To focus on yourself means to put your own needs first, even if you may be conditioned to people-please or abandon yourself for the sake of others.
As licensed therapist Lair Torrent, LMFT, tells mbg, “To focus on yourself instead of others means to do what I call ‘choosing you.’ It means giving yourself the gift of time, drawing firm boundaries around time spent on yourself and with yourself.”
For many, this may not come naturally, he notes, explaining that for people who tend to put others’ needs before their own, it can feel a bit selfish and egocentric to focus on themselves. “Having said that, this time should be seen as an investment in one’s own mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being,” he adds.
To that end, as clinical psychologist Tracy Thomas, Ph.D., previously wrote for mbg, “Part of the cultural problem is that most people, perhaps unconsciously, associate the idea of loving others with forgetting about ourselves. Because of this dynamic, we often build up resentments and frustrations that go undiscussed (and can actually end up hurting the people around us without even realizing it).”
So really, in order to actually show up as your best self—for your own sake and the sake of everyone in your life—you have to give yourself all the love, support, and energy you may be pouring into other people.