Don’t make yourself a priority? Feel second best in any of your relationships? Always the bridesmaid, never the bride?
If so, this post is for you, as I go through why making yourself a priority is important to your health and happiness and as always how a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist can support you in making yourself a priority.
Remember this scene from the film The Holiday where Kate Winslet’s character Iris and Arthur go to dinner and Arthur tells Iris…
‘In the movies, we have leading ladies, and we have the best friend.
You, I can tell are a leading lady, but for some reason you’re behaving like the best friend‘.
To which, Iris replies ‘you’re so right, you’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life for God’s sake‘.
It is, therefore, this which inspired me to write this post as I know many people will identify with Iris’s situation and as the best friend rather than the leading lady.
In the same way I did for a long time.
Until this year and my work with a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist took me to the next level in my life.
I will say, however, I disagree with Arthur’s line.
I believe every man and woman has the capacity to be the leading lady/man of their own lives.
All they need to do is have the courage to stand up and claim it.
Although that’s easier said than done.
As you’ll notice, as you read through my post.
And therefore, why choosing to see a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist is necessary.
So, without further ado lets going.
What it means to make yourself a priority
As I’ve also somewhat discussed this in my post Learn how to start putting yourself first, I don’t want to go into too much detail of what it means to make yourself a priority here.
However, in brief, it’s about putting your wants, needs and desires before those of others.
Which doesn’t mean, you do not seek to fulfil the wants, needs and desires of others.
But rather, by putting your wants, needs and desires first…
You are then able to give to others from a filled to the rim cup (if you think of yourself like a glass of water), not an empty cup.
As you feel happier and more fulfilled once you’ve given to yourself first.
However, this requires two things.
1) Knowing what you want, need and desire for your life, so you can go after it
To know what you want, need and desire for your life, so you can go after it, however, …
You need to be able to trust, respect, honour, understand and listen to yourself.
As I discuss in more detail in my post, How (and why) to change the way you see yourself.
Since these qualities are what drive you to taking action towards what you want most in your life.
However, for one reason or another, the majority of people learnt the opposite.
That is, not to trust, respect, honour, understand and listen to themselves.
So instead, when they do seek to take action on what they say they want…
They are in fact riddled with insecurity, doubt, guilt and fear.
Therefore, stopping them from taking action on what they say they want.
Have you ever said to yourself you want something, yet when it came to actually getting it, your actions don’t align with your words?
And you did the opposite to what you said you wanted.
Well this is because you were out of alignment with what you said you wanted, needed and desired.
Not because you didn’t want it after all.
But because of the exact emotions I’ve mentioned (doubt, insecurity, guilt and fear), getting in the way.
Because if you were in alignment, you wouldn’t have felt hesitation towards getting what you wanted.
You would have instead, felt secure, safe, grateful, excited, certainty.
But because you felt the opposite to the thing you said you wanted….
You felt confused about whether you did actually want what you said you wanted.
p.s. I’ll be honest, this is all very confusing stuff, but that’s the mind for you. It don’t make no sense for those who haven’t studied Psychology.
There is no logic or reason to it, no matter how hard we try to look for it in our day-to-day lives.
Therefore, another reason why you need to work with a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist
As they are able to support you in making sense of it all without needing to spend hours reading self books, which don’t work.
2) Fearlessly claiming what you want, need and desire
To achieve this one you also need two things.
- Not only do you need to admit to yourself what it is you want and how you feel about the thing you say you want (whether positive or negative);
- You also need to be absolutely certain of it (i.e. it is what you say you want).
The reason for this is sometimes we think we want something.
But when we drill down in the why of we want, we realise we only want something because we saw someone else have it.
And thought it looked good, so we decided we wanted it to.
When really it’s out of alignment with our true selves.
What happens when you fearlessly claim what you want, need and desire
Once again, two really cool things happen when you fearlessly claim what you want, need and desire:
1) You aren’t afraid to remove what you don’t want from your life
This is great as it allows you to go after the things, which do mean something to you and which you do really want.
It’s not something that happens overnight with therapy, it’s a process.
However, it will happen at some point if you put into practice the 3 qualities I discuss to make the most of your therapy sessions.
2) You no longer fear asking for what you want, need and desire from others
Although, you will need to also be able to give others the space to do so from you too, as this isn’t only about taking, but also giving.
And we’re never alone in achieving our wants, needs and desires.
There are always relationships and commitments around us, which need negotiating with.
Whether that be family, childcare commitments and/or work commitments etc.
Therefore, why we need to also develop and harness the appropriate communication skills to be able to communicate these to others too.
In other words, communication skills that foster:
- Respect to the thoughts and feelings of others
- Are sensitive, considerate, understanding, loving and accepting of the potential reaction of others
As it has the potential to ruin your relationships if you are not careful about how you broach the topic.
Especially if this isn’t your usual mode of being.
It’s not that these communication skills are not within your reach, however, if you don’t currently communicate in this way.
They intuitively exist within you, they always have from the time you were born, you just didn’t have the words then.
And because you haven’t harnessed the skills (like a therapist can support you in doing with the tools and practices they provide you with)….
You don’t know how to utilize them.
And as the saying goes ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’.
Examples you do not make yourself a priority
If you find yourself constantly supporting, championing and putting other people’s wants, needs, desires and achievements before your own and on a pedestal.
Exactly like I was.
Feeling like you’re always extending yourself for others, not expecting much from them in return…
Therefore, not getting much back from them in return either….
And on the other hand, feeling like you don’t have many wants, needs, desires or achievements of your own to celebrate and champion.
So you turn to wishing you did…
And even when you do know what you want, need and desire from others, you struggle to ask/communicate it to them, so you blow up at them…
Because your feelings of resentment towards yourself and them grows and grows…
As your negative beliefs about them (which aren’t necessarily true) also mount up.
You don’t even need to have many relationships in your life, which make you feel this way.
Even having one relationship where you feel second best, is likely impacting your mental health and wellbeing.
Therefore, leaving you dissatisfied and unhappy with your life.
However, instead of remaining dissatisfied and unhappy with your life you can do something about it.
You can choose to see a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist to support you in learning how to make yourself a priority.
(Because yes, it is a choice, it’s not something, which happens without conscious intention).
Why you choose not to make yourself a priority?
1) Believing you don’t know what you want, need and desire
Often when we don’t make ourselves a priority in our lives, it’s because we believe we don’t know what we want, need and desire.
However, the reason we feel like this is, we’ve learnt to feel ashamed and embarrassed of what we want, need and desire.
So, rather than listening to our minds and body’s to identify them and to take action towards achieving them, we dismiss them.
Believing they are unimportant or not a big deal to the outcome of our lives.
Therefore, one way a Counselling Psychologist supports you in making yourself a priority.
As they teach you overtime to better trust, listen, understand and respect your wants, needs and desires, as they reflect them back to you.
2) Believing your unworthy of obtaining your wants, needs and desires
At the same time, we may consciously or subconsciously, be afraid we’ll not be able to achieve our wants, needs and desires.
Because we believe we’re not worthy of achieving them.
In other words, there is something missing in us, therefore preventing us, from achieving what we want, need and desire.
So, it’s easier to live vicariously through friends, siblings, partners, children, the list goes on and on and on.
Because then we’ll not get disappointed.
Consequently, relying on them to provide us with love, happiness and fulfilment.
Rather than taking the initiative to take on responsibility for the outcome of our lives because we don’t know this is what we need to do to change our destiny.
But, in the end, we find out…
They fall short on our expectations as they can’t give to us what we truly want.
Why? Because they can’t fulfil our need for love, happiness and life fulfilment.
These qualities have to come from within.
And, they need to be present within us as qualities in our lives, before we can even think about manifesting other people into our lives with the same qualities.
Therefore, if you are unhappy with your life, it is most likely partly because of this reason why you feel the way you do.
You are not seeking to make yourself a priority.
Because, as I said earlier, you learnt to feel ashamed of your wants, needs and desires.
Especially, those wants, needs and desires, which don’t revolve around your work and career.
As society and your culture have perhaps deemed, work and career wants, needs and desires, as more acceptable than any other wants, need and desires.
3) Believing you are meant to put everyone else’s wants, needs and desires before your own
To accompany the first two beliefs, you probably also have a hidden belief that…
You are meant to be putting everyone else’s wants, needs and desires before your own.
Why? because doing so makes you a “good” person.
As your parents demonstrated this to you, therefore, drumming it into you too.
However, this isn’t true as this only breeds resentment towards yourself and other people for not making yourself a priority in your life.
Transforming your beliefs by taking action to prove them wrong
The truth is, however, if the people around you truly love and support you…
They would want you to put your wants, needs and desires first.
As they would understand your wants, needs and desires, provide you with a sense of fulfilment and happiness.
And ultimately that makes you a better husband, wife, partner, friend, mother, father, daughter, sibling etc.
However, more often than not, the people around us don’t realise what I’m discussing.
In the same, you didn’t realize it at one time or another either.
So do not know any better because to paraphrase a Chris Brown song “if they knew better, they would do better”.
Therefore, there is no point in holding them against the sins and crimes you believe they have committed.
And, why it’s important you know and are 100% clear on what you want, need and desire for your life.
In particular, by believing, trusting, understanding, listening respecting and honouring yourself.
All of which, you will achieve in therapy overtime.
I mean I’ve been in therapy for three years now, and as a result of Covid-19 and the 3 Tools to Grow Outside your Therapy sessions I discuss…
I feel like only now am I getting to grips with these qualities within myself.
Why you want to develop these qualities in therapy?
The reason you want to develop these qualities in therapy (if you don’t already have them) by the way, is because…
It is your responsibility to assert them with your family and friends and anyone else you come into contact with.
Since otherwise, they’re not going to know what you want, need and desire.
