else and so does your opinion. Practice stating your opinions, views, wants, etc. and standing up for yourself when necessary. You’re important and you deserve to be heard.
4) Take Care of Yourself
Part of getting into the habit of choosing yourself is choosing to take care of yourself. You’re only given one body and one life; you need to take care of it.
Eat healthy food, exercise regularly, maintain proper sleep habits, go to the doctor when necessary, and do what you need to minimize stress and improve your mental health. It’s hard to choose yourself in social situations if you aren’t healthy enough to be in social situations.
5) Let Go of Toxic People
Everyone that is in your circle is not in your circle. What I mean is, everyone isn’t for you. Even if they come to every meeting, attend every event, and communicate with you on a regular basis. Look at is this way there were throngs of people who followed Jesus and therefore could be considered disciples. Of those, Jesus only chose twelve to really get to know Him. Of those twelve, only three were in His intimate inner circle. And let’s not forget that one of the twelve betrayed Him.
Letting go of toxic people isn’t only a step towards choosing yourself, but also a crucial step in maintaining good mental health. Toxic people bring no good into our lives; they tear us down and keep us there.
The only way to survive this type of situation is to get out of it. Choose yourself and let go of the people that only mean you harm.
6) Remind yourself you’re Worth It
If you don’t love you, who will? Know who you are and whose you are and remind yourself of it daily. Remember to see yourself the way God sees you and only speak the things about yourself that God says. “You’re fearfully and wonderfully made.” “You can do all things through Christ.” “You’re more than a conqueror.”
As we said before, people often have a pre-conceived (and mistaken) notion that being your own cheerleader is an act of selfishness. However, this effort is more in the name of self-care. Sometimes you just have to encourage yourself.
You’re choosing yourself in situations where it is necessary: when you can’t take on a larger workload, when you can’t handle more obligations, when you need to remove a toxic person from your life, etc. You’re doing this because you’re worth it.
You are your own best champion, always remember that and choose you in 2019.
Cheryl Lacey Donovan is an award winning author, speaker, moderator, educator, and media personality. Learn more by visiting her website http://www.cherylspeaks.org.
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