Posts tagged Happiness
How I love myself first.

Hi. I’m Mike.

I’m a recovering people pleaser.

Yup. I still find myself putting others before me. It’s in my nature. It was what I was taught. And I’m getting better at it.

To me, being a “people pleaser” means taking care of other people’s needs before my own.

This isn’t uncommon. I work with so many men who neglect themselves. We have so many other responsibilities; we often say, “I don’t have time.”

What we’re really saying is, “I don’t make time.”

I get it. We were raised to do things for other people. My parents made me do things I didn’t want to do--wash the dishes, clean my room, take out the trash. And this wasn’t limited to chores--bless the food, give your auntie a hug and kiss, babysit your cousin, do your homework.

Yeah, I totally understand. They gave me responsibility, and they pushed me out of my comfort zone. But, they also taught me to meet others' needs before my own. They never taught me to take care of myself first.

Can anyone relate?

I graduated from high school, landed my dream job, went back to school, graduated with a degree, went back to work, and found myself going through the motions and people-pleasing.

And I was unhappy.

It was 2015. I was 28 years old. I had been at my corporate job for about 6 years, and I was tired of doing the same damn thing every single day. I wasn’t being challenged, and I wasn’t growing.

How appropriate. As Saturn was lining up to return, I was feeling a huge shift in my body and the way I looked at the world. I found myself on this journey learning how to heal myself, a journey of personal development.

A mentor once told me, “In order to love other people, you have to love yourself first.”

What is this “woo-woo” nonsense?

“I do love myself. I do take care of myself,” I thought.

I was wrong.

I got my first taste of personal development work after reading Deepok Chopra’s 7 Spiritual Laws of Success and Jack Canfield’s Success Principles.

After blazing through those books, I realized I wasn’t putting myself first, and I was certainly taking care of others' needs before my own. This was a huge turning point for me.

I started wondering what it would look like for me to take care of myself first. I needed some help, so I hired a hypnotherapist.

I know. I went deep.

I went deep because I wanted answers fast (maybe the millenial in me).

After guiding me through several visualizations, he recommended I meditate and do it first thing in the morning. In his words, “It’s a great way to introduce peace in your life before heading out into the chaos of the world.”

I was resistant. It meant waking up earlier than I already had to, being alone, and sitting in silence. Yikes!

Talk about discomfort.

But my usual routine wasn’t working: alarm goes off, wake up, hit the snooze button, wake up again, feel more tired, get out of bed, make coffee, hop in the shower, get dressed, pour my coffee, pack my bag, and rush out the door. I needed a radical change. I needed a ritual.

I needed a set of practices that gave me deep meaning.

The next day, I woke up at 5am, and I did what the therapist prescribed. I found myself excited about it. I was hopeful that this little morning ritual would change my life. I was hopeful that I would understand what it meant to take care of myself before I took care of others.

I immediately noticed the difference. INSTANT GRATIFICATION--the millenial in me was so satisfied. I was hooked.

I had a morning ritual!

Mornings started to feel calm. I showed up to work feeling grounded. I had more energy throughout the day. My interactions with my co-workers and community members were less irritable. And I felt fucking good!

Is this what my mentor meant? Is this what my therapist suggested?

I seriously felt unshakable.

I was so juiced by this new way of taking care of myself--I started to go deeper and wake up earlier. After a few months, I finally landed on a sweet spot. This was (and still is) my statement: “I will wake up 2 hours before I have to answer to people, to nourish my mind, body, soul, and be by myself.”

I have to be present for my clients.

I have to do things for other people. We have to do things for other people.
I get paid to please people. We might get paid to please people.
We please other people for a living. There aren’t many ways around it.

When I didn’t have a morning ritual, I wasn’t taking enough time to love myself. And I was only meeting the needs of others.

  • I take care of myself first, because I am important.

  • I take care of myself first, because my clients are important.

  • I take care of myself first, because my family is important.

  • I will always have a greater impact on people when I choose to love myself first.

I’ve had a morning ritual for almost 4 years, and it has always served me.

I fall off here and there. When I’m inconsistent, I start to feel drained, insecure, irritable, and my thoughts start to swirl. When I am steady in my practice, I immediately feel the energy. And I immediately start to feel fulfilled.

This is how I love myself first.

Are you interested in learning how to create a morning ritual? Download our FREE Morning Ritual Planner + Guide at