Choosing you can be so hard to do. I always coach my women to choose themselves, period. Whether in a professional setting or personal one. When it comes to you and your life, how you live and the decisions you make, you have to learn to pick you 9 times out of 10.
Now I am not talking about being an all out selfish bitch. That’s not what this is about. We know those women that only ever think of themselves and we don’t want to become that. What I am talking about here is righteous selection of self. When I mean you have to choose you, I mean putting your needs, your wants, your dreams, and your interests first.
If you don’t make you important, no one else will. If you don’t have the confidence to speak up for yourself and choose you, no one else will do it either. This is vitally important in all circumstances but especially professionally. You cannot wait for someone to pick you. You have to raise your hand, be seen, and choose yourself. If you want the promotion, say so. Choose you by sending in your resume and speaking with the hiring manager. If you think you deserve a raise, choose you by getting what I call your fabulous file together. A fabulous file is your documentation on all the value you have added to your role and the company. You have to develop the confidence to say yes, I am that bitch and I should be paid, and start choosing you.
You gain nothing by putting the feelings of your employees, your managers, your customers or your vendors first. Now, yes we should always weigh the outcome and consider all those people, but you are the most important person in any equation. Yes you have to be kind and respectful. I am assuming here that you have your grown women panties on and you know how to conduct yourself as a respectable human being. Choosing you in a professional situation doesn’t mean that you don’t care about others. Choosing you means that you understand how valuable you are and your goals and your dreams take priority over anyone else.
We have to get comfortable with being #1 on our own list. This seems like such a leap for some women. And I get it, we were raised to put others first. Church taught us, it’s God, others, then you. I’m sorry that doesn’t work and hasn’t worked, which is why so many women, especially women of color, are not earning what they should and have subjugated their dreams and lives for the sake of some false sense of virtuosity by putting other people’s needs in front of theirs. I say it’s bullshit.
Choose you and choose you every time. Choosing you is not selfish, it’s divine. Choosing you honors the God that created you and the God that lives in you. Choosing you places high value on your skills, your talents, your abilities. Choosing you teaches other people how to treat you.
You can absolutely choose you and serve others at the same time. I always go back to the air plane analogy because it’s so good. There is no better way to explain why your needs matter more than anything. If you don’t secure your oxygen mask first, you pass out or worse you die and while your neighbor may be grateful, you have suffered. You matter. Your dreams matter. Your hopes matter. Your life matters and you have to decide to put you at the top of your list.
What does it look like to choose you?
In a professional setting, it’s when you’re in a meeting and you have the answer but you don’t want to look like a know it all. Speak up, choose to shine in that moment. Not in a braggadocios way but respectively and in a matter of fact way.
Another example could be that your colleague is terrible at managing their work load and to no fault from anyone else are behind on a project. It’s late and you have things to do. As you are walking out for the day they beg you to stay behind to help them. You choose you by simply saying, “No.” No explanations, no long story, no apologies. The answer is no and that’s that.
In a personal setting choosing you could look like you staying in on a Friday night instead of hanging out with the girls. It could be you saying no to a PTA meeting at the kid’s school because your body could use time at the gym or a massage instead.
Will there be times when you put others before you, yes absolutely. But those times should be exceptions and they should make you feel amazing because you are serving in an incredible way, not giving in to someone else's wishes to your detriment.
How are you going to start choosing you this week? Get specific and think of three ways to put you first.
What can you do now, today to ensure that you are the most important person in your life?
What could stop you from putting you first? How can you fix it or eliminate that so you remain at the top of your list?