What is Putting You First?

Do you have any idea what it actually means to put you first? It makes a great catch phrase and seems to generate a positive conceptual idea, but it really has no value if you don’t know how to incorporate it as an action.


When I first started teaching people how to put themselves first, it was because I’d already learned what it meant first hand. I’d also experienced how doing so changed all the aspects of my life for the better. Anyone who’s familiar with me or has worked with me knows virtually everything I share comes from life experience (and often having learned a lesson the hard way lol). Thus in the spirit of going beyond a concept that could easily be misinterpreted, I’d like to shed some specific light on what I mean by putting you first.


Putting you first is precisely about proceeding in ways that support you and your overall vision for life in every area.


I’ve been through a lot of dark days in my life; so creating greater satisfaction in general is always at the top of my list. However, if you think putting you first means only thinking about yourself without regard for others, guess again…


Karma is a what? I’m sure you know the answer, and that’s because you’ve probably seen someone at one time or another get hit by a bad behavior boomerang. Putting you first is not about being selfish or callous. It’s about making you and your big picture desires a priority in all of your overall equations. This often changes how you might have proceeded. When you pay attention not only to what you’d like to do or say in the moment, but also consider how taking that action will affect your larger picture, you are putting you (and your greater interests) first. Case in point? Think about a heated argument with a loved one…


When we’re upset, we know exactly what buttons to push in our primary relationships. We know what hurts, irks and heats up the situation big time. Sure that surge of adrenaline from letting someone have it might feel good for a moment. The problem is, you can never take back something you’ve said —and when you cut your loved ones to the bone with hateful comments, no apology can erase those comments from their memory banks. It’s like swinging an ax at the trunk of a tree; it leaves a permanent mark. My friend and karate great Bob Wall calls it playing dirty. So how does putting you first affect a scenario like this? Let me explain.


If your ultimate desire is to address a situation or share your feelings so you can come to a positive resolution, the positive resolution is your bigger picture, hence your focus should remain making it a reality. Your smaller picture comprises the overwhelming desire you may feel in the moment to express your anger in a horrible, hurtful or insulting fashion. Going for the jugular in any argument is playing dirty, and it will only complicate your ability to get the bigger picture you want. It can also do damage that will create disastrous gaps between you and your partner.


Putting you first is about making sure you fulfill the bigger picture, as that’s the one that is most valuable to you. When you understand that your short term impulse will sacrifice aspects of the bigger outcome you want, you can come up with another way to get the job done without suffering a personal cost to you or something you value more —and in case you didn’t notice, everyone wins in this scenario.


In a nutshell Putting you first is the action of:

  • Figuring out what you want most in any situation —and keeping your big picture a top priority.
  • Assessing how your choices/actions will support or conflict with your desired outcome and making the necessary alterations if any, to support creating the bigger picture you want.


In the process of attracting relationships, putting you first means knowing what kind of relationship experience you want and making sure you choose a partner with whom you can create it. Check out my article 5 Ways to Put You First for additional examples of how you can make putting you first a powerful habit in other areas your life.

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