I look around and see many Sistas working so hard on behalf of everyone else at the expense of their own needs. When we do it long enough, it becomes a habit (a BAD one) that we no longer even think about. Others depend on us and we make sure we’re always there. No matter what. Even when they can handle whatever it is without us. Even when they don’t deserve it. You know what I mean, right?
As women, we’re conditioned and socialized from youth to take care of others and put everyone else first. At home, at work and in our communities. This means we often give – emotionally, physically and financially – until we have nothing left for ourselves but dregs.
Too much, we put our dreams on the back burner to build up and support everyone else. Dreams like: going back to school. Taking that dream trip to that faraway place. Buying that new home. Pampering yourself weekly with your favorite treat. Our time, energy and money are over invested in helping others achieve THEIR dreams while not setting aside enough of these things for our OWN dreams. This is tragic.
The truth is, many times we’re too scared of upsetting the established balance with our loved ones and others (who have come to EXPECT us to put them first). Changing that dynamic can be scary. And just downright unpleasant.
It’s unpopular to put ourselves first for fear of being labeled “selfish” (I know ALL too well). When we put valuing ourselves as our top priority, we often get negative reactions. From our employers, our families, our loved ones and even from strangers (yep!).
But it’s necessary if we’re to become who we’re meant to be and achieve our biggest dreams. The freedom and possibilities that come from valuing ourselves first are incredible!
I’ve been on both sides of this coin. I've been that woman giving up my resources, time and money to others because I felt like I should. Because "good" women always support everyone else. No matter how it impacts them.
When I stopped putting myself last, I encountered the negative reactions. But I learned how to deal with them and come through it stronger. And over time, I've also learned how to put myself first while STILL generously and authentically honoring and supporting my loved ones.
Sis, now it’s your turn to put YOU first (if you haven't been). It's your time, so that you can have the freedom to reach for and attain your dreams. And every step you take towards fulfilling your dreams does help those you love. It shows them how to do the same.
When was a time that you put “you” first? How did it feel? What happened? Putting ourselves first as women can be foreign. But it’s something you can get used to quickly once you experience the happiness it brings!
About Yolanda Ransom
Yolanda Ransom teaches professional Black women how to confidently master their money, so they can achieve all of their financial dreams. She is a financial educator and coach and CEO of Yolanda Ransom Consulting. She speaks and writes about personal finance and personal development. Find out more about Yolanda and her work at yolandaransom.com