Doing things for other people can feel truly incredible. Something I tend to forget is that doing things for ourselves can also feel truly incredible. Sometimes it’s easy to forget about your own wants and needs because making sure other people are content seems to be more important.

It’s not.

You are important and don’t you forget it.

I’ve been focusing on myself this year and making sure that I am getting what I need out of my days. I was somebody who would focus on those around me, trying to make sure everything they wanted to be happen was happening. I started noticing “selfish” people and how they get everything they want. That’s because they make it happen for themselves. This made me realize that I could be doing the same thing and that it was time to stop trying so hard for everyone else and do more for myself.

The most difficult and important step is to SAY NO. And do it often.

Are all your friends going to the bar tonight and making it seem like the world is going to end if you don’t join them? Guess what, it’s not! If you want to go, then by all means, GO! But if you’re like me, dreaming of a night in wearing sweatpants and making love to chocolate, then say NO!!! Moments like these can feel oddly stressful because we fall into the social pressure traps in which we believe that the world is going to end for our friends if we don’t go join them on a night of lost dignity and brain cells. The reality of it all is that by the time your friends have had their first round of drinks they’ll probably have forgotten you were invited in the first place. So, go grab Ben, Jerry, and your sweats—the night is YOURS.

Some awesome things just might happen:

  • Your liver might get stronger
  • You might have more time to work out and get healthy
  • You might have a weekend day spent without a hangover
  • You might do something you’ve been wanting to do
  • You might have less regret and more dignity
  • You will feel good

These kinds of decisions should be made regularly. Peer pressure is a real thing, and it isn’t only a common case around drinking and drugs, it’s around more often than you would think.

The next step is to contradict the no and say YES. Say yes to the things you want to do. Don’t let other people distract you or lead you away from the things you want. Your friends wanted to go to the bars that night and they said yes to what they wanted, so when you are wanting to do something or go somewhere or try something new, just do it. Nike would approve of that message.

Now, when I recommend being “selfish,” I just mean it in the sense that you are doing things for your own well-being and not letting people walk all over you. Compromise is fair, and there are going to be times where the majority wins. Just remember your worth and that you are allowed to say no to people. And when you do, it’s going to feel damn good.

I’ve found it very easy in the past to be a pushover and let the majority win more than necessary. It can be a lot easier to just go with the flow and be a people pleaser in some situations, but that doesn’t mean that we crowd-pleasers don’t have an opinion to begin with. It is those times in which we must be more selfish and less pleasing. Don’t let people walk all over your kindness. You deserve to get what you want out of every situation. Try not to sit back and let others step over you and into their own happiness. Your happiness comes first!