The title for this post, "Put you first", is something I say often, with those I work with. Upon hearing it, most individuals express frustration in putting themselves first. I would hear “But I was raised to put others first” or “ Being selfish is bad” or even “ But the bible says you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
It was pretty clear to me that most people, like myself were experts at taking care of others’ needs. It was the “right” thing to do. I was so good at honing in on your issues but when it came time to inquire about mine, I stumbled.
Like most people, putting others needs first started at a very young age. I was taught to put others’ needs first and not to focus on myself, as that would be an act of selfishness.
In the last 20 years, serving others is what I did best. Every job I had was primarily to focus on helping others to identify and get their needs met. I was the counselor who honed in on your issues and quick to follow with a solution. Then I was a mediator, where I knew what the needs were well in advance before those involved did.
As an IT System Administrator, I had to project possible issues with the computers before the customers did. I would proudly create pie charts, identifying potential bottlenecks and offering resolutions to management. As a result, I would receive excellent compensation and feedback for my efforts to serve the customers’ needs.
In was in this job, after 10 years of working with customers and computers, I started to notice something was not right. I was not satisfied with my well paying job. I found myself lacking happiness and purpose. I was starting to feel resentful in taking care of others’ needs instead of my own.
This unhappiness was apparent with management and they confronted me with a powerful question, “was I passionate about my role in the company?” I could not answer, as I did not know. I was unclear about what makes me happy.
At a friend's wedding, I was talking with another guests about my struggle trying to find a job I could be passionate about. She listened to all I had to share and suggested I explore life coach as a profession. I took it upon myself to explore what exactly is a life coach on the internet.
After a brief time on the internet, I discovered that being a life coach was my calling in life. Without a doubt, I was destined to serve in a role where I could take better care of myself and others at the same time.
After being in this role for about three years, I like to consider myself something other than a "life coach". I like to refer to myself as a "Wayfinder", one who supports others, in their busy lives to find their way back to the true self.
Having found my true calling in life and taking better care of myself, I am in a powerful position to support those who want to find their way to their true self. My question to you: where in your life are you putting yourself first?
Tom Ellis, CPC
Tom is a Path Finder who is solution & action focused as well as a Life Purpose Specialist. Artist & Gentleman Farmer.