It’s healthy and natural to care about other people.
But there is such a thing as being too selfless and too generous.
Here are the top signs you need to prioritize yourself more.
1) You almost always focus on others
What do you focus on most of the time?
If you find that the answer is other people, it’s one of the clearest signs you need to prioritize yourself more.
Even if you find yourself focusing on jealousy over others or thoughts of competing with them, this advice still stands.
Spending too much time on trying to help or outdo others is a waste of our mental energy and distracts from proactive, forward-looking goals as well as meeting our most basic needs.
2) You have little time left for yourself
The next of the signs that you need to put yourself first more often is that you don’t have much time for your own needs and desires.
You find yourself focused on other projects, other people and outside expectations.
Your schedule is mostly occupied with anything and everything except you.
It’s all about what you should do or will do for other people, your boss, your colleagues, your friends, your family.
What about you?
3) You think more about the problems of others than your own
We all have problems, whether those be financial, emotional, vocational, physical or anything else!
Life is full of challenges, many of which are outside of our control to prevent.
But if you find that you spend more of your time thinking about the problems and needs of others than your own, it’s a sign you need to prioritize yourself more.
Even if you are trying to dedicate your life to service and compassion, you won’t be any help if you’re a wreck yourself.
4) You can’t sleep at night worrying about others
We all have problems sleeping from time to time.
But if you find that you’re awake most nights worrying about the problems of others, then you need to prioritize yourself more.
To be sure, a sick loved one or friend can keep you up and there are times that you become consumed with sadness or concern for somebody else.
But if you consistently find that sleep is eluding you because of anxiety about other people then you need to put yourself first more.
It’s very hard to have a fulfilling day without getting a good night’s sleep.
5) You find yourself with financial problems from giving
Finances are a major source of stress for many people, especially with inflation increasing.
If you find that you don’t have enough left for you and your family because of giving to others, loans and charity contributions then it’s definitely one of the top signs you need to prioritize yourself more.
This isn’t only about not having enough for necessities, either.
It’s important to have some savings and contingency funds available for an emergency or unforeseen circumstance.
6) You make decisions on the basis of the needs of others not yourself
The decision-making process is different for everyone.
But suffice it to say that you should rank very high in deciding what is best.
Even if your purpose in life is based on selfless principles or service, you need to think of where you’re going to fit into the picture with any decision you make.
Putting others ahead of yourself in big decisions is a recipe for disaster and disempowerment.
7) You pretend to agree with the values and plans of others to avoid argument
Next up in the signs you need to prioritize yourself more is that you pretend to agree with others to avoid conflict.
To be sure, there is a place for smiling and nodding when you listen to some BS just out of a desire not to waste time and energy.
Arguing with manipulative and narcissistic people is indeed a waste of time.
But on the other hand when you adopt the values and ideas of others and even follow the same ethical beliefs or ideas of them despite not agreeing for real, you are betraying yourself.
You need to enact your own core values, not live by somebody else’s, including an organization or social system you find completely wrong or empty.
8) Your own career suffers as a result of you spending so much time helping others in their career
Then we get to the subject of career.
Helping others find jobs, keep jobs and get promoted or change to more fulfilling and rewarding jobs is awesome!
But it can go too far.
If you find that you are suffering in your career or your career advancement because of focusing so much on advice and help for others in their career?
You need to put yourself first much more in your job.
9) You give so much advice and help to people in their relationships that your own love life suffers
In terms of your love life, there is already enough to think about and focus on without worrying about how everyone else is doing.
Giving advice and support has its place.
But I have far too many friends whose own relationships have suffered and in some cases broken up, because of them being far too focused on helping others and spending their time on others.
If you find that you’re so concerned about the love life problems of others that your own partner is neglected or that your own search for a mate is being put on the backburner?
Stop and recalibrate. You matter, and so does your romance life.
10) Your physical and mental health suffers from neglect on account of not caring for yourself
If you find your physical or mental health is suffering it’s a crystal clear sign that you need to prioritize your own needs much more.
Oftentimes, roots of overly selfless behavior can be found in early childhood.
Some people learned that they were low value and that their only true “worth” came from living up to the expectations and needs of those around them.
When parents and guardians give this implicit lesson it can set somebody up for a life of pain and disempowerment.
However the roots of your selflessness began (guilt, idealism, early childhood lessons, culture) you need to become aware of them and temper this impulse to push your needs down.
When to put yourself first
There’s a time to put yourself first.
When you’re immensely selfless and kind to others this can be hard.
But think of this fact:
If you don’t put yourself first and prioritize yourself more, you won’t have the time, energy, money or attention to be truly helpful and useful to others anyway!