I know we all get caught up in doing things for others… And that’s important. I’d be the last person on the planet to tell you to do things for yourself first, the absolute LAST, because what you do for others matters most.
But the reality…
If you’re not doing something for yourself first, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t be ABLE to do for others.
Take care of yourself first.
Have you ever been on a plane? The first thing they do, after the plane is loaded, before it takes off, the flight attendant tells you what to do in case of an emergency. One of the first steps is the oxygen mask… They tell you how to put it on and to put it on yourself first.
There’s a reason for that.
If you’re traveling with children, or someone near you needs help, you can’t HELP them if you can’t breathe yourself. If you pass out, there’s nobody to help your children. Put the mask on yourself first, then the child.
Now, let’s get to the point of this message.
What can you do for yourself first that will help others?
- Be visible. Tell your story. Let people know who you are and where you are, and what you can do. If they don’t know these things about you, they won’t know that they can rely on you if they need to. If you’re invisible, a part of the furniture, and nobody knows you’re there, they can’t call on you to ask for help. BE VISIBLE. Tell your story. Let people know who you are, where you are, and what you can do.
- Share your story. Whether you write a book, or blog about it, your story is what makes you who you are. Your story is what makes you capable of helping others and making a difference in this world, because you HAVE a story, you know how to overcome certain things, and how to live with others. Your story makes a difference, because although you may THINK you’re the only one who has ever lived through the life you’ve lived, you’re really not. There are others. And they need YOUR story to help them survive and thrive.
- Create a bio based on WHO you are, not what you do. So often, as a business owner, I miss the question of who are you, when people are asking me what I do… Because what I do is so obvious most of the time, I’m a web designer, I market businesses online, and I teach people how to ‘run their own business’, but I’m ‘behind the scenes’ so much that the voice over the phone, or the face they see on the computer – the one I chose to represent me (it really is MY face) because a professional portrait is so difficult to get done when you’re busy – but I forget the part about telling people WHO I am, because a huge majority of my clients have known me a LONG time.
Who you are is important, because it’s the WHY that makes you do the things you do. And people really do want to know why you do what you do.
- Always keep a ‘to-do’ list in the works. I write everything I need to do on one list and prioritise what I want to do each day with a different color highlighter pen. Then I know those items have to be done that day. First item on my agenda is always “write an article” because that’s my promotion, my blog, my email, etc. Something has to be WRITTEN every single day. That’s my first item, and it always is ‘before the coffee’ kind of priority – and I NEVER miss a cup of coffee.
- Be accountable to your list. This is important. Because if you’re not accountable to your own list, who will you be accountable to?
- Schedule a counseling session once a month or so, maybe a personal coaching session, to make sure you’re staying on target and ready to get the job done. These are a bit more intense than the “Coffee” break kind of thing, for one thing – just to let you know – when I meet you for a monthly coaching session, I keep track of what you’re supposed to be doing and whether you’ve done it or not in our ‘coaching file’ so at the end of the year, I can tell you what you’ve accomplished.
And right here is the clincher that will bring your whole package together, professional, personal, and spiritual livelihood should be balanced. So, listen up here…
Do one thing, just one thing, that is pure indulgence for you every single day. For me, that one thing that is just for me, doesn’t really benefit anyone else, is a 20/30 minute walk in nature. If I can get away for more time, I do… If I can go barefoot, I do… If I can take one of the grandkids with me – so much more fun for both of us, I do… But I do that one thing as often as possible, and try to do it daily. I love sunrise, and that’s MY time. I do it for me.
There’s a bench on the hill at the end of the road, and I love sitting on that bench to watch the sun rise over the valley. It’s like perfect indulgence to me.