Monday Spark: Place the oxygen mask on your own face first.

help yourself firstAs infants we are expected to be self-centered and selfish. It’s the nature of childhood.

Once we are in our teens, people around us begin to lose patience with that self-centered part of our personalities.

Once we enter the work force and commit to our first serious relationship, things begin to change. Hopefully.

And by the time we have a family, we can only wish for those days when we had the time and resources to spoil ourselves and put ourselves first.

This is a natural progression. It’s what we expect of ourselves and of those around us.

But there is a downside, and a danger.

There may come a time in your life when you realize you are devoting yourself entirely to your work, your family, your friends and maybe one of two causes you support.

But what about you? How much time do you devote to yourself?

Taking a little “me-time” can seem selfish when those around you are clamoring for attention.

But failure to take some me-time can lead to no longer have the strength the help anyone.

This is a little like those instructions given to us by airlines. “Place the oxygen mask on your own face first, before helping others.”

That instruction goes totally against our instincts as a parent or caregiver. Our whole body is screaming at us to put the mask on our child first.

But the airlines are right. What help can you give your child if you pass out through lack of oxygen before either one of you has their mask in place?

To take care of those around you, you first have to take care of yourself.

Which brings us to the next step, where you write out a list of things you can do just for yourself. These things are for you, not for your family, not for your boss…just for yourself.

There are no rules, other than the fact that these have to be selfish choices.

For example, this one belongs on your list:

“I’m going to hire an instructor to teach me to snowboard. Maybe I’ll take a close friend along too.”

But this one doesn’t:

“I’m going to learn how to snowboard, so I can join my kids in doing something they love.”

The first choice is just for you, the second choice isn’t.

The idea here is to recover a small part of your teenage self, do some things just for yourself, and stay strong as a result. It’s only when you are strong that you can help others.

And yes, the same applies to your freelance business. Don’t put your clients first, put yourself and your freelance business first.

The stronger your freelance business, the better you can help your clients.

Always place the oxygen mask on your own face first.

Related Resources:

My ebook – Affirmations for Freelancers

My coaching service for freelancers…

About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach.


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