How to put yourself first if your to-do list is other people

If you're someone who feels the need to put other people's wants and needs way ahead of yourself, here's how and why to shake up the focus and put yourself first.

If you're someone who prides yourself on being that person who self-sacrifices and constantly has others ahead of your own activities and needs, here's how to put yourself first.

As a recovering people pleaser and someone who is perhaps a little bit co-dependent, I can share with you that it can be a painful way to live. As I’m sure you already know, being that lovely person that keeps putting others first all the time you sometimes feel … when is it my time?

I can remember at one point in my relationships many years ago, I was so good at helping everybody else, I seemed to have attracted people into my world that wanted me to help them.

Then when I needed something, none of them had what it took to be able to support me.

I felt so alone, and so confused. 'But I’ve paid my dues', I thought. 'I’ve made the effort. I’ve been giving. I’ve been giving! When is it my turn?'

And of course I didn’t realise what I now know about how to put myself first.

I’d attracted people into my life who were never going to be capable of giving back to me. They came into the relationship because I was so super helpful and so nice.

Wow, was that a wake-up call, and it probably came a lot later in my life then I wish it had.

So if you relate to that and you think, perhaps, I need to move me up the to-do list just a little bit, that maybe it’s my time to shine, that maybe it’s okay to put myself first, here's how to reclaim some time and start living life on your own terms.

Most of us put our happiness and dreams on hold for the next day, whereas the reality is, your life is happening right now, in the current moment.

Here’s the thing—once you know how to put yourself first and your own needs are met, you’re far more likely to be able to help others meet theirs.

You’re far more able to value others once you value and care about what matters to you. Self-love is not selfish.

What to do next

Think about what makes you feel alive, then write a list of what makes you happy. Make sure you create room for these into your week.

Just writing down the list will put your mind to ease. Can you feel the weight lift off your shoulders?

Feels good, doesn’t it?


She is the Founder of The Coaching Institute and through our world-class coaching training programs, best-selling books, the #Perspectives podcast, and the Ultimate You Quest movement, she helps people like you live your dream, become your most authentic self, and make a difference through meaningful action.

Remi Pearson
REMI PEARSONThe Coaching Institute