They are not mind readers.
And having these qualities, gives you back your personal power.
In other words, in believing that your voice, your ideas, thoughts and feelings have the power to affect change in your day-to-day life.
Caveat to asserting your wants, needs and desires with others
Granted at first, when you begin asserting your wants, needs and desires with those nearest and dearest to you, you will meet resistance from them.
There’s no doubt about it.
Therefore, leaving you feeling guilty and questioning whether you’re doing the ‘wrong’ thing.
However, that’s the clue you’re creating change in your life.
The more you assert yourself, the more self-belief and confidence you develop and, the more they come around to your new way of being.
They might still not understand when you try to explain it to them, because they themselves do not practice this in their lives.
But eventually, they will accept you asserting your wants, needs and desires.
And it’s also this, how a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist supports you in making yourself a priority.
As their advice and guidance gives you the confidence and courage to assert yourself with those you’d normally struggle to assert yourself with.
Like your family.
Therefore, allowing you to know you’re on the right track with regard to changing your destiny.
- Considering therapy? Why you need to ignore these 3 strong fears
- The truth about what happens in therapy
The Law of Attraction and not choosing to make yourself a priority in your life
I briefly mentioned the Law of Attraction earlier, but want to talk about it in more detail here.
Because the consequences of you not choosing to make yourself a priority…
Is far more reaching than not being able to manifest what you want in your life.
Your very own personal electromagnetic field
The reason for this is whenever you are talking about an emotional struggle…
It often with appear in your electromagnetic field as a vibration.
Which is basically the energy you are emitting on a frequent basis.
What this means is, just like two magnets attracting one another (a positive and a negative)…
You, too, attract all the people, experiences and places in your life, which have the same electromagnetic field (i.e. energy) as you.
As they all emit the same vibration as what is in your electromagnetic field.
Except the difference is, a positive and a negative do not attract each other.
In fact, a negative attracts a negative and a positive attracts a positive.
So in other words, like attracts like.
Although, in reality it’s never as black and white as that.
What this means for you
Therefore, meaning, by not taking on responsibility for your emotional health and wellbeing, your happiness and overall life fulfilment…
And making the decision not to make yourself a priority…
You are unknowingly choosing to attract, people, experiences and places, which also will not make you a priority in their life.
Therefore, continuing to reinforce your already existing subconscious feelings of unworthiness, unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
And from the perspective of those entering your life…
Making themselves a priority by going about their life making other people a priority, isn’t anything to be concerned about.
After all it is their life, and they have a right to make anyone they want a priority in their life, but you take offence.
Why? Because you’re higher self knows you have a right to be a priority in someone’s life and that possibility exists for you.
Just not with them.
But, you don’t see that because you’re believing you are unworthy, and they are the ones who are in the wrong.
Which means, they are the ones who are supposed to make a change to make you a priority in their lives.
Therefore, you continue putting off making yourself first a priority in your life, passing the buck/blame onto them.
As you are unable to see, it is your responsibility to take the reins of your life.
Through, assessing what you’re believing, thinking and feeling, so you can change them with time.
So you can begin to attract the people, places and experiences, which align with your new self.
And once and for all, stop your Karmic cycle from continuing.
Therefore, once again why it’s important you work with a Psychotherapist.
In particular, one who incorporates Metaphysics and Energy Psychology into their practice.
Therefore, allowing you to change your electromagnetic field overtime through working on each of your struggles with your therapist.
To make yourself a priority requires unlearning and learning
As I discuss in my post, Learn how to start putting yourself first, but is worth repeating:
You cannot begin putting your wants, needs and desires before anyone else’s or to change your beliefs just by making the decision in your mind to.
Because the beliefs are ingrained in your mind and body.
Therefore, it requires brain and body training for you to have a mindset shift.
In particular, through both the change in perspective your therapist provides you with and meditation/visualization.
Which you can read more about in my post on 3 powerful tools and practices that transformed my life.
In addition, everyone has very specific and individual wants, needs and desires, which is what makes us the truly unique and the wonderful people we are at a core level.
Therefore, the training you get from a therapist will be very individualized and specific to you.
There you go.
My reasons for why you need to make yourself a priority and how to do it with the support of a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist.
But don’t take my word for it.
Go and find out for yourself how a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist can support you specifically with making yourself a priority.
And visit my blog frequently for advice and guidance on how to approach your therapy sessions.
And until next time, remember you are worthy, you are loved and you and your life matter just as much as the person standing next to you.
- Part 2: How to take on responsibility for changing the outcome of your life? Life choices
- Learn how to start putting yourself first
- How (and why) to change the way you see yourself
- 4 reasons self-help books don’t work for you
- Why you need to engage with therapy to change your destiny
- 3 qualities to make the most of your therapy sessions
- 3 powerful tools and practices that transformed my life
- Unhappy with life? 4 reasons why and how Psychotherapy can help
- Considering therapy? Why you need to ignore these 3 strong fears
- The truth about what happens in therapy