Humans have a natural inclination to want to be first for things.
Among many positive perks, it provides an enjoyable dose of serotonin – that happy neurochemical that gets activated when we feel capable and proud.
As a child, having ‘first pick’ as to whom will be on your team for a sport, or to be the fist to pick a cookie off a platter, or to be the person to make the decision during gym class as to what game everyone will play… all of these examples give you an incredible sense of pleasure and power.
As well, receiving the top grade in a class, getting the highest mark on a test, or winning the gold medal in a race are significant accomplishments many people dream of and strive for. These types of ‘firsts’ are important, because they make the people feel so good.
Not to mention, certain ‘firsts’ can be powerful and memorable, like your ‘first kiss’, ‘first date’ and ‘first love.’
There are times, of course, that being first isn’t necessarily favourable. For example, if you don’t like to public speak and you are chosen as the first in a group to deliver your presentation, then that may be incredibly nerve wracking and something you’d rather avoid.
In some cases, it’s probably even better to not be first and instead to wait and see how things go. This is true especially when it comes to a new product or service that’s been introduced to the marketplace that could have potential kinks or adverse side effects which need to be learned about and corrected before delivering it to the masses.
While people in general seem to be naturally wired to strive for ‘firsts’, it’s very interesting and intriguing that there is a particular area in life where many people avoid it. Can you guess what I’m referring to?
It’s the realm of ‘Putting Yourself First.’
When it comes to knowing and acting upon what is important to oneself, such as values, beliefs, and needs, many people fall short. They either avoid, ignore, or simply do not understand these essential parts of themselves.
For some reason, these ‘inner-driven-firsts’ that begin and end with oneself seem to be a trickier area for a lot of people to prioritize, especially for women.
Personally, I think this is the most important type of ‘first’. Thus, it is a big part of what makes our Women’s Wellness Circles so essential and valuable.
In each gathering, women have the opportunity to prioritize themselves first. It is a precious time to become familiar with and to better understand their own needs and preferences, as they are temporarily away from the distractions of other daily life responsibilities. Simultaneously, women in Circle learn useful strategies to better honour, nurture and care for themselves.
My own life path is an ongoing journey of these very concepts! In fact, it’s the main reason why I started the first Women’s Wellness Circle seventeen years ago, which has since grown to multiple locations across Canada. Clearly, others have a need for this as well.
Of course, there really is no end to this learning curve, because as humans we are constantly growing and changing. This is why it’s so important that we have spaces and places where we feel welcomed and encouraged to tune into ourselves on a regular basis.
This is true especially when there are so many ways we can avoid investing into this crucial self-exploration. Here are some common culprits:
Going from one relationship to the next
Overly focusing on the needs of others
Believing that we never have enough time
The great news is that once we take a break from the tendency to focus outwards first, and we begin to focus inwardly, we become better acquainted with the most important person in our lives… ourselves!
Then, when we return to our daily life activities, careers, and relationships, we are in better alignment. We feel recharged, and we have more to give.
Plus, we can more clearly see reality and can know what needs more of our attention, what we need to let go of, what can be improved, and what we can simply accept as it is.
If there are unhealthy behaviours, incompatibility, or dysfunction, we can quickly and easily recognize it and attend to it, without staying stuck in denial, getting into messy dramas, or wasting our precious time.
Putting ourselves first, indeed saves us time and energy! It is certainly not selfish. Rather it’s self-loving, and others benefit, too.
In most cases our lives are not usually in a desperate situation. We simply need to be more present, and that can only happen when we feel nurtured, understood, and connected… with ourselves first.
‘Wishing you a wonderful new year of personal growth, self-exploration and putting yourself first – in the most loving, kind, and supportive way